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Source: New Zealand Parliament – Hansard


Misrepresentation—Reply to a Written Question

Hon GRANT ROBERTSON (Minister of Finance): I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. At the beginning of the House yesterday, you gave your ruling around a question of misrepresentation of a particular Facebook ad that had been put forward, and you did say in that that you would have been inclined to find a question of privilege, and then you ran through a series of reasons for why you didn’t want to take that forward. One of those reasons—and I’m quoting you here—is “I have been assured that the material has been removed from social media,”. It’s clear that was not true at the time at which you said that, and I just wonder if the assurance you were given was, in fact, misleading and may, in fact, give rise to a further question of privilege, and to what extent was it influential on your decision not to consider this a matter of privilege.

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE (Deputy Leader—National): There was one site where it remained. We have located that. It’s been dealt with, and it is taken down.

SPEAKER: OK, and it’s not surprising that I am aware of the fact, because people did copy me in to a number of Facebook posts and Twitter indications that Mr Simeon Brown had kept the matter up after the assurance was given. I just wanted to make it very clear to Mr Robertson that I would prefer him to take more care with his language, because if one took a strict interpretation of what he’d said, one might interpret that I was deliberately misleading the House. I certainly was not. I had had an assurance, even though that assurance was mainly correct but not absolutely correct, and I don’t propose to take the matter any further.