Sleepgate: Finlayson's side of the story
"Asleep at the Wheel on the Road to Nowhere?"Featured comment
Attorney-General Chris Finlayson denies he was sleeping in the House, as a Parliament TV clip suggests.
Mr Finlayson says he had his head down because he was on Twitter.
So why is there no record of contemporaneous tweets from the minister?, NBR ONLINE asked. (After a Friday frenzy of budget-related posts, the Attorney-General did not tweet at all over the weekend.)
The National MP was reading Twitter, not posting.
Labour deputy leader Grant Robertson was unconvinced, quipping to NBR, "That would be the kind of reading of Twitter you do with your eyes closed."
And why did Mr Finlayson not respond to taunts from Labour's Grant Robertson?
“I was ignoring him.”
Parliament sat under urgency late into Thursday and Friday nights to pass Budget-related bills. The marathon session ran into Saturday afternoon, when Labour deputy leader Grant Robertson spoke on the Customs and Excise (Budget Measures – Motor Spirits) Amendment Bill.
In the Parliament TV clip, Mr Robertson can be seen, stopping his speech, then peering at Mr Finlayson, who is sitting with his head slumped.
"I'm just checking on the attorney-general's wellbeing over there," the Labour deputy leader says.
"Perhaps, not so great at the moment? He's gone. He's completely gone. That's terrific."
At that point, National MP Jami-Lee Ross leans in to catch Mr Finlayson's attention, and the minister snaps his head up.
"Oh, there he is. Very good," Mr Robertson says.
So, lorks all round - but cynics will also wonder about the quality Parliamentary debate at any time as politicians pull all-nighters under urgency.