2014 parliamentary stats

December 11th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Some stats for the 2014 parliamentary year.

  • 70 sitting days
  • 73 bills passed into law
  • 13 Treaty settlements passed into law
  • 23 sitting weeks
  • 65 question times
  • 788 oral questions
  • 1409 sitting hours, including 126 hours under urgency
  • 9695 written questions

UPDATE: And 879 references to Cameron Slater in search results on the parliamentary website!

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A new parliamentary prayer?

November 19th, 2014 at 6:42 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Parliament’s Speaker David Carter has proposed a new prayer to be read at the opening of the parliamentary day.

He is asking MPs for their feedback on the prayer which could replace the existing one adopted in 1962.

I personally don’t think Parliament as an institution should have a prayer. Religious belief is a personal decision, not an institutional one. MPs who wish to offer a prayer should be able to do so as they see fit, but my preference would be that there be no official prayer led off by the Speaker as this jars with being a secular country.

The existing prayer is:

Almighty God,

Humbly acknowledging our need for Thy guidance in all things, and laying aside all private and personal interests, we beseech Thee to grant that we may conduct the affairs of this House and of our country to the glory of Thy holy name, the maintenance of true religion and justice, the honour of the Queen, and the public welfare, peace, and tranquillity of New Zealand, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The proposed new prayer is:

E te Atua Kaha Rawa (Almighty God)

Ka whakamanawa taua hunga katoa kua riro atu i mua i a tatau – moe mai okioki (We honour those who have gone before us – rest, slumber on.) We recognise the mana whenua, Te Ati Aawa, the kaitiaki of this region, Te Upoko-o-Te-Ika-a-Maui.

We acknowledge the need for guidance and lay aside all private and personal interests so that we may conduct the affairs of this House for the maintenance of justice, the honour of the Queen and the public welfare, peace, and tranquillity of New Zealand.

Amine (Amen).

The proposed new prayer is superior in that it is no longer explicitly a Christian prayer. If there is to be a prayer, it should be a prayer all MPs with religious beliefs are comfortable with participating in.

But on the downside, I don’t think a prayer to God is the appropriate forum to talk about recognising the local Iwi. Also this is the Parliament of New Zealand, not the Parliament of Wellington, so the reference is inappropriate.

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The 51st Parliament Select Committees

October 23rd, 2014 at 3:47 pm by David Farrar

selcoms

The composition and chairs of select committees has been decided. Well, almost decided. NZ First seem unable to decide as quickly as other parties which MPs go on which committees. Ironic as they have just 10 MPs.

National has a clear majority on 10 of the 14 select committees.

On Finance and Expenditure the swing vote is ACT’s David Seymour. If Labour are smart (unlikely) they’ll look for issues they could get him on board with such as an inquiry into corporate welfare.

Government Administration is tied between National and Labour/Greens and chaired by Labour MP Ruth Dyson. That is normal for this committee.

Justice and Electoral could be tied with five Nats, two Labour, one Green, one NZ First and one Maori Party. But chaired by National’s Jacqui Dean so unlikely to have issues.

The Maori Affairs Committee has eight MPs on it – three National, two Labour, one Greens, one NZ First and one Maori Party. So National can be outvoted, but if Maori Party vote with them, it is a tie and new National MP Nuk Kurako is its Chair.

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Advice for new Ministers

October 8th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Once again this is a collaborative effort from talking to some former Ministers and former Ministerial staff – and current ones.

