Dean Knight provides some excellent analysis of the validating legislation. He, like myself, is not opposed to legislation per se.
Dean makes two important points:
1) The legislation validates all illegal Parliamentary expenditure, not just those activities found to be unlawful by the AG. If for example a corporate box had been leased at the stadium, this would now be validated also. The Government has drafted the validation far too widely – it even validates advertising which was clearly illegal – stuff saying “Vote for Me”.
2) There is no need to legislate for temporary rules. The Speaker could simply issue new directions, as the interpretation challenges have occurred at the level of the Speaker’s directions, not at the legislative level.
The above shows why it is such a bad idea to ram the legislation through Parliament in 24 hours. A law with no scrutiny will be a bad law.
The NZ Herald covers the debate in the House last night. Their editorial also slams the legislation, and especially Labour’s “stubborn refusal to accept the Auditor-General’s judgment and let it stand.”
For my 2c, I think National is right to oppose the legislation, and especially ramming it through under urgency. However I do think they are emphasising the wrong things in opposing it. The focus shouldn’t be on whether it allows a party to not pay it back (the repayment was voluntary anyway). The focus should be on how it affects the Darnton v Clark lawsuit, making sure it is amended to exempt wiping that out, and also opposing the new temporary definitions.
The Dominion Post editorial is also critical of the legislation.