The difference between “committee” and “select committee”

September 11th, 2008 at 11:34 am by David Farrar

Peter McCaffrey at ACT on Campus blogged last night:

I didn’t have a chance to blog about this before heading to the privileges committee to watch Winston Peters, but that story has been covered to (Winston’s) death.

Tonight there was perhaps an even bigger story down at Parliament.

At around 7:10pm – just after parliament had gone back from the dinner break – I was hanging around the office, with the parliament video stream playing in the background, when I heard Te Ururoa Flavell take a point of order to seek leave to send the back to select committee. Surely just a little grandstanding, no? It would never actually get the support of the house…

But then I heard perhaps one of the craziest things i’ve heard in the last three years of parliament.

New Zealand Labour, 49 votes against, New Zealand , 48 votes against, New Zealand First, 7 votes against, Greens, 6 votes in favour, Maori Party, 4 votes in favour, United Future, 2 votes in favour, ACT, 2 votes in favour, Progressives, 1 vote against.

I didn’t catch how TPF and GC voted, but by that stage my head was buzzing with the realisation that National just missed an opportunity to sink the ETS (and the party that was being thrown tonight too!).

Others got excited by this. So I decided to make some inquiries. I would be very concerned if National voted against sending it back to select committee.

However the motion was not to send the ETS Bill back to “select committee” but to “committee”, being the committee of the whole stage that had just concluded.

And the reason for the motion, was so that a Treaty of Waitangi clause could be inserted into the Bill. That is why the Greens voted for it and the Maori Party proposed it.

So National voting for the motion would not have delayed the ETS by week or months. It would not have given the public another chance to submit on the bill (something National has argued for). It would have merely delayed the ETS Bill by one day – and it would have passed into law today instead of yesterday.

And voting for it, might have led to one of those awful “principles of the Treaty of Waitangi clauses” that no-one understands being inserted into the Bill.

To be fair to Peter McC, and others, I can understand in the heat of the moment not realising the difference between sending the bill back to select committee, and to committee. They sound alike, but are massively different things.

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13 Responses to “The difference between “committee” and “select committee””

  1. Grant Michael McKenna (1,160 comments) says:

    And a good reason not to put a Waitangi clause in is that the Māori party may oppose the removal of a law that has such a clause unless the new law has one as well.

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  2. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    yikes, is there by any chance an NZ blog you don’t read david?

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  3. insider (1,028 comments) says:

    I don’t think it passes into law until it has the GG signature. I don’t think they will have got him out of bed to sign it last night.

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  4. kiwipolemicist (393 comments) says:

    I’m mighty glad that we didn’t get a treaty clause in the Emissions Taxation Scheme: there is too much of that nonsense in law already.

    http://www.kiwipolemicist.wordpress.com

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  5. Exclamation Mark (85 comments) says:

    Thanks for clearing that up for us, when I initially read about it at Whale Oil my recation rhymed with: “Rational man so hand bet clucked!”

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  6. Ross Miller (1,704 comments) says:

    Shame on ACT for voting with the Greens and the Maori Party to put Treaty of Waitangi clauses into the ETS. Boy we need that like a hole in the head.

    By their friends you shall know them.

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  7. Hagues (703 comments) says:

    Ross Miller “Shame on ACT for voting with the Greens and the Maori Party to put Treaty of Waitangi clauses into the ETS. Boy we need that like a hole in the head.

    By their friends you shall know them.”

    No they didn’t. They voted to send it back to the committee to debate/vote on the issue. Maybe ACT saw the value on delaying the passage of the Everybody’s Totally Screwed Bill by any means necessary. It doesn’t mean they would have voted for the clause to be included.

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  8. kiwipolemicist (393 comments) says:

    My angle on the ETS is here:
    http://kiwipolemicist.wordpress.com/2008/09/11/the-emissions-trading-scheme-global-socialism/

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  9. peteremcc (344 comments) says:

    Thanks for that dpf, I must have misheard.
    As i said in the post, the parliament stream was playing in the background, and I was looking forward to the hansard to see exactly what had happened.

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  10. goodgod (1,348 comments) says:

    Fair enough. But I suggest National present a more decisive front to the voters. Conceding defeat is not a positive attribute as far as politics goes. It is weak and no amount of technical consolation will meet the financial shortfall that the tax payer is left to meet. If this goes the same way as the S59 amendment we will have Labour’s policy without any further amendments – not even National’s(i.e. S59 with the Burrows option). National still want an very similar ETS by their own pen and their track history over the past two years gives no indication they will put int he effort. The fact is that any ETS contradicts the National “vision” and will knock NZ back two steps while they attempt to go forward one.

    And now, especially for Ross… ;)

    Rodney Hide is the benchmark for a hardworking MP. He is the kind of MP our taxes pay for and that we deserve – at a miminum! NZ deserves more like him.

    Inject some vitality into a National government: give both your votes to ACT

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  11. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    goodgod, does Rodney want a carbon tax or not? It’s in the 20 point plan, but very hard to tell when he even mentions AGW,
    ‘all a scam’ etc…

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  12. peteremcc (344 comments) says:

    the 20 point plan clearly says we PREFER a tax to an ets.
    that doesn’t mean we want one.

    its just that a tax would destroy our economy a bit less than an ets.

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  13. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    I’d say it’s unclear (‘prefer’ seems to imply they’d do something) – I think he’s a slave to ideology, but whatever.

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