Reporting to Parliament on BORA

April 10th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Idiot/Savant at blogs that he believes the Government’s amendments to the Crown Minerals Bills to make it an offence to interfere in drilling operations at sea should be vetted against the .

I agree.

I support the amendments, and believe that the right to protest doesn’t extend to actually interference in a company going about its legal business.

At present Standing Orders requires the Attorney-General to report to Parliament if a bill ins introduced that may not be in compliance with the Bill of Rights Act. That opinion is advisory, but can be influential. The AG did a video on this process which I blogged a while back. SO 262(1) states:

Whenever a bill contains any provision which appears to the Attorney-General to be inconsistent with any of the rights and freedoms contained in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, the Attorney-General must indicate to the House what that provision is and how it appears to be inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

But this only occurs upon introduction in SO 262(2):

An indication by the Attorney-General to the House concerning the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 is made by the presentation of a paper in the case of a Government bill, on the introduction of that bill, or in any other case, as soon as practicable after the introduction of the bill.

The solution here is to amend SO 262(2) so that there is an obligation to report on any inconsistent provisions prior to each reading of a bill. Possible wording would be:

An indication by the Attorney-General to the House concerning the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 is made by the presentation of a paper at least 48 hours prior to each reading of a bill.

The first reading captures the bill as introduced. The second reading captures any amendments made by select committee and the third reading captures any changes made by the Committee of the whole House.

Standing Orders get reviewed towards the end of each term of Parliament. Hopefully one or more parties will support such a change.

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5 Responses to “Reporting to Parliament on BORA”

  1. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    There are of course two sets of rights.
    The person being protested against and the protestors.
    If the person being protested against is following the law then the protestors are impeding their right to go about their legal business.
    Why should someone else be allowed to impede that business?

    The protestors should take their protest to the place that makes the Law.
    A daily bunch of protestors in front of Parliament would be great entertainment and would allow the rest of us to get on with business.
    Entrepreneurial MP’s could start food carts and hire dunnies to them Peace would reign.

    So is it too much to ask that the rights of people/business to go about their business without these trolling, contemptible idiots interfering because they have nothing better to do, have a govt. lifeline when it comes to money and really should be set to doing something useful?

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  2. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    No one will take a protest seriously unless you’re impeding someone’s legal business.

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  3. Nookin (3,343 comments) says:

    “No one will take a protest seriously unless you’re impeding someone’s legal business.

    Then you don’t have a persuasive argument and have crossed the border from protest to extortion.

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  4. peterwn (3,272 comments) says:

    The more fundamental point is why did not Geoffrey Palmer include Supplementry Order Papers in s7 of BORA. s7 is here:
    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1990/0109/latest/DLM225503.html

    Perhaps Labour (in Government at the time) wanted a ‘loophole’ to get around s7 when the occasion made this convenient.

    This ‘loophole’ was well known when labour was in power and they did nothing to fix it.

    In this instance a s7 report is not really needed as the Greens have very much put Parliament on notice as to the alleged human rights implications of the clauses in the SOP. As far as I know the main purpose of s7 is to raise possible human rights issues that otherwise may not have been noticed by MP’s.

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  5. Black with a Vengeance (1,861 comments) says:

    Oh bullshit nookin. A persuasive argument is best reinforced by robust protest. NOTHING ever changed from respecting the law and rights of others to continue trading as per usual.

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