List of Back Benches episodes

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This is a list of episodes from the New Zealand political show Back Benches, which aired on the now-defunct channel TVNZ 7.

The date listed is the date (Wednesday) that the episode was filmed and aired live for the first time. Each episode was aired again on the subsequent Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Series One (2008)[edit]

ACT Green Kiwi Libertarianz Labour Māori National NZ First Progressive United Future
# Date Members of panel Issues and topics discussed
1 2 April 2008 Louisa Wall Maurice Williamson Jacqui Dean Hone Harawira
2 9 April 2008 Moana Mackey Chester Borrows Ron Mark Sue Bradford Free Trade Agreement with China
3 16 April 2008 Louisa Wall Tau Henare Keith Locke Judy Turner Asset sales
4 23 April 2008 Darren Hughes Doug Woolerton Hone Harawira Judy Turner Mike Williams; factory closures; the junior doctors strike
5 30 April 2008 Jacqui Dean Dr Russel Norman Te Ururoa Flavell Rodney Hide Food prices; Anzac day trading; inconsistent asset sales
6 7 May 2008 Moana Mackey Chester Borrows Sue Kedgley Rodney Hide Railway purchase; petrol taxes; New Zealand music month; eco-efficiency
7 14 May 2008 Jacqui Dean Doug Woolerton Sue Bradford Hone Harawira Methamphetamine
8 21 May 2008 Charles Chauvel Sandra Goudie Sue Kedgley Hone Harawira Budget; leadership; rising cost of petrol
9 28 May 2008 Louisa Wall Chester Borrows Keith Locke Rodney Hide Tax cuts; power cuts; the Government's apology to Vietnam veterans; hoodies; Epsom and Richard Worth
10 4 June 2008 Jill Pettis Paula Bennett Dail Jones Dr Russel Norman Polls; leadership; food
11 11 June 2008 Charles Chauvel Chris Auchinvole Judy Turner Gordon Copeland Rising costs of petrol and power; Auckland as capital city; Nándor Tánczos
12 18 June 2008 Judith Tizard Chris Tremain Ron Mark Keith Locke Violence; arming police; driving while using a cell phone; Peter Dunne
13 25 June 2008 Lynne Pillay Eric Roy Doug Woolerton Hone Harawira Gang violence; designer babies; the publics' distrust of politicians
14 2 July 2008 David Bennett Doug Woolerton Te Ururoa Flavell Heather Roy Flexible work hours; Zimbabwe cricket boycott; kids playing sport
15 9 July 2008 Darien Fenton Sandra Goudie Peter Dunne Rodney Hide Leadership; truckers protest; law and order; National's employment policy; Rodney and Lockwood Smith
16 16 July 2008 Sue Moroney Chris Tremain Ron Mark Judy Turner 3am bar closures; harsher penalties for hit and runs
17 23 July 2008 Shane Jones Maurice Williamson Hone Harawira Maori Language Week; counting calories; meningococcal vaccines; Winston Peters; Shane Jones' office
18 30 July 2008 Russell Fairbrother Paula Bennett Dail Jones Gordon Copeland Winston Peters saga; Condoleezza Rice
19 6 August 2008 Clayton Cosgrove Sue Kedgley Rodney Hide Secret tapes; mixed-member proportional (MMP) representation voting system; an extra petrol tax for Aucklanders; Tariana Turia's office
20 13 August 2008 Steve Maharey Dr Russel Norman Judy Turner Heather Roy Olympics; National's welfare policy; funding Herceptin
21 20 August 2008 Charles Chauvel Chester Borrows Sue Bradford Olympics; climate change; eco bulbs; the Privileges Committee hearing; Steve Maharey's office
22 27 August 2008 Annette King Doug Woolerton Hone Harawira Emissions trading scheme; road tolls; cost of food
23 3 September 2008 Lesley Soper Metiria Turei Hone Harawira Peter Dunne Winston Peters saga; John Key; emissions trading scheme.
24 10 September 2008 George Hawkins Keith Locke Judy Turner Jim Anderton Families Commission; leaked National policy; Winston Peters saga
25 17 September 2008 Charles Chauvel Jeanette Fitzsimons Peter Dunne Election '08; gangs
26 24 September 2008 Luamanuvao Winnie Laban Ron Mark Dr Russel Norman Gordon Copeland Privileges Committee findings; free trade deal with USA
27 1 October 2008 Grant Robertson Stephen Franks Sue Kedgley Heather Roy Candidates for Wellington Central; tax; economics
28 8 October 2008 Hamish McDouall Nikki Kaye Kevin Hague Derek Fox Tax; the economy; life sentences;[note 1]
29 15 October 2008 Charles Chauvel Josephine Pagani[note 2] Rodney Hide John Key and Helen Clark; universal student allowance; showering
30 22 October 2008 Doug Woolerton Sue Bradford Judy Turner Gordon Copeland Anti-smacking policy; coalition building; the financial crisis
31 29 October 2008 Phil Twyford Paul Quinn Angeline Greensill Matt Robson mixed-member proportional (MMP) representation; US election; Peter Dunne's hair[note 3]
32 5 November 2008 David Slack Peter Cresswell Martyn Bradbury Jessica Hassell New US President; New Zealand election[note 4]
8 November 2008 Stephen Franks Sue Kedgley Heather Roy Vaughan Smith Election Night Special[note 5]
Change of Government after general election
33 12 November 2008 Nikki Kaye Charles Chauvel Keith Locke David Garrett Coalition talks; the economy
34 19 November 2008 Alex Mitchell Jacinda Ardern Gareth Hughes Kimo Winiata New Cabinet; whether alcohol companies should sponsor sports teams; NCEA[note 6]
35 26 November 2008 Simon Bridges Grant Robertson Metiria Turei John Boscawen Public spending; Christmas spirit; White Ribbon Day
36 3 December 2008 Amy Adams Kelvin Davis Dr Kennedy Graham Sir Roger Douglas Eco bulbs; Hanover Finance's function in Fiji; Rodney Hide and city councils
37 10 December 2008 Louise Upston Stuart Nash Keith Locke Banks; pre-Christmas sales; Official Cash Rate
38 17 December 2008 Chester Borrows Moana Mackey Sue Bradford Rodney Hide 90 day "hire-and-fire" bill; the Bruce Emery case; maiden speeches
  1. At the time of the filming and airing of episode 28, none of the panel guests were current MPs, but potential MPs. Kevin Hague became a list MP, and Nikki Kaye became the MP for the electorate of Auckland Central.
  2. Josephine Pagani was not an MP, but was ranked 3rd on the Progressive Party list at the 2008 election. She did not enter parliament as Progressive Party only gained 0.91% of the popular vote
  3. At the time of the filming and airing of episode 31, none of the panel guests were current MPs, but potential MPs. Phil Twyford and Paul Quinn became list MPs
  4. David Slack is a commentator, author and speech writer; Martyn Bradbury and Jessica Hassell are bloggers
  5. The panel guests of the Election Night Special were not all MPs, but candidates for the Wellington Central electorate seat. Sue Kedgley and Heather Roy were re-elected as list MPs, and Grant Robertson (not on panel) won Wellington Central.
  6. Alex Mitchell was President of the Young Nats; Gareth Hughes stood as the Green Party's candidate in the Ōhariu electorate; Kimo Winiata was president of the Young Māori Party, and is the son of Māori Party president Whatarangi Winiata

