The Grey Power movement has certainly created a lot of noise, stirred the emotions of some and may have resulted in Muri Enua swinging towards the Demos for the first time. What’s also interesting is the actions of Teina Bishop and how he responded to the Grey Power fiasco by reimbursing the money that was taken out of Nancy Simiona’s bank account. People have commented both in the paper and on social media that Teina Bishop ought to be commended for his actions and that he has set a good example for other politicians to follow. However, his latest move with George Maggie resulting in a move by the Prime Minister in dissolving Parliament doesn’t seem to add up.
Firstly, Government had already committed to reimbursing the money back to the NZ pensioners. Government also announced that a bill was drafted and was to be tabled in Parliament not only to facilitate the reimbursement process but also to eliminate the back tax requirement.
Secondly, as a Cabinet Minister, Teina Bishop would have known that things were being put in place to address the concerns of Grey Power and its affected members which would have dealt with this issue in a legal and appropriate manner.
Thirdly, Teina was actively promoting and driving political reform with the Prime Minister prior to these events and was adamant that the political system needed to be reformed.
My question is; why on earth did Teina Bishop decide to withdraw his own money and reimburse Nancy Simiona and yet he knew that there was a bill that was ready to be tabled to be passed which would have dealt with this issue. Why did Teina feel that he didn’t need to attend Parliament on the day before the dissolution of Parliament even though he knew that there were bills before the house that required all members of Government to be present to vote?
In my view, Teina’s reimbursement and play in the media was just a publicity stunt designed to make his Government and Cabinet colleagues look stupid and to further promote Teina as a renegade and self-serving politician who has very little regard for his team, his party and his country.
If Teina really cared about the Grey Power pensioners, he should have reimbursed all money that was withdrawn from all the bank accounts or turned up to Parliament and supported the bills that would have allowed the reimbursement and the back tax issue to be addressed once and for all.
But instead, Teina wanted to play with fire and make deals which may have resulted in a change of Government and made us look stupid and vulnerable as a nation because of instability. He also picked the best tag team member in the political arena to play with who has no clue that was being used and that his political future is now in question.
This is very typical of Teina Bishop and it’s not surprising that he is under investigation for corruption and was overlooked for the DPM post. I also wonder if Teina was serious about political reform given what he wanted to do with Maggie and the Opposition.
There is no excuse for what Teina Bishop did and I hope people understand that this kind of behavior is stupid, unnecessary and not honourable especially as a Minister. Te akapeea mai nei koe e Teina.
(Name and address supplied)