New Zealand Parliament Pāremata Aotearoa

'Hansard in an era of alternative facts' debate

Published date: 1 Jun 2017

"An era of alternative facts threatens the truth of the written record” - or does it? This is the moot up for debate by two teams of journalists and MPs at Parliament on Wednesday 26th July.

This free public event celebrated 150 years of Hansard and the themes of transparency, accountability and trust that this most famous written record represents. Hosted by the Clerk of the House, and moderated by Speaker of the House Rt Hon David Carter, this was a humorous and exciting event. 

Missed the debate?

No worries, check out the highlight reel below for some of the night's best bits:

Hansard150 - 'Truth vs Alternative Facts' debate highlights [Source: Office of the Clerk / Length: 2 min 46 sec]

Meet the teams

Team One

Metiria Turei

Metiria Turei has been the co-leader of the Green Party since 2009. With a law degree from Auckland, she has previously worked as a lawyer at Simpson Grierson and as an advocate for the unemployed and beneficiaries. Metiria joined the Greens in 2000 and threw herself into Treaty of Waitangi issues. She entered Parliament two years later and has consistently advocated for her passions: building a more equitable society; reducing unemployment, ending child poverty, ensuring all Kiwis live in warm, healthy homes and protecting our rivers and oceans for future generations. In her spare time Metiria enjoys tāniko weaving, science fiction novels and performance art.

Raybon Kan

Raybon Kan has been a stand-up comedian for more than 20 years. His books include ‘An Asian at my Table’ and ‘America on 5 Bullets a Day.’ His NZ Herald column won ‘Funniest Column or Blog’ in the 2016 NZ Comedy Guild Awards. Before comedy, he pursued law. He graduated with honours, was admitted to the Bar, and his legal research was even published in the New Zealand Law Journal. While a student, perhaps paving the way for comedy, Raybon captained the Victoria University debating team which came second to Oxford at the World Universities Debating Championships.

Hon Judith Collins

Judith Collins is the Minister of Energy and Resources, Minister of Revenue, Minister for Ethnic Communities, and the Member of Parliament for Papakura. Her varied ministerial career has included holding the Justice, Police and Corrections portfolios and reforming law across the justice sector. She was first elected to Parliament representing the Clevedon seat in 2002. Before her Parliamentary career, Judith was a lawyer and company director, and held offices in the Auckland District Law Society and the New Zealand Law Society. She has a Bachelor of Laws, Master of Laws (Hons) and a Master of Taxation Studies from the University of Auckland.

Team Two

David Seymour

David Seymour is the leader of the ACT Party and Member of Parliament for Auckland’s Epsom electorate. He also holds the role of Parliamentary Undersecretary to the Ministers of Education and Regulatory Reform. David was raised in Whangarei, moving to Auckland as a teenager for high school and going on to study Electrical Engineering and Philosophy (hedging his bets). David spent time in Canada working as a policy analyst for a private sector think tank, before returning to New Zealand in 2011 to advise John Banks on policy development, and then re-returning to Canada to advise the former House of Commons Opposition Leader. Outside of his Parliamentary duties, David lives in central Auckland, tinkers with the sports car he built, enjoys a craft beer and keeps up with friends and family.

Jacinda Ardern

First elected to Parliament in 2008, Jacinda Ardern is the Deputy Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party and the Member of Parliament for Mt Albert. She joined the Labour Party at just 17 years old, and had a varied and international career before Parliament which included working for the Cabinet Office and Home Office in the UK, advising Prime Minister Helen Clark and being elected President of the largest international political youth organisation in the world.  Jacinda is a passionate social justice advocate and is currently the Labour Party spokesperson for Justice, Arts, Culture and Heritage, Children, and Small Business.

Sean Plunket

After a 31 year career in journalism, including stints on Fair Go, TV3 News, The Holmes Show, talk radio and eight years in the Parliamentary Press Gallery, Sean is now a self-employed communications consultant. In his time as a broadcaster he has door-stopped dictators (Robert Mugabe), interviewed icons (Nelson Mandela) and even taken an election concession call (Mike Moore to Jim Bolger). He lives in Wellington with his partner, her daughter, his son, his mother, two dogs and two goldfish. When not helping clients communicate, Sean is an avid fly-fisher, golfer and armchair sportsman.