New Zealand Listener

Mastering the new normal

It’s unexpectedly cheering to find that the Government and Opposition initially squabbled furiously about how to run a reduced but still accountable Parliament. For all that people say this is no time for politics,

it’s important to keep its motor in running order. National’s bid to keep the full Parliament meeting on business-as-usual lines was heroic, if impractical. It was also inadvertently patrician. MPs can’t credibly lock up the citizenry but retain the right to carry on travelling themselves, risking spreading infection and – as it would be widely viewed – swanning about. There’s been enough sniffiness about Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters’

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