  1. Never fuck with DPMC. They know everything.
  2. Never fuck with the PMO. They talk to the PM up to ten times a day, and you probably talk once a week at best.
  3. Occasionally walk your own release around the gallery – don’t get totally aloof from the media.
  4. Don’t try and be the Dept CEO’s CEO. It is tempting to try and do everything, but that is not a good use of your time, and just annoys the department. You’re the Minister, not the CEO.
  5. Accept your department will stuff up sometimes and make mistakes which you have to shoulder. You can’t be absolutely risk adverse for then nothing happens in your portfolios. The challenge is to make sure the same mistake never happens twice.
  6. Treat your staff well at all times – they are working almost as many hours as you. The Beehive is a cauldron of gossip and unhappy staff radiate discontent. Almost without exception the most politically successful Ministers have the happiest offices.
  7. Move your family to Wellington if you want to keep them. You will now be in Wellington four to five nights a week instead of two.
  8. Don’t neglect the electorate. Your electorate in theory likes having their local MP as a Minister – but not if it means they see less of you. What matters to them isn’t what bills you’ve had passed through the House – but have you remained accessible and helpful as a local MP.
  9. Be a political Minister not just a manager. You should have some some policy goals for your portfolios, and not just be there to implement the Department’s agenda.
  10. Early on ask Bill English if you can spend a couple of hours with him, learning how to manage a massive workload and your diary. Bill has the heaviest workload of any Minister yet he manages to make it home for dinner with his family four to five nights a week. Success is not working from 6 am to midnight six days a week. It is being effective with fewer hours.
  11. Don’t just talk to CEOS. Make sure 2nd and 3rd level managers can tell you what is really happening. Even ring them directly from time to time. Don’t let the CEO become your only source of information.
  12. Treat all with respect, including the newest lowliest MP. You will not be a Minister for ever and friends come and go but enemies accumulate.
  13. Don’t screw the crew. Also be aware that even if you just go out for dinner (because you’re hungry) with a staffer or journalist, then half of Wellington will be gossiping about it the next morning, and speculating on whether the relationship is more then professional.
  14. Meet stakeholders regularly, don’t become remote. Even if the meetings are little more than information sharing, portfolio stakeholders like to be able to access their Minister. A reputation for being hard to get into see can spread quickly.
  15. When the Minister of Finance in your first Budget bilateral tells you your departments are the most bloated, and your vote is personally jeopardising the Government’s fiscal plans – be aware he says that to every new Minister. But also be aware he will win, until you are a senior Minister
  16. Your staffing decisions are most critical. Generally do not make your backbench executive secretary your Senior Private Secretary (unless they are very experienced). Grab one of the old hands – they will keep you from being sacked for breaching the cabinet manual. There is a big difference between being a sole charge secretary and managing a ministerial office of 8 to 12 staff. Many Exeecutive Secretaries can and do make the transition – but not necessarily immediately. You can bring them in as a Ministerial Secretary and then once they have experience in a ministerial office, step up to being an SPS.
  17. A political advisor should be political. They should see pretty much every paper you see, and their job is partly to point out the potential political problems. They should also be someone who can talk to your departments with some authority on your behalf.
  18. It can be a good idea to ask your departments to provide a short (say two page) summary of every paper they send you. This helps you quickly see the important stuff. However this is not a substitute to reading the full documents also. Or at a minimum make sure your political advisor and/or SPS have read the full documents also and provided their own summary if necessary. They may have a different view to your department as to what is important.
  19. Don’t just accept as your portfolio secondees, the recommendation of the CEO. It is quite common to ask for the CEO to provide a list of several departmental staff who are interested in working in the Minister’s office, and make the decision yourself. Getting the right secondees in can be crucial to your effectiveness.
  20. Have a chat to the outgoing Minister and find out where the bodies are buried.
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Parliamentary Party Funding

October 6th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Here’s the budget for each parliamentary party from The Parliamentary Service. On top of this List MPs get two staff, electorate MPs get three staff, large electorate MPs get four staff and Ministers get on average 10 staff.

The funding is:

  • Leadership funding of $100,000 per party and $64,430 per non Executive MP
  • Party funding of $22,000 per MP
  • MP funding of $85,500 per large (area over 12,500 square kms) electorate MP, $64,260 per normal electorate MP and $40,932 per List MP

There are seven parliamentary parties with 121 MPs. 28 are in the Executive and 93 are not. 12 are large electorate MPs, 59 are normal electorate MPs and 50 are list MPs.

The funding for each party is:

  • National $7,189,168
  • Labour $4,929,360
  • Greens $1,881,528
  • NZ First $1,449,772
  • Maori $334,752
  • ACT $186,260
  • United Future $186,260

The formula has now changed so that MPs now get bulk funded for their staff and ICT costs. The overall level of spending should not have changed, but the new figures now include costs previously directly provided by The Parliamentary Service. The new directions are here.

The funding for each party is:

  • National $17,416,111
  • Labour $11,858,505
  • Greens $3,925,458
  • NZ First $3,105,717
  • Maori $524,808
  • ACT $333,474
  • United Future $333,474

 

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Advice for new MPs

October 2nd, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

As a helpful resource for new MPs, I’ve gone around a number of former MPs, former parliamentary staff and journalists and have compiled the collective wisdom into a set of tips or advice for new MPs. There will be companion posts detailing additional advice for new Opposition MPs and also a post with advice for new Ministers.

