Paula Bennett had a chance to make some political mileage out of the Labour Party scandal in Question Time today. Here is a heavily edited summary.

BENNETT  to the Prime Minister: Does she stand by all her Government’s statements and actions?

ARDERN: Yes.

Bennett: Question …

Hipkins: (Running interference) Point of order

SPEAKER: The Prime Minister will answer the first part of the question.

ARDERN: Yes.

Bennett: Question …

Hipkins: (Running interference) A point of order.

SPEAKER: I’m just going to rule it out.

Bennett: Question …

SPEAKER: Ruled out

Bennett: Question …

Hipkins: (Running interference) Point of order

SPEAKER: Bennett can rephrase

Hipkins: (Running interference) Point of order

SPEAKER: Sounded a warning

Bennett: Question …

SPEAKER: No, that’s out of order, and I just warn the member:

Bennett: Question …

ARDERN: (actually got the chance to speak before Hipkins jumped up)

I am going to reflect on the comments that I have made in the public domain, repeatedly, on this point but particularly in the last 48 hours. The criticism that can rightly be laid at the feet of the Labour Party is that there has not been an appropriate investigation into the complaints brought. If we listened to victim advocates like Louise Nicholas, she would point out that we need to be victim focused. We’ve created a pathway now for those complaints to be rightly heard, and that is where I am going to make sure that all of the focus lies. The ongoing litigation within a parliamentary debating chamber of sensitive complaints is not victim centred, and I think the member knows that.

Bennett: Question …

SPEAKER: The member absolutely knows that’s out of order. No further questions.

After all that, we got:

  • “Yes”
  • “Yes”
  • “There has not been a proper investigation” [Labour Party’s fault – not mine]
  • “We’ve created a pathway”
  • And a put-down to Bennett for attempting to litigate it in the debating chamber.

We are so much nearer the truth now, thanks, Paula.