Gerry Brownlee has made me see the error of my ways. Two plus two equals five, and Nuk Korako's #noluggageleftbehind bill is a sterling contribution to the very fabric of New Zealand's democracy.

As some of you may have noticed, I put up a couple of blog posts last week in which I said some less than charitable things about Tutehounuku (Nuk) Korako's members bill, the Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment Bill

I called it "abysmal". I said it will "literally achieve nothing at all." I suggested that Mr Korako "doesn't seem to understand what it is his proposed bill will even do." For heaven's sake, I even described his proposal as the "Worst Members Bill Ever"!

The real reason for this bill was, I suggested, to act as stuffing for the members ballot so as to reduce the chances of one of the opposition members' bills being drawn and debated. Then, feeling pretty good about myself and my political perspicuity, I sat back and waited for the plaudits to flow.

But I began to become a bit nervous about my position when it found echoes of support from both Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams on Monday's RNZ National's 9-to-noon show. On the usually reliable assumption that if both of these gentlemen agree with something, it most likely must be wrong, I wondered whether I had made some sort of ghastly mistake.

And then on today's NBR website came confirmation of my fears. In a story by Jason Walls hidden behind their paywall, Gerry Brownlee (National's leader of the House), let it be known in no uncertain terms that I had completely overstepped my place and taken on airs that weren't for the likes of the little people.

When asked about Prof Geddis’s comments, Mr Brownlee said it was “quite sad.”

“Professor Geddis is demonstrating a degree of arrogance that can only come from academics,” he says.

“Ultimately, if you took that to its nth degree, it’s an attack on democracy. For him to pontificate this is a bill unworthy of Parliament is just completely inappropriate,” Mr Brownlee says.

And so, to the people of New Zealand - but more importantly, to the institution of Parliament and the very concept of democracy itself - I apologise. I have seen the error of my ways. I shall no longer make the arrogant assumption that the statutory requirement that my University "accept a role as critic and conscience of society" requires me to speak out if I see foolish or wrongheaded lawmaking. Instead, I will do my duty to democracy and assume that whatever MPs (at least, government MPs) do is completely fine and not to be questioned in any way, shape or form.

So, having noted my error and repented of it, future blog posts will consist entirely of paeans to how well the Government is managing the rebuild of Christchurch and stern injunctions to readers to simply let Parliament get on with whatever it wants because it knows best.

Comments (5)

by Matt Smith on August 16, 2016
Matt Smith

After Hooton and Williams agreed with you it must be quite a relief to have Gerry Brownlee have a go. :)

by Dean Knight on August 16, 2016
Dean Knight


by Katharine Moody on August 17, 2016
Katharine Moody

...a degree of arrogance that can only come from academics...

Gee, that's rather telling - I suspect that attitude comes from the boss.

by william blake on August 17, 2016
william blake

“Ultimately, if you took that to its nth degree, it’s an attack on democracy..

 must be a post graduate degree, one that confers a degree of arrogance greater than rt hon Brownlee. .(imagine the cap that comes with that!)

by Gilbert on August 18, 2016

Please don't go Andrew - we need you. Ad hominem attacks such as Brownlee's are the hallmark of the charlatan or the desperado. Gerry can choose which best suits him. Though in this case they are not mutually exclusive. He can have it both ways.


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