Parental leave bill resurrected

Stuff 29 May 2014
Maori party MP Pita Sharples was ”bullied” into not correcting a paid parental leave bill blunder, Labour claims.

Labour MP Sue Moroney’s bill to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks failed at the second reading last night in shambolic scenes. National Party Whip Louise Upston incorrectly cast three votes on behalf of the Maori Party, after a paperwork gaffe.

The error was corrected this afternoon, with co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell confirming an  “administrative error.”

However, Labour’s shadow leader of the House Grant Robertson says Maori Affairs minister Sharples came down to the debating chamber to fix the record after 9pm last night.

But after a meeting with National ministers Tony Ryall, Anne Tolley and junior whip Jami-Lee Ross, he failed to do so.

Robertson says it is ”one of the worst examples of bullying I have seen in Parliament.”

Tolley rejects this.

”There was certainly no bullying from our side,” she said.

”The Maori Party has said it was their stuff up. They’ve apologised to the National whips and good on them for that.”

But Robertson is adamant National used underhand tactics.