In no particular order, the tips are:

  1. If marginal, make seat safe. This should be your first, second and third priority in your first term. If you are a List MP and in with a chance to take the seat next time, then same advice – focus massively on the electorate. MPs who hold electorates do better generally than those on the List – at least in the major parties.
  2. As Keith Holyoake said to new MPs, “Breathe through the nose”.  Look, listen and learn before you talk too much.
  3. Choose a route early on for promotion and work on it. The three main routes are through the House, through Select Committees, or through the Whips Office. The good debaters should go House, the policy wonks select committees, and the well organised ones the Whips Office. Play to your strength. All three routes can lead to promotion and eventually being a Minister.
  4. Don’t do too many press releases. The media have the capacity to do two political issues a day generally. MPs who fire off a press release every two days on their pet topic just become jokes. Wait for a good issue you can jump onto, and listen to your media team.
  5. Do visit the gallery occasionally. Don’t drop in every week with your releases, but it is good to sometimes pop your own release around. You can pick up a lot chatting to the journos. Of course they will try and pump you for info also. Information is a currency to be traded.
  6. Develop a relationship with a couple of journos.  Ones you can trust to have a coffee or drink with, and develop a mutually beneficial relationship with. You should never be friends, but you can be friendly.
  7. The senior leadership team do not want your views on every issue, but don’t be mute if an issue around your electorate or which you have extensive background in
  8. The Leaders Office can be your best friend and resource. Be nice to them. Use them. They can make a significant difference to whether you succeed or not.
  9. Use the Parliamentary Library. You can ask them almost anything.
  10. Have your partner come down during the week sometimes. It can be miserable going home to an barren apartment at 11 pm by yourself. Nice to have someone to go home to during the week sometimes.
  11. Your classmates are the closest you’ll have to friends. Have weekly drinks with them, and turn up. But do not over indulge.
  12. DO NOT attempt points of order unless the Whips ask you to. It almost always ends badly.
  13. Learn at least the basic Standing Orders over time.
  14. Never ever sneak out of Parliament if you don’t have leave and always obey the Whips.
  15. Volunteering for house rosters and select committee substitutions can earn you brownie points. Like in any workplace, a helpful good attitude will take you far.
  16. Don’t screw the crew. No, not even the really hot ones. For the avoidance of doubt, crew includes staff, colleagues and media.
  17. Get to know the lobbyists and govt relations firms. They are massively well connected and can help stop you screwing up. However remember they do work for their clients, not you.
  18. If a blog gets something wrong on you, let them know and they’ll probably correct it. Most bloggers are reasonable.
  19. Do a members bill, once you get approval of caucus. if a Government MP, can be a good way to earn brownie points with a Minister by doing a minor reform for them. If an Opposition MP, then look for a wedge issue the Government won’t want to vote against.
  20. Don’t hassle Ministers directly on all issues – talk to their staff first, and then to the Minister.
  21. Never accept a journalist’s summary of what someone else said, to comment on. It is fine to tell media you’ll give them a call back after checking.
  22. You will not be a Minister in first term unless you are Steven Joyce
  23. Select Committees are important. Read the papers before the meeting
  24. Remember the old saying that you find your opponents on the other side of the House and your enemies on your own side. It is all too true.
  25. Do not hire friends – you may have to sack them one day. But do hire people who are professionally, politically and personally loyal to you if possible. You want staff who will work almost as long hours as you will.
  26. Hiring an existing experienced parliamentary executive assistant is a very very wise thing to do. Experience counts for a lot.
  27. Do not game expenses. If any doubt, pay for it yourself. Think of the Dominion Post front page test. Do you want the Taxpayers Union after you?
  28. Keep a record of all gifts – you’ll need them for the the Register of Pecuniary Interests.

 

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Party demographics

September 26th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

party demographics

I’ve analysed the demographics of the caucuses of the four larger parties. Some interesting observations.

Gender

The Greens have the highest proportion of women, and NZ First the lowest. Labour has a higher proportion than National, however Labour’s is lower than in 2011 and National’s is higher.

Labour implemented a rule that 45% of their caucus must be women, and they went backwards – from 42% to 37%. National improved, despite having no rule. Reinforces my view that gender quotas are silly.

