Paula Bennett tells off Lloyd Burr for giving PM Christopher Luxon 'hard' time on AM

  • 07/02/2024

AM co-host Lloyd Burr got a telling-off on the show this morning for giving Prime Minister Christopher Luxon "too hard of a time". 

Burr questioned Luxon during his weekly slot on AM over copying sections of his Waitangi speech from last year and grilled him on not mentioning the Treaty Principals Bill during his talk. 

Appearing on AM's panel later in the show alongside Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, Paula Bennett said she believed Luxon played a vital part in uniting New Zealand at Waitangi. 

The former National MP and ex-deputy prime minister said what she saw at Waitangi was people coming together and feeling good. 

"I thought you gave the Prime Minister too hard of a time this morning," Bennett said to Burr. "I think you wanted a drama." 

"I loved that he owned that he did copy some of the speech. He didn't blame the speech writers like you wanted him to. He actually sat there and went 'no that was my speech, yeah I had some things to say again I did them but I also said a whole lot of new stuff'." 

"I didn't realise that you were now working for him as a spin doctor," Burr hit back. 

She said the Treaty of Waitangi hasn't changed in the last 12 months and copying what looked like only a few paragraphs was fine. 

"I just almost feel like the media all wanted a big drama, they wanted a big scrap, they didn't get one and so now we are just talking about stuff that's completely irrelevant," Bennett said. 

However, Raukawa-Tait, who stood for Te Pāti Māori in last year's election, disagreed. 

"I think he missed an opportunity… to actually show that he knows what he's talking about, that all New Zealanders should understand where New Zealand is heading," Raukawa-Tait said. 

She said Luxon should have articulated the role of the Treaty, Māori and the Crown in New Zealand's future. 

"It was a speech that was adequate but not for a Prime Minister," she said. 

Watch the full panel above.