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.