Ethnicity

National’s caucus is the most ethnically diverse with European, Maori, Asian and Pasifika MPs. National is slightly over-represented with Maori MPs (it has nine) and European MPs and under-represented with Asian MPs and Pasifika MPs. However doing better than most other parties there.

Labour is over-represented with Maori and Pasifika MPs, and under-represented with European and Asian MPs. They have no Asian MPs at all, which won’t help them with 12% of the adult population.

The Greens are over-represented with Maori MPs, and have no Asian or Pasifika MPs.

NZ First are over-represented with Maori MPs, have their first Asian MP and no Pasifika MPs.

Note that I do not advocate that a caucus should have the exact same proportions of MPs by ethnicity as the NZ adult population. But neither do I think it is a good thing if a caucus consists of MPs from one gender and ethnicity only. A diverse caucus that is more representative of NZ is a stronger caucus – but it doesn’t have to match exact proportions with some sort of quota.

Age

Labour has the largest proportion of under 40s. NZ First the largest proportion of over 60s.

Area

All parties, except National, are under-represented in Auckland.

Labour and Greens are massively over-represented in Wellington.

Greens are massively under-represented in provincial NZ. NZ First has highest provincial representation.

Labour and Greens under-represented in rural NZ and National and NZ First over-represented.

Island

National and Labour spot on for North and South Island. Greens are over-represented in South Island and NZ First over-represented in North Island.

Decade entered

Only NZ First had an MP enter in the 1970s.

3% of National MPs and 9% of Labour MPs entered in the 1980s.

In total 25% of the Labour caucus entered Parliament before 2000 compared to 13% of National.

UPDATE: Tracey Martin informs me that NZF MP Darroch Ball is of Tongan and Kiribati descent, so NZ First also have a Pasifika MP.

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Parliamentary Demographics 2014

September 24th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

I’ve done an initial analysis of the demographics of the 51st New Zealand . This is based on provisional results. I apologise if I have any ages wrong – most are based on public information, but for a few I’ve had to guess.

2014 MPs

Gender

  • 82 (-1) Males, 68%
  • 39 (+1) Females, 32%

There is one more female MP than was elected in 2011, but two fewer than were in Parliament at the end of the 50th Parliament.

Compared to the end of the 50th Parliament, National has gained two female MPs, Labour lost two, Greens lost one, NZ First lost one.

Labour has only 37.5% of their caucus female – well under the 45% quota set in their constitution. They have a lower proportion of female MPs now than they did without a quota – it has dropped 3.8%.

National increased their female proportion from 25% to 28%.

Ethnicity

  • 83 (-7) European, 69%
  • 26 (+5) Maori, 21%
  • 7 (+1) Pacific, 6%
  • 5 (+1) Asian, 4%

Compared to their share of the adult population, Maori MPs are over represented by 8%, Pacific MPs are dead on, and Asian MPs under represented by 7%. It’s great to see a diverse Parliament, but hard to argue you need Maori seats to ensure Maori MPs are in Parliament.

The Maori Party have two Maori MPs, Greens three Maori MPs, Labour seven Maori MPs and National nine Maori MPs.

National have two Pacific MPs and Labour five Pacific MPs.

NZ First has one Asian MP and National has four Asian MPs. Labour have no Asian MPs.

Age

  • 2 (nc) 20s, 2%
  • 21 (+7) 30s, 17%
  • 45 (+8)  40s, 37%
  • 43 (-5) 50s, 36%
  • 10 (-9) 60s, 8%
  • 0 (-1) 70s, 1%

A fairly young Parliament.

Area

  • 36 (-5) Auckland, 30%
  • 17 (+1) Wellington, 14%
  • 14 (nc) Christchurch, 12%
  • 25 (+3) Provincial Cities, 21%
  • 29 (+1) Rural, 24%

Islands

  • 91 (+1) North Island, 75%
  • 30 (-1) South Island, 25%

Sexuality

  • 114 (nc) “Straight”, 94%
  • 4 Gay (nc), 3%
  • 3 Lesbian (nc), 2%

Year Entered

  • Before 2000 18, 15%
  • 2000 – 2007 16, 13%
  • 2008+ 87, 72%

So 72% of MPs entered since John Key became PM.

 

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Some parliamentary stats

September 11th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Some stats from the Office of the Clerk about the 50th Parliament:

  • 1,409 sitting hours
  • 183 bills introduced
  • 2,776 questions asked
  • 19,839 pages of Hansard
  • 2,760 hours of select committees
  • 1,203 items of select committee business
  • 346 bills passed into law, including 11 members’ bills
  • Only 79 hours of urgency
  • 146,314 expressos drunk
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Parliament Today 29 July 2014

July 29th, 2014 at 12:41 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer

Questions to Ministers 2.00PM-3.ooPM.

