Parliament 28 February 2012

2 pm – 3 pm

  1. MAGGIE BARRY to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on Government debt?
  2. METIRIA TUREI to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement in relation to the Government’s welfare reforms announced yesterday that “…there are plenty of jobs out there for people if they look really hard”; if so, why?
  3. DAVID SHEARER to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in all his Ministers?
  4. MIKE SABIN to the Minister for Social Development: What changes has the Government recently announced for those on welfare?
  5. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Is it his normal practice to “guess” when determining the business case for selling billions of dollars’ worth of assets?
  6. Dr JIAN YANG to the Minister of Health: What improvements have there been in the National Health Targets?
  7. JACINDA ARDERN to the Minister for Social Development: Does she stand by her statement “There are jobs”?
  8. ALFRED NGARO to the Minister of Justice: What progress has been made on the MMP review triggered by the referendum at last year’s election?
  9. Hon MARYAN STREET to the Minister of Health: How much funding for district health boards in the 2011-12 Budget was new money for additional services and cost of living adjustments, and how much was the result of reprioritisation of funding which had been maintained from previous budgets?
  10. KATRINA SHANKS to the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations: What progress has recently been made towards the completion of historical Treaty of Waitangi settlements?
  11. BARBARA STEWART to the Minister of Health: Does he agree with the proposal by Pharmac to limit diabetic New Zealanders’ access to subsidised glucose-testing equipment?
  12. JAN LOGIE to the Minister for Social Development: Does she agree with the statement in her Cabinet paper that “Evidence shows that support for beneficiaries to undertake study, such as the Training Incentive Allowance, can be effective in increasing the time participants spend off benefits.”?

Today there are five questions from National, four questions from Labour, two from the Greens, and one from NZ First. Amazingly the NZ First question is not from Winston, but from Barbara Stewart – a first for this .

Patsy of the day goes to Q10 – What progress has recently been made towards the completion of historical Treaty of Waitangi settlements?

David Shearer is doing the standard Does PM have confidence in all Ministers question, which could go anywhere. Might be about the paedophile teacher inquiry though. Labour also on asset sales, jobs, and health funding.

Greens are on welfare for both questions. NZ First is on Pharmac.

Address in Reply Debate 3 pm – 4.30 pm 

This should conclude today with around 1.5 hours remaining of the debate.

Government Bills 4.30 pm – 6.00 pm and 7.30 pm – 9.00 pm)

  1. Medicines Amendment Bill – first reading
  2. Corrections Amendment Bill – first reading
  3. Building Amendment Bill (No 3) – second reading
  4. Crown Pastoral Land (Rent for Pastoral Leases) Amendment Bill – second reading
  5. Search and Surveillance Bill – second reading

The Medicines Amendment Bill was introduced in October 2011 and aims to modernise Medicines Act 1981.

The Corrections Amendment Bill was introduced in October 2011 and  to remove “barriers” to managing prisoners in a manner that is safe, secure, humane, effective, and efficient. It deals with drug testing, strip searching, prison health care, delegation of powers, and prison work.

The Building Amendment Bill (No 3) was introduced in October 2010 and aims to implement policy decisions from the 2009 Building Act review. It was passed on a voice vote at first reading but the select committee reports that Labour and Greens will now oppose the bill as they see the building reforms as being done piecemeal.

The Crown Pastoral Land (Rent for Pastoral Leases) Amendment Bill was introduced in December 2010 and aims to replace the land valuation basis for setting rents for pastoral leases with a property-earning-capacity basis for setting rents for pastoral leases. It was supported at first reading by National, Greens, ACT, Maori and United and opposed by Labour.  Labour opposed the bill at select committee saying it “severely compromises the property rights of the land owner, the Crown, to negotiate a fair return on the full value of the land”.

The Search and Surveillance Bill was introduced in July 2009 and aims to implement the Government’s decisions on the legislative reform of search and surveillance powers”, based on the Law Commission’s report, “Search and Surveillance Powers”. It amends 69 different Acts and was supported at first reading by all parties except the Green Party.

The select committee did an interim report in August 2010 and a final report in November 2010. There was considerable opposition to the bill as originally drafted, such as by Tech Liberty.  Significant changes were made by the select committee with the Greens noting “They generally restrict search and surveillance powers more than the original bill, and improve accountability provisions”.  However they still oppose the bill, especially the provisions for Examination and Production Orders. Labour also opposes those two provisions.

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