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Parliament's top select committee called off because National says 'disorganised' Labour didn't have the numbers

The most high powered select committee in Parliament has been abandoned this morning because Labour didn’t have the numbers.

The Finance and Select Committee made up of MPs from all political parties was meant to hear from a list of high powered submitters including Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr from 10am – 2pm.

Labour MP Tamati Coffey was sick and a replacement wasn’t found in time so the whole committee had to be called off.

A war of words has broken out following today’s abandonment of the Finance and Select Committee. Source: 1 NEWS

The Chair, Labour MP Michael Wood says National Party members stood outside the room so the Government didn’t have the numbers, which he says is pure political points scoring.

He says replacement Labour MP Jo Luxton arrived 30 second after the cut off point.

The meeting was meant to start at 8am and at 8.10am if the majority of the committee isn’t there it has to be cancelled.

"It’s very frustrating, not as frustrating as for submitters," says Mr Wood.

But National MP David Carter says the Chair's job is to maintain the quorum.

"He (Mr Wood) needs to make sure he can get his people out of bed to be there" he says.

Mr Carter says this isn’t playing politics.

"We’ve just got fed up with the laziness of Labour members ... they are completely disorganised".

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said "it's not acceptable" that MPs, including hers, didn't turn up on time.

“They’ve made mistakes, they need to own that. Won’t happen again”.

It's the first time the Finance and Expenditure Committee has met in 2019.

The committee looks at business related to economic and fiscal policy, taxation, revenue, banking and finance, superannuation, insurance, Government expenditure and financial performance, and public audit.

The Beehive, New Zealand's Parliament Building, against the Sun. Wellington, North Island, New Zealand, Oceania
The Beehive, Wellington. Source: 1 NEWS