Recess (2008/09)[edit]

# Date Issues and topics discussed
1 24 December 2008 Law and order; the environment; the economy
2 31 December 2008 US election; financial crisis; China
3 7 January 2009
4 14 January 2009 Big issues of 2008; election campaigns
5 21 January 2009 Law and order; the environment; the economy
6 28 January 2009 International issues – global financial crisis; Chinese milk scandal.

Series Two (2009)[edit]

ACT Green Labour Māori National Progressive United Future
# Date Members of panel Issues and topics discussed
1 4 February 2009 Chester Borrows Fran Mold [note 1] Local events; vigilantes in South Auckland; protests; legislation banning gangs
2 11 February 2009
3 18 February 2009 Chris Tremain Grant Robertson Catherine Delahunty David Garrett Fisher & Paykel; boot camps; junk food
4 25 February 2009 Chris Hipkins Dr Russel Norman Heather Roy Peter Dunne First 100 days of new government; auditor-general's report on Department of Corrections; New Zealand Māori rugby team touring South Africa
25 February 2009 Trevor Mallard Sue Bradford Charles Finny Phil O'Reilly [note 2] Job Summit Special
5 4 March 2009 David Bennett Darren Hughes Metiria Turei Rodney Hide Reactions and ideas of 2008 Job Summit; KiwiRail; schoolchildren and violence
6 11 March 2009 Nikki Kaye Claire Curran Keith Locke Te Ururoa Flavell
7 18 March 2009 Aaron Gilmore Shane Jones Rahui Katene School safety; road funding; Auckland supercity
8 25 March 2009 Stephen Franks[note 3] Dr Michael Cullen Jeanette Fitzsimons Sir Roger Douglas
9 1 April 2009 Amy Adams Clayton Cosgrove Sue Kedgley David Garrett
10 8 April 2009 Todd McClay Steve Chadwick Sue Bradford John Boscawen Auckland supercity; 'Easter Trading Laws Special'
11 15 April 2009 Hekia Parata Phil Twyford Dr Russel Norman Heather Roy Mt Albert and the by-election; Auckland supercity; Fiji
12 22 April 2009 Michael Woodhouse Luamanuvao Winnie Laban Peter Dunne Anzac Day; Afghanistan war
13 29 April 2009 Chester Borrows Jo Goodhew Dr Rajen Prasad Jim Anderton Flu strain H1N1 (swine flu); airport security; potty mouths in the South
14 3 May 2009 Simon Bridges Stuart Nash Keith Locke Hone Harawira Mt Albert by-election; Fiji; the line between public and private life for MPs
15 13 May 2009 Louise Upston Charles Chauvel Catherine Delahunty David Garrett Supercity legislation; gun control; New Zealand pop anthems
16 20 May 2009 Aaron Gilmore Grant Robertson Sue Kedgley Peter Dunne Animal treatment; changes to justice system; Christine Rankin
17 27 May 2009 Chris Auchinvole Lianne Dalziel Kevin Hague Te Ururoa Flavell Budget; boyracers; Kiwis' honesty
18 3 June 2009 Chris Tremain Annette King Metiria Turei Sir Roger Douglas MP expenses; budget fallout; cell-phone ban
19 10 June 2009 Melissa Lee David Shearer Dr Russel Norman John Boscawen Judy Turner Mt Albert By-Election Special[note 4]
20 17 June 2009 Katrina Shanks Jacinda Ardern Dr Kennedy Graham Flu strain H1N1 (swine flu); corporal punishment ("anti-smacking") referendum; sex education
21 24 June 2009 Paul Quinn Carmel Sepuloni Sue Bradford Prison containers; court backlogs; Matariki as a public holiday
Episodes become up to 50 minutes long as standard
22 1 July 2009 Simon Bridges[note 5] Clayton Cosgrove Metiria Turei / Kevin Hague[note 6] Rodney Hide Te Ururoa Flavell Pay equity; crime; tipping and tourism; Michael Jackson; MPs' expenses; tipping; electric cars
23 8 July 2009 Hekia Parata Trevor Mallard Peter Dunne Foreshore and seabed controversy and Winston Peters; smoking
24 15 July 2009 Alex Mitchell Patrick Leyland Zachary Dorner Peter McCaffrey Haimoana Gardiner Student loans; binge drinking; pimping for Olympic sport fundraising[note 7]