  1. METIRIA TUREI to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in all his Ministers?
  2. DAVID BENNETT to the Minister of Finance: What progress has the Government made in delivering on its economic objectives for this term of Parliament?
  3. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that there are “plenty of jobs out there”; if so, why are there 42,000 more people unemployed now than when he took office?
  4. JOANNE HAYES to the Minister of Justice: What recent reports has she received on the Family Dispute Resolution services in the reformed Family Justice system?
  5. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Will the forecasts in the Treasury PREFU include the effects of the recent fall in the overall value of exports, including log and dairy price drops?
  6. TIM MACINDOE to the Minister of Education: What recent announcements has she made on schools addressing difficult behaviours of students?
  7. JACINDA ARDERN to the Minister for Social Development: Does she agree with the Prime Minister’s statement that “the fastest way to get children and grown up New Zealanders out of poverty is through work”, when the latest report on household incomes states that two out of five children living in poverty are in households where at least one adult is in full time work or self-employed?
  8. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Is he satisfied that the current Minister of Immigration is working for all New Zealanders?
  9. EUGENIE SAGE to the Minister of Conservation: Does he stand by his statement that “the Government needs to take a broader perspective than just Fish and Game’s advocacy for their recreational fishing”?
  10. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Transport: Does he stand by all his statements?
  11. Dr PAUL HUTCHISON to the Minister of Health: What investment has the Government made to increase the number of live kidney donor transplantations in New Zealand?
  12. Hon RUTH DYSON to the Minister of Conservation: Does he stand by all his recent statements?

Today Labour are asking about unemployment, exports, child poverty, and whether the Minister of Transport, and the Minister of Conservation stand by their statements. The Greens are asking about whether the Prime Minister has confidence in all his Ministers, and the Fish and Game council. New Zealand First is asking about immigration.

Patsy of the day goes to Dr Paul Hutchison for Question 11: What investment has the Government made to increase the number of live kidney donor transplantations in New Zealand?

Government Bills 3.00PM-6.ooPM and 7.30PM-10.00PM.

1. Appropriation (2014/15 Estimates) Bill – Third Reading

2. Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 3) – Third Reading (Interrupted)

3. Veterans’ Support Bill – Third Reading

The Appropriation (2014/2015 Estimates) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Finance, Bill English. This bill seeks parliamentary authorisation of the individual appropriations contained in The Estimates of Appropriations for the Government of New Zealand for the year ending 30 June 2015 .

The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 3) is being guided through the house by the Associate Minister for Local Government, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga. This bill would implement the Government’s second phase of legislative reform relating to the operation of local government.

The Veterans’ Support Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for Veteran’s Affairs, Michael Woodhouse. This bill proposes a new support scheme for veterans of military service that would replace the current scheme prescribed in the War Pensions Act 1954.

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Parliament Today 24 July 2014

July 24th, 2014 at 12:18 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer.

Questions to Ministers 2.00PM – 3.00PM

  1. Hon PHIL HEATLEY to the Minister of Finance: What measures is the Government taking to help control inflation for New Zealand families?
  2. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements?
  3. Dr CAM CALDER to the Minister of Education: What recent announcements has she made on Public Achievement Information?
  4. BRENDAN HORAN to the Minister of Finance: Is he still of the view that a Hamilton to Tauranga route would have to be considered alongside three other projects?
  5. MELISSA LEE to the Minister for Social Development: What recent reports has she received about the Government’s Youth Service initiative?
  6. CATHERINE DELAHUNTY to the Minister of Education: What was the split, if any, by percentage, of enrolment into private, public and home-based ECE in the Better Public Service targets “Result 2: Increase Participation in ECE”, and what was the relative increases/decreases, for each, from the previous year?
  7. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Minister of Health: Does he stand by his statement that resources in Budget 2014 “will help us continue to improve frontline health services for New Zealanders”?
  8. MIKE SABIN to the Minister for Primary Industries: What recent announcements has he made regarding Government support for the primary sector in Northland?
  9. Hon NANAIA MAHUTA to the Minister of Māori Affairs: E whakamanawa ana a ia kei te hangai Te Pire Reo Māori ki ngā mātāpono o Te Tiriti o Waitangi?
    • Translation: Is he confident that the Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill is consistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi?
  10. JULIE ANNE GENTER to the Minister of Transport: Will he increase investment in better public transport infrastructure in light of the poll this week showing Aucklanders favour public transport spending by a four-to-one margin over roads?
  11. Dr JIAN YANG to the Minister of Consumer Affairs: What changes have recently come into force that strengthen financial service provider registration?
  12. Su’a WILLIAM SIO to the Minister of Local Government: Did the Deputy Mayor of Napier, Mrs Fay White, raise with her recently at a public meeting that the issue of local government amalgamation should be taken seriously by National during this General Election; if so, what were her specific concerns?

