In parliament it is common practice for backbench Members of the government to ask Ministers trifling questions such as asking how well they are doing – just to give the Minister a chance to talk about their achievements.
An outcry was heard from the Opposition when Nicholas asked Minister of Justice Nandi Glassie if he had made any headway on providing agricultural equipment to prisoners in Arorangi. Minister Glassie thanked Nicholas for his “wonderful” question and took pride in making a lengthy speech on the fact his government had given the prisoners a range of Chinese-donated equipment. The prisoners had now grown their own cabbages, he said.
During Monday’s session the Opposition was rather more critical of the Chinese-donated equipment.
MP for Ngatangiia Tama Tuavera said, “You have to be The Hulk (a fantasy character of incredible strength in an old TV series), to work these machines’ and complained the equipment gifted to his village was difficult to operate.
He said there was no money to maintain the 24 quad bikes donated to each Member of Parliament, and said they would end up covered with rust, as had machinery sent to the Pa Enua a few years ago.