Jacinda Ardern’s media appearances are noticeably shorter in length, indicating her discomfiture in media-fronting anything longer than a five minute sound bite, avoiding anything remotely in-depth despite her media devotees clearing a path. This was demonstrated in the following transcription from the AM show on Tuesday 4 August which followed Ardern’s regular appearance the previous day.

Duncan Garner protected his favourite PM on the subject of vaping legislation. Nicky Wagner claims Ardern does not have support for the vaping bill, indicating the prime minister has leaked parliamentary friends who may be, as I am, weary of her incompetence.

Garner did not listen to Wagner; his mind was made up. The PM was right and he would defend her despite sounding like an ass. He refused to grasp the fact that his PM has not produced robust legislation. Echoes of the clunky gun law reform bill passed in haste.

Ardern (from the previous day)

…put in, what’s called an SOP, so an amendment to the bill that will do somethink (not a typo, why can’t English be pronounced correctly?) else.

They want to add snus essentially tobacco that you chew… suck on, to the legislation. That has been one of the complicating factors, you asked about (hands moving furiously) what the holdup is.

My view, my very strong view, Duncan, is that vaping legislation should not be used as a back door to bring in other nicotine products.

So, if the National Party want to withdraw that amendment, that would certainly help us make some progress.

(This is one of the lies Wagner was invited onto the AM show to discuss, not that she was given a decent go at it. Garner’s mind was made up. Coincidentally, wouldn’t progress be amazing after nearly a full term of no progress on anything of substance?)

Garner:

Hmm, they could, of course, put it to a vote and vote National down on this amendment because they’ve got the numbers, they’re the government, right?

Garner:

The National Party says the PM’s claims to be not true. Joining us now is National List MP Nicky Wagner. Nicky, good morning. You’re upset about the PM’s comments?

Wagner:

I’m very upset because it’s inaccurate in multiple ways.

The first thing is that I began work on this bill and its regulation in early 2017 with the aim of delivering it as soon as we came back into government in 2018.

And we didn’t. So, I offered it to Labour. I offered it several times to Labour – they always turned it down.

So, I put it in the members’ ballot and unfortunately it wasn’t drawn.

I even offered it to them on members’ day so they wouldn’t have to use their own time up and they refused it at every turn.

Garner:

How many people in NZ chew tobacco?

Wagner:

I don’t think many people do chew tobacco actually. It’s been illegal for a very long time.

Garner:

Okay, so your amendment is what?

Wagner:

I’ve got three amendments but one that she’s particularly concerned about is dealing with old nicotine.

Now that’s another thing I’m cross about. She said that the National Party wants to deal with other products, not vape products, we should… I don’t know what we should do, but actually she brought in a clause at the last minute, dealing with oral nicotine, and it has no opportunity to be submitted on, no opportunity to be discussed.

Now, I played around with that Supplementary Order Paper and I’ve amended it to try and make them understand how important it is, and it still bans all oral nicotine except for one minor item which is a nicotine pouch

Garner:

But how many people does it affect though? How many people chew this oral nicotine?

Wagner:

That nicotine pouch deals with 10,000 people who use it as a stop smoking aid…

Garner:

But they’ll still be able to get it won’t they?

Wagner:

…and it’s also used by the military…

Garner:

They’ll still be able to get it, but Nicky, they’ll still be able to get it won’t they?

Wagner:

They will be able to get it if they get it online perhaps from overseas but why should the whole sense of this bill… is to provide more mechanisms to help people quit smoking

Garner:

Why should this hold up… but why should this piece around chewing nicotine hold up the entire regime around vaping Nicky, you could con… you could make this happen this week…

Wagner:

No, no it’s not… just wait a minute…

Garner:

Okay.

Wagner:

This is not my problem holding it up. This… I’ve got three Supplementary Order Papers that have improved a very poor bill. That’s the other thing that could be improved too but because the bill had a short term in committee and it was under COVID, it hasn’t been done properly…

Garner:

It just seems like…

Wagner

…the prime minister says I am holding it up. The reason that she can’t get it across the line is that other parties agree with me and so they won’t vote with her.

She’s got enough numbers if all her people will vote…

Garner:

She has.

Wagner:

They are feeling uneasy about it, because they think it’s the correct thing to do. And all the quit smoking agencies are saying “pass this legislation, get it through” the whole idea is we want people to quit smoking because…

Garner:

I know, but you could be the bigger person here Nicky, you could be… you could be class…

Wagner:

Excuse me, it’s not me…

Garner:

I let you finish, Nicky, can I please have a second to finish? Is that possible, thank you very much. I’d be very appreciative.

Wagner:

Of course.

Garner:

How polite. You could… you could pull your piece on the chewing tobacco and regardless…

Wagner:

It’s not chewing tobacco, it’s not a nicotine product. Not tobacco. Not snus. That’s the third point – this isn’t snus. She told a colourful story about snus…

Garner:

Never heard of snoosh or smouch or whatever the heck it is… anyway what I’m saying is you could come up with a solution.

Wagner interjects but is unintelligible. Garner diverts from Ardern’s third lie.

Nicky, Nicky. Hello, hello? Could I just put a solution to you please? If you were to pull your stuff then we would get a regime around vaping before Christmas, and now before the election, so at least we can protect some of the kids who are going in and buying this stuff, put them first and we will deal with your stuff after the election. What do you reckon?

Wagner:

Well the prime minister can just vote it down and put the regulation through but she doesn’t want this because she knows it’s the correct thing to do.

Ardern’s first lie is that National are holding back the passing of the bill but Wagner claims although Ardern has the numbers she does not have support for the bill in its current form.

Ardern’s second lie is inferred in the first and it is that National do not want the bill to pass. Wagner said she has done everything she could to get the bill across the line in good shape.

Ardern’s third lie is that snus is holding up the legislation. Wagner says it’s nothing to do with snus. In its current form the bill won’t be passed because it is not robust enough. We’d love to know why, but Garner won’t let Wagner say.

Garner is not bothered either by Ardern’s lies or the quality of the legislation. He is more concerned about getting the PM off the hook and her legislation across the line despite poor quality, impracticality or fish hooks that make it undesirable or unworkable.

Garner’s sympathy with the lying PM struggling to perform in the media (or anywhere else) suggests she will do anything and everything to avoid debate. Her arrogance is, quite simply, indefensible and Garner her partner in crime in this discussion. What a tosser!

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Suze is an avid reader and writer after a career in accounting starting in the farming industry. 10 years working in the NZ mining industry made her passionate about accessing our resource potential whilst...