Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Judith Tizard's excuse

In a news item about a bill to cut back the number of legislators to 100, TVNZ decided to ask some "hardworking" (their words) MPs what they thought about the bill. One of the people they chose (out of malice, I suppose) was Judith Tizard who is many things but not hardworking. She seemed rather flustered and evaded the issue by saying that she was late for a select committee.

Curious at the possibility that Judith actually does something a select committee would be interested in, I decided to look up which select committees were actually sitting today. According to the Clerk's Website for select committees (click meetings schedule for the PDF but it will change next week), only one committee was actually sitting today - the Regulations Review Committee hearing complaints about the Animal Welfare (Layer Hens) Code of Welfare 2005 and the Student Allowance Amendment Regulations 2002. Neither of which Judith Tizard, Minister for Archives, Auckland Issues, Consumer Affairs and the National Library as well as Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, Heritage, Commerce and Transport, has any responsibility for.

So it seems Judith was lying to the media. Normally that would be a sacking offense (cf Lianne Dalziel) but the recent relaxation of standards (cf David Benson-Pope) means that Judith has nothing to fear. Hence I can only suggest that she work harder in constructing plausible lies to avoid answering difficult questions.

UPDATE: Judith Tizard's office has responded in the comments that she was attending the Education and Science Select Committee and subbing for Dr Ashraf Choudhary. So the key piece of information that I relied upon was either outdated or in error and hence I retract the imputation that Judith lied to the media.