Following Cullen’s lead

I blogged this morning my concern that bills under were not being made available to MPs at the first available opportunity, and that the rules should be changed, if they were preventing this.

It does seem perverse that the House votes urgency on bills before they are tabled, but Graeme Edgeler at Public Address supplies this transcript from Hansard:

Appropriation (Parliamentary Expenditure Validation) Bill
First Reading

Hon Dr (Minister of Finance): I move, That the Appropriation (Parliamentary Expenditure Validation) Bill be now read a first time.

Dr Richard Worth: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. Would it not be appropriate for us to see this bill?

Madam SPEAKER: That is not a point of order. [Interruption] The bill is on the Table.

Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN: Speaking to the point of order, I say that a copy of this bill was made available to National Party members this morning before their caucus.

: The bill was delivered to us halfway through our caucus this morning. One copy was given to me, and another copy was given to Dr Brash. There are only two copies on this side of the Table, and they were brought into the House just as Dr Cullen was about to speak. This debate should not progress until there are sufficient copies on the Table for every member to have an opportunity to read it.

Madam SPEAKER: I understand that copies of the bill are available for members on the Table.

Gerry Brownlee: I seek leave for the House to adjourn for 20 minutes while the bill is distributed.

Madam SPEAKER: Leave is sought. Is there any objection? Yes, there is. [Interruption] Members, please, we will preserve a little bit of respect and decorum.

Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN: Of course, when bills are moved for introduction and passing under urgency, they are tabled subsequent to the motion being approved.

So rather rich for Dr Cullen to be complaining, when he himself cited the procedure he is now complaining about.

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