Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and opposition leader Judith Collins confronted the Parliamentary Press Gallery in advance of the Labor and National Party bloc meetings this morning.
Ardern has spoken about the Whakaari / White Island tragedy and the controversy between China and Australia over a fiery social media post shared from an official Chinese account.
Meanwhile, Collins has focused on the housing crisis, saying she found it “strange” that Ardern partially blamed the public for it.
The meetings came after WorkSafe, the government workplace health safety regulator, Announced that it would press charges over the Wakari / White Island eruption Last December, 22 people were killed.
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The prime minister will not be dispensed with if or when the tourist is allowed to return to the island’s volcano.
“See clearly while we are in a situation where we have lawsuits going on with WorkSafe, that is really not on anyone’s mind as I imagine, especially the operators.”
GNS Science and the National Emergency Management Agency (Civil Defense) – both government agencies – announced that they have been indicted, but do not know what the charges were. The tour operators, Volcanic Air and White Island Tours, owned by Ngāti Awa, have also confirmed that they have been charged.
She said the various investigations underway would help provide a “good understanding” of the situation, while the royal commission – which had been proposed by the NDP before the election – “could very much repeat the work that was already happening.”
Charges were brought against ten parties and three individuals in total. The first court date is December 15th in Oakland District Court.
It took WorkSafe nearly a year to press charges, and major party leaders are expected to speak out on the issue.
NDP Leader Judith Collins encountered the Parliamentary Press Gallery in Parliament ahead of the Labor and National Party gathering meetings this morning.
Meanwhile, Judith Collins said that National will focus on holding the government accountable for housing in Parliament this week.
In particular, she responded to an interview with TVNZ in which Ardern said that “the appetite for some of these policies should also come from the public,” saying that the public did not support tax policies that might slow down the housing market.
“I thought it was really weird,” Collins said.
“After the government in 2017 got into a big housing agenda, sorting housing, Kiwibuild was the answer and suddenly after three years of failure in the region, it seems that this is the public’s fault,” she said.
yesterday, The government has also announced that it will extend the minimum sick days Five to 10 in late 2021.
This was an electoral commitment to the Labor Party that the National Party had questioned during the campaign as charging additional business costs.