Green Party's gift to National a ‘no strings attached’ deal - Simon Bridges

The new deal with the Opposition and the Green Party is a "no strings attached" trade, says Simon Bridges, after the minor party announced they would give their primary questions in Parliament to National for the rest of the term. 

"Why wouldn't we take it?" Mr Bridges told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning. 

MPs ask ministers and other MPs in parliament questions, which is designed to keep the government accountable for their actions. 

National Party leader Mr Bridges said the Green Party gift enabled the Opposition to hold the government to account. "We can take what they say at face value, which is a principled stance from them."

"I learnt about it late last week... there's no strings attached. We welcome it. We thank James Shaw and the Green Party." 

Yesterday TVNZ1 Q+A's Corin Dann talked to Green Party and Climate Change Minister James Shaw about why his party had decided to give their primary question every session to the Opposition. 

Mr Shaw said it's because the "patsy" questions are "basically a waste of everyone's time".

"I think question time should be about holding the Government to account."

Mr Shaw says he knows it sounds crazy, but the Green Party is "crazy about democracy".

Breakfast host Jack Tame asked Mr Bridges if it was an extended olive branch from the Greens.

"They're not quite as tied in the Ardern-Peters government," Mr Bridges answered. "I think it's a good deal, if you like, for us, why wouldn't we take it?"

"What I intend to do is to take this with the spirit of the offer, which is to make sure we have a seriousness of purpose around our questions," Mr Bridges said. 

"It's about getting answers out of Ministers."

The Green Party will be giving the National Party around 42 questions this year and 50 next year.

The Greens will give their primary questions in Parliament to National for the rest of the term. Source: Breakfast