25 22 July 2009 Louise Upston Stuart Nash Keith Locke Rahui Katene Prisoner amnesty; annual leave and holidays; folic acid in bread
26 29 July 2009 Hekia Parata Jacqui Dean Brendon Burns Sue Kedgley Greenhouse gas emissions; Māori Language Week and racism; happiness
27 5 August 2009 Todd McClay Carol Beaumont Metiria Turei David Garrett Youth unemployment; MPs' expenses; youth drinking culture
28 12 August 2009 Nicky Wagner Clayton Cosgrove Metiria Turei Bob Shearing[note 8] Boy Racers Special[note 9]
29 19 August 2009 Nikki Kaye Grant Robertson Kevin Hague Travel and currency of Australia and New Zealand; possible restructuring of Health system; Housing; dogs
30 26 August 2009 David Bennett Brendon Burns Catherine Delahunty Sir Roger Douglas Results and aftermath of smacking referendum; Māori seats on the Auckland supercity; gay adoption
31 2 September 2009 Katrina Shanks Paul Quinn Chris Hipkins Dr Russel Norman Whanganui gang insignia ban; smacking referendum; Kashin the elephant's death; emissions trading scheme
32 9 September 2009 Cam Calder David Parker Sue Kedgley Rahui Katene MMP referendum; night classes cut; mining on Department of Conservation land
33 14 September 2009[note 10] Phil Twyford John Carter Sue Bradford Rodney Hide Dr Pita Sharples Auckland Supercity Special[note 11]
34 23 September 2009 Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga Damien O'Connor Keith Locke John Boscawen Inquiry into smoking; Wanganui's 'h' debate; John Key's visit to the United States
35 30 September 2009 John Hayes Charles Chauvel Peter Dunne Paid parental leave; New Zealand as a republic
36 7 October 2009 Aaron Gilmore Paul Quinn Chris Hipkins Trevor Mallard Rugby world cup broadcasting rights and Māori Television's possible subsidy; school donations; Samoan tsunami and Civil Defence's readiness for a natural disaster; Tua versus Cameron: "Fight of the Century"
37 14 October 2009 David Bennett Darren Hughes Jeanette Fitzsimons David Garrett Emissions trading scheme; methamphetamine; Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize
38 21 October 2009 Chris Auchinvole Maryan Street Catherine Delahunty Sir Roger Douglas ACC; smoking in public
39 28 October 2009
40 4 November 2009
41 11 November 2009
42 18 November 2009
43 25 November 2009
44 2 December 2009 Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga Chris Carter Sue Kedgley Emissions trading scheme; 2025 taskforce
45 9 December 2009 Simon Bridges Carmel Sepuloni Kevin Hague Heather Roy Drink driving; dairy farming in New Zealand
46 16 December 2009 Chris Tremain Shane Jones Metiria Turei Rodney Hide Christmas Show: 'best' and 'worst' of 2009
  1. Francesca Mold was a political editor for TVNZ
  2. Charles Finny was the Chairperson of the Wellington Chamber of commerce, while Phil O'Reilly was the Chief Executive of Business New Zealand
  3. Stephen Franks is not a current MP – he stood in for Chester Borrows
  4. The Mt Albert By-Election Special was filmed at the 'Neighbourhood Brew Bar' in Mt Albert. The five candidates on panel were of the parties with seats standing candidates
  5. Gerry Brownlee was scheduled to appear on the panel for episode 22, but was caught busy on 'an idea'
  6. Turei and Hague shared the Greens slot because Turei had to speak in the House to a private member's bill
  7. Episode 24 featured members of the youth wings of the political parties
  8. Bob Shearing was a Christchurch City Councillor
  9. The Boy Racers Special was held at the 'Dux de Lux' bar in Christchurch
  10. The Auckland Supercity Special was held on a Monday, but was replayed later in the week at the standard times
  11. The Auckland Supervity Special was held at the 'Northern Steamship' bar in Auckland

