MP tweeting - or napping - during taxing talk

ANDREA VANCE
Last updated 05:00 21/05/2013
Parliament TV

Attorney-general Chris Finlayson appears to fall asleep during a session of Parliament.

Minister for Treaty Negotiations Chris Finlayson
Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Chris Finlayson

Relevant offers

Politics

John Key: Kiwis uninterested in 'broken record' attacks on Maori favouritism Helen Clark's chances at the UN take a hit after a late entry in the race White Man Behind a Desk satirist appeals to other young voters in funny video Kiwis 'drowning in housing debt', Labour says after Statistics NZ figures Mass rat sterilisation could be the answer to New Zealand's pest free future NZ race relations: new start or new low? Police asked to investigate complaint from Queenstown mayoral race candidate Jim Boult Massey racism provokes call for university name change Productivity Commission says interest should be put back on student loans Greens reshuffle their lineup: New MP and new finance and health spokespeople

Parliament might have been in urgency over the weekend, but there was nothing quick about Chris Finlayson's response to jibes he had fallen asleep.

The attorney-general appeared to be slumping and snoozing as MPs argued about an increase in petrol tax on Saturday afternoon.

Labour's deputy leader Grant Robertson first noticed the minister's lack of attention as he debated the finer points of the Customs and Excise (Budget Measures – Motor Spirits) Amendment Bill – Committee Stage – Part 2 (2).

Robertson could be seen leaning over and peering at the National MP.

"I'm just checking on the attorney-general's wellbeing over there," he said, interrupting his speech.

"Perhaps, not so great at the moment?

"He's gone. He's completely gone. That's terrific."

At that point, National's Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross can be seen trying to get the minister's attention.

Finlayson then lifts his head, to cheers from fellow MPs.

"Oh, there he is. Very good," Robertson continues.

A spokesman for Finlayson denied the attorney-general was asleep, saying he had been checking Twitter and ignoring Robertson.

On Friday, Finlayson, who is also Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage, took exception to Robertson's comments about Budget cuts in the arts and culture sector.

He went on a Twitter spree, using the hashtag #goldenage, to outline a series of positive initiatives.

Parliament went into urgency on Thursday to pass a series of Budget-related bills. It saw MPs debating late into the night on Thursday and Friday, finally finishing on Saturday evening.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content