A good Green bill

September 2nd, 2010 at 3:45 pm by David Farrar

I have advocated for some time that the requirement for the Attorney-General to advise the House if a bill breaches the Bill of Rights, should be expanded so that such opinions are not just given for first readings, but also at second and third readings.

has a bill, which will do effectively that and more. I hope it gets drawn and referred to a select committee. The PR says:

It will require all legislation to be checked for consistency with the Bill of Rights, and it will enable Courts to send a report to Parliament where legislation is inconsistent with the Act. The Government will be obliged to respond to such reports.

“The bill will help protect our rights, by making it harder for a government to ignore conflicts between its legislation and the Bill of Rights Act,” said Mr Locke, Green party human rights spokesperson.

“My bill requires vetting of legislation for consistency with the Bill of Rights at all stages of the parliamentary process.

There is one aspect I am not sure about:

The bill also entrenches the , by requiring a 75% majority of the House to change it.

It should only be entrenched if 75% of Parliament vote for it to be so. A basic majority should not be able to require a super-majority to over-turn it.

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13 Responses to “A good Green bill”

  1. Fot (252 comments) says:

    There is no such thing as a good Green bill.

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  2. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    If Locke is citing the Bill of Rights as a good thing to entrench further then there must be plenty wrong with it…. bing bing bing… warning bells

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  3. IdiotSavant (88 comments) says:

    It should only be entrenched if 75% of Parliament vote for it to be so. A basic majority should not be able to require a super-majority to over-turn it.

    Standing Order 262 provides for this.

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  4. Komata (1,191 comments) says:

    So Komarade Locke (no doubt ably assisted by the usual suspects) proposes to enshrine the Bill of Rights – interesting. What is more interesting is that those who yell and scream in favour of such a ‘Bill are invariably those who ignore it the most – or manipulate it for their own purposes. The old rhyme about going softly and catching monkeys comes to mind.
    Methinks that socialsts (both Green and Red) and rust are good companions . . .

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  5. peterwn (3,273 comments) says:

    Judges in various countries have refused to acknowledge entrenchment where the entrenchment was done by less than the super majority which would be required to overturn the entrenchment. Moreover the entrenchment clause needs itself to be entrenched (‘double entrenchment’) otherwise the entrenchment clause can be repealed by a simple majority.

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  6. Chris2 (766 comments) says:

    Fifteen years after the drafting of the US Constitution, amendments known as the Bill of Rights were ratified and the men who wrote it believed in a balance between citizen responsibilities and citizen rights.

    They knew that an emphasis only on rights would inevitably lead to self-interest and anarchy. They also knew that without this balance a nation could not endure.

    Keith, how about proposing NZ’s own “Bill of Responsibilities”? for example (pinched from the Internet):

    – You have the responsibility to support yourself and your own immediate and extended family.

    – You have the responsibility to be educated and informed. A public education is not enough.

    – Accepting citizenship means that you are, first and foremost, a New Zealander, not a hyphenated New Zealander or an expatriate of another country who is here solely for economic advantage.

    – You have the responsibility to speak up when the criminal or legislative actions of any persons threaten the welfare of your family or your nation. It is not someone else’s responsibility to blow the whistle; it is yours.

    – You have the responsibility to bypass excuses of race, economic standing, and victimisation of any kind because, no matter which excuse you choose, someone has successfully overcome it.

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  7. questlove (242 comments) says:

    What is more interesting is that those who yell and scream in favour of such a ‘Bill are invariably those who ignore it the most – or manipulate it for their own purposes.

    In that case Act will be screaming in favour of this Bill.

    “Alter the Bill of Rights Act. We’ve got too hung up on people’s rights.”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10559642

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  8. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    ..is an oxymoron?

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  9. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    The blog needs you! Volunteers please for dangerous mission!

    We are forming a snatch squad to grab blogster/statistician David Farrar.

    The task is to rescue him from a crazed socialist cult and deprogramme him. Urgent rescue and therapy needed as Farrar is showing signs of extreme disorientation. He is praising ex-Stalinist Keith Locke as well as leftists Mikhail Khullen and Dim Bulger.

    Help us rescue this well-known blogster from this sad mental incarceration.

    Experience with serving alcohol and ability to hold it are required for this mission.

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  10. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    Chris2
    All of your points.

    Questlove
    Good point, unfortunately what do we do about terrorists in action, let them live or kill them so they can’t ACT?

    Jack5
    Good idea, I can supply excellent curry (with side veggie curries) cooked to order!
    Would recommend a Fontanel/Gertzentreimer or/and good beers with accompanying dhals and breads.
    What’s his schedule next week so we can plan the kidnap :-)

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  11. Steve (4,563 comments) says:

    I don’t think this Blog is being run by DPF anymore. He is being held in a jail somewhere in Europe and the Communists have taken over the best NZ Blog.

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  12. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    Standing Orders of the House of Representatives:

    262 Entrenched provisions

    (1) A proposal for entrenchment must itself be carried in a committee
    of the whole House by the majority that it would require for the
    amendment or repeal of the provision to be entrenched.

    (2) A proposal for entrenchment is any provision in a bill or
    amendment to a bill that would require that that provision or
    amendment or any other provision can be amended or repealed
    only by a majority of more than 50 percent plus one of all the
    members of the House.

    EDIT: oh wait – beaten to it by I/S.

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  13. Gwilly (158 comments) says:

    The devil is in the deail no doubt. Treat anything the Greens offer up as suspicious.

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