Watch: 'The word booty has multiple meanings' – Shane Jones leaves Paula Bennett laughing after light-hearted exchange

A discussion on regional economies made a surprising turn to the definition of 'booty', today in Parliament, an exchange that left National Party deputy Paula Bennett still laughing when it was time to ask her question. 

During question time, Minister for Regional Economic Development Shane Jones was asked by National Party MP Paul Goldsmith asked: "To the Minister, when he announced to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee, 'There's rule number one in politics: to the winner goes the booty', in what way was he thinking that the tax New Zealanders pay is his booty?"

Last week during the Committee, Mr Jones was asked by Mr Goldsmith why 60 per cent of funding from his Provincial Growth Fund had gone to Northland, reported NZ Herald. 

"There's rule number one in politics, to the winner goes the booty. The booty in this case is to all the surge regions, and the best organised surge region... has proven to be the leadership of the North," Mr Jones said according to NZ Herald. 

Mr Jones said today that the Provincial Growth Fund was created in a MMP coalition Government. "As a key personality in one of those parties, whose mission is to show heart out in the regions, I would remind the member that the word "booty" has multiple meanings, and it reflects the fact that key regions around the country who have given up waiting over the last nine years realise this time round that not only is the rhetoric robust but the purse is rich."

"Why is he, of all people, talking about booty?" Mr Goldsmith shot back. 

"Part of my whakapapa is belonging to a pirate," Mr Jones said. The Chamber erupted in laughter, and then Ms Bennett was then called upon to ask her question to the Prime Minister, which was answered by Grant Robertson on behalf. 

Ms Bennett apologised while she was asking the question: "Does she stand by all her Government's statements and actions?", as she was still laughing from the previous exchange. 

Mr Robertson said, "Yes, with the possible exception of the last one."

Ms Bennett went on to question Mr Robertson over the failed repeal of Three Strikes. 

The National Party deputy went to ask a question in the House, but the previous question had turned to what the definition of ‘booty’ is. Source: 1 NEWS

New $750 million, 600 bed prison to be built south of Hamilton

A "world-leading high security replacement" is set to be built at Waikeria Prison with a mental health facility, the Government announced today.

It is set to be completed in 2022 and scraps the previous Government’s plans to build a mega prison at Waikeria, located south of Hamilton.

Kelvin Davis said yesterday the facilities are not up to scratch. Source: 1 NEWS

It adds 174 new beds to the prison system, half of those which are to be double bunked.

The Government said the current upper Waikeria Prison is at a state where it is not fit for purpose due to its ageing facilities, and will be closed once the new building is completed.

The new prison will have 500 beds, and the mental health facility will have 100. It is expected to cost about $750 million to build.

The shabbiest wing at Waikeria Prison will be knocked down to make way for a new 600 bed facility. Source: 1 NEWS

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis said in a statement the new plans are to "set a new direction for prisons in New Zealand, putting public safety first while delivering real rehabilitation and mental health support to reduce reoffending".

"New Zealand is safer when the most violent offenders are locked away, but prison is also a place where offenders should be rehabilitated, not trained by other prisoners to become more hardened criminals."

He described the new plans as striking "the right balance" between giving criminals consequences to their actions and rehabilitating prisoners to reduce the country’s reoffending rate.

"Sixty-two per cent of prisoners have been diagnosed with a mental health or substance abuse disorder in the last 12 months," he said. "We currently do very little to help turn these people’s lives around."

National Party leader Simon Bridges criticised the move, calling the Government "clumsy" and said it is "failing its most fundamental obligation and that’s to keep New Zealanders safe" by choosing to scrap the plans for the mega prison.

The Government say they are building 1,500 new beds to meet the prison capacity gap.

This is in addition to May's Budget announcement that 600 rapid build prison units would be added across the country by the end of 2019. 

Source: 1 NEWS


Unprecedented number of young male sperm whales stranding worries South Taranaki Māori

South Taranaki Māori are concerned about an unprecedented number of young, male sperm whales stranding along the area's coast.

The 13th whale found stranded on Ngati Ruanui Hapotiki hapū in less than two weeks was discovered last Friday at a remote location accessed on foot along the Waihi Beach coastline.

"It is highly unusual and there is concern about a young healthy male pod washing up in these numbers," said Te Runanga o Ngati Ruanui Kaiarataki Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.

"As it is the first in many of our lifetimes, the time is right to learn through this process, allowing traditions to continue with future generations and to understand more of what’s happening out there," she said.

Ms Ngarewa-Packer said thanks to the support received from Ngati Wai and Nga Ruahine, Ngati Ruanui would work together caring for both the Tohora (whale) and each other.

The whale on the beach along the Waihi-Tangahoe coastline. Source: Supplied

"This is an intense process which we undertake with careful consideration. It takes many people to respectfully receive this precious gift named Utungia."

The 11 metre-long male sperm whale will be honoured with unique traditional processes.

“We can’t determine what’s happening out in the ocean but we can learn to manage these losses in a way that brings to life cultural practices that honour and pay respect," said Ngati Ruanui Rangatira Rukutai Watene.

“We have invited Hori Parata and experts of Ngati Wai to educate and lead through this process.”

Ngati Wai are experienced in this role, having managed about 500 whale and dolphin rites throughout Aotearoa.

As the whale has chosen to rest on a rugged and often inaccessible section of Ngati Ruanui beach 'Koutu' along the Waihi-Tangahoe coastline, Ngati Ruanui will be managing limited access.

The whale stranded along the Waihi-Tangahoe coastline in South Taranaki. Source: Supplied