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Hero image for Back Benches - First Episode

Back Benches - First Episode

Television (Full Length Episode) – 2008

In this first episode of the pub-based political panel show, National Party MPs Maurice Williamson and Jacqui Dean join Labour's Louisa Wall and the Māori Party's Hone Harawira (later leader of the Mana Party) to debate the hot stories of the day. Topics include a historic FTA (Free Trade Deal) between Aotearoa and China and the banning of so-called 'party pills'. All MPs welcome the FTA bar Harawira who is again a lone voice on party pills which Labour, with support from National, banned from sale in 2008. Chapman visits Trevor Mallard's office and is drawn to the minister's collection of cultural gifts. 

Excellent! ... I reckon a free trade agreement should be one page that just says you can sell any of your goods to us, and we can sell any of our goods to you.
– Maurice Williamson's ideal free trade agreement

Key Cast & Crew

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Wallace Chapman


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Paul Casserly

Consulting Producer

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Norman Sievewright


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Maryanne Ahern


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Damien Christie

Reporter, Producer

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John Gillespie

TVNZ News Executive

See all 18 credits