The Ardern-Peters Government continues to arrogantly show it doesn’t want its ideas challenged and that it’s willing to insult those who disagree with its ministers, National’s Deputy Leader Paula Bennett says.

“In the latest example of arrogance, Justice Minister Andrew Little has called Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar ‘loopy’.

“That’s no way for a Minister of the Crown to act. He might not agree with Mr McVicar but he should have a thicker skin and respect the right of people to disagree with him – and refrain from insulting those who don’t. That stifles debate and will mean the Government’s bad ideas aren’t properly tested.

“Concerningly, it’s become a pattern of behaviour from this Government.

“Mr Little has previously, repeatedly said that every constitutional law expert in the country is wrong and only he is right about concerns Winston Peters’ Waka Jumping Bill breaches the Bill of Rights.

“Housing Minister Phil Twyford recently slammed the ‘kids’ at Treasury who were ‘fresh out of university and … completely disconnected from reality’ when they halved their forecast for the impact of the KiwiBuild policy would have on residential construction.

“And Economic Development Minister David Parker has claimed that ANZ's business confidence surveys are ‘junk’ and ‘you should throw them away’ because he didn’t like their findings. This is on top of other ministers like Stuart Nash and David Clark admitting they don’t even read official advice.

“This arrogant dismissal of experts and people who don’t agree is wrong, it’s arrogant and it’s got to stop.

“For a Government that is outsourcing the vast bulk of its work to working groups and reviews – more than 120 and counting – it had better start considering advice, allowing its ideas to be tested and working in the best interests of New Zealanders rather than itself.”

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