Labour MP won’t say 'Labour-led Government'

The AM Show 21/09/2018

A quick-thinking Kris Faafoi has avoided being tripped up on one of the less consequential dramas that has enveloped Parliament of late.

The AM Show host Duncan Garner asked the Labour MP to say, "I'm part of a Labour-led coalition."

After a short pause, Mr Faafoi responded: "I'm part of a coalition Government."

National MP Judith Collins' response was immediate: "Woooooahhh! Come on, you can do it."

"Haha, you tried," replied Mr Faafoi.

It comes after a week of questions over the Government's own description of itself. Once the Labour-led Government, in the past week MPs from Labour and NZ First have started calling it the "coalition Government" instead.

The Labour party's own site made the change in June, but the issue made headlines after NZ First leader Winston Peters demanded National MPs stop calling it the "Labour-led Government" in Parliament.

"After 25 years of MMP we expect members of Parliament to come here understanding the lexicon and language of MMP," he said on Thursday last week, after National MP Paula Bennett used the phrase "Labour-led Government".

"It's a coalition between the Labour Party and New Zealand First with support agreement from the Green Party."

When Ms Bennett used the phrase again, he refused to answer the question - prompting Ms Bennett to refer to the "Winston Peters-led Government".

Mr Faafoi said while he doesn't think it matters what the Government is called, he wouldn't use the phrase "Labour-led".

"What I have been enjoying this week is criticising the National-led Opposition," he joked.

Labour has 83 percent of the seats in the formal coalition, and 73 percent if you include the Greens, who back the Government on a confidence and supply arrangement.

National makes up 98 percent of the Opposition, with David Seymour the only MP from a different party.

Ms Collins said a poll she's running on her Facebook page had nine times as many people saying Mr Peters was running the show, not Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Asked if that was a reflection of the kinds of people who follow her on social media, Ms Collins said "a lot of nice people" voted.

Mr Faafoi said he was running a poll on whether Ms Collins should take the reins at the National Party.

"I started that about six weeks ago," said host Garner. "I got a text from Simon Bridges saying 'stop it'."

"I imagine Simon would think that was very funny," said Ms Collins.

"I'm not so sure about that," said Mr Faafoi.

Mr Bridges is on about 10 percent in the preferred Prime Minister polling, well below his party, which is in the 40s.

Watch the full panel above.

The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.

Newshub.