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Andrew Little and Greg O'Connor - The Morbid Stars of Debate

The orgy of virtue signalling which heralded the passing of the Criminal Records (Expunging of Convictions for Historical Homosexual Offenses) Bill last week continued Tuesday night during the debate of the Coroners (Access to Body of Dead Person) Amended Bill. MPs clamoured to demonstrate their understanding of and sensitivity towards the cultural needs of Maori and others when their deceased loved ones come under the control of the Coroner.

National’s Harate Hipango was especially keen to outline her credentials in the field given her legal background. Was it really necessary though to turn up in an outfit that resembled a shroud and with the demeanour and pallor of a corpse?

Another to enter into the spirit of things was Andrew Little, who introduced the Bill. His uncanny resemblance to an undertaker straight out of central casting seems to have only been enhanced since his stand down from the Labour leadership. 

NZ First’s Mark Patterson couldn’t disguise his discomfort dealing with the topic, acknowledging himself as an ‘unlikely champion’ of Maori spirituality. Going through the motions on behalf of his party, the best he could manage by way of a personal share was hoping that the Scottish Presbyterians of his heritage would also have their cultural needs met by the Bill.

Greg O’Connor felt obliged to remind us of the certainty of ‘death and taxes’. Given the theme of the debate, the reminder of the inevitability of death was rather unnecessary, though topical. Given the track record and trajectory of the government to date, the reminder of the inevitability of taxes seemed even more unnecessary.