Summer Tour (2009/10)[edit]

# Date Location Members of panel Issues and topics discussed
1 23 December 2009 Russell Kelvin Davis David Clendon Di Maxwell[note 1] The recession's effect on small towns; New Zealand's portrayal as a clean, green country
2 30 December 2009 Waipu Cove, Mangawhai Shane Jones Keith Locke Mark Farnsworth[note 2] Law and order; issues of 2009
3 6 January 2010 Smitty's Sports Bar and Grill, Whitianga David Bennett Carol Beaumont Catherine Delahunty 1080; mining
4 13 January 2010 CornerStone Pub, Tauranga Simon Bridges Todd McClay Jacinda Ardern Economy and budget of 2010
5 20 January 2010 The Works Café and Winery, Gisborne Moana Mackey Derek Fox[note 3] Meng Foon Foreshore and seabed controversy
6 26 January 2010 The Gintrap, Napier Craig Foss Chris Tremain Parekura Horomia Stuart Nash Heather Roy National primary education standards; economy of 2010
  1. Maxwell was a councillor for the Far North District Council
  2. Farnsworth was a councillor for the Northland Regional Council
  3. Fox has not been an MP, but has been a candidate in general elections

Series Three (2010)[edit]

# Date Members of panel Issues and topics discussed
1 17 February 2010 Hekia Parata Clayton Cosgrove Metiria Turei John Boscawen New Zealand flag; tax system and raising GST; New Zealand's sexiest politician
2 24 February 2010 Louise Upston Damien O'Connor Sue Kedgley Mining; New Zealand Police
3 3 March 2010 Katrina Shanks Trevor Mallard Gareth Hughes Peter Dunne MPs' expenses; driving age
4 10 March 2010 Paul Quinn Grant Robertson Dr Russel Norman Wellington Phoenix FC; Destiny Church


External links[edit]

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