Question to Members 

  1. H V ROSS ROBERTSON to the Chairperson of the Local Government and Environment Committee:When will the Manukau City Council (Regulation of Prostitution in Specified Places) Bill be reported to the House?

Today Labour are asking about whether the Prime Minister stands by all his statements, frontline health services,  the Maori Language (Te Reo Maori) Bill, and local government amalgamation. The Greens are asking about ECE, and public transport. Brendan Horan is asking about the Hamilton to Tauranga road route.

Patsy question of the day goes to Dr Jian Yang for Question 11: What changes have recently come into force that strengthen financial service provider registration?

Government Bills 3.00PM-6.00PM.

1. Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill – First Reading

2. Appropriation (2014/15 Estimates) Bill- Third Reading

The Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Maori Affairs, Dr Pita Sharples.  This bill repeals the Māori Language Act 1987 and Part 4A of the Broadcasting Act 1989. It establishes an independent entity, Te Mātāwai, to provide leadership on behalf of iwi and Māori regarding the health of the Māori language.

The Appropriation (2014/15 Estimates) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Finance, Bill English. This bill seeks parliamentary authorisation of the individual appropriations contained in The Estimates of Appropriations for the Government of New Zealand for the year ending 30 June 2015 .

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The Review of Standing Orders

July 23rd, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Standing Orders Committee has published its recommendations for changes to Standing Orders, which will inevitably be accepted by the House.

The previous review was quite bold and made some significant changes, which have enhanced Parliament considerably – especially the use of extended sitting to minimise the use of urgency.

This time, the changes are very modest and they have rejected almost every significant proposal for change. As one of those who advocated change, I’m disappointed.

There are some useful enhancements though. They include:

  • Recommending funding for full webcasting of select committees
  • Adopting the temporary rules in use for recording MPs attendance, so they can have pay deducted if absence without leave
  • Allows the Business Committee to decide to retain question time when the House is in urgency (I and many advocated question time should be retained automatically)
  • Allows sign language to be used in the House if an MP wishes
  • Any opinions from the Attorney-General that a bill unjustifiably breaches the Bill of Rights Act will now be formally considered by the relevant select committee. However no requirement for amendments to be assessed by the Attorney-General for BORA compliance which is what we really need.
  • Some minor changes to general debates on the Budget and PM’s statement, but no overall reduction in time allocated to them which is a pity as after the first six or so speeches they become meaningless speeches with no relevance to the topic.
  • The time recorded for replies to written questions will not tae account of interim or holding replies, so that Ministers are incentivised to still provide full replies more quickly
  • Make clear that donations to MPs such as for leadership contest expenses must be disclosed if over $500

But overall the report is more noticeable for what they did not do, than what they did agree to.

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Parliament Today 22 July 2014

July 22nd, 2014 at 1:16 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer

Questions to Ministers 2.00PM-3.00PM.

  1. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement: “We have a plan, and that plan is working for New Zealand.”?
  2. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements on regional development, if so, how many regions of New Zealand now have a lower number of people unemployed according to the Household Labour Force Survey compared to when he took office?
  3. JAMI-LEE ROSS to the Minister of Finance: What measures has the Government taken to support New Zealand families – particularly through delivering better public services to those most in need?
  4. METIRIA TUREI to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his Government’s policies?
  5. ALFRED NGARO to the Minister for Social Development: What reports has she received about the progress of the Government’s welfare reforms?
  6. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Has he seen reports that $4 to $5 billion will be sucked out of the economy due to the 35 percent fall in dairy prices since February, and what policy responses, if any, does he intend to make to counteract this?
  7. LOUISE UPSTON to the Minister of Education: What progress is being made on Better Public Services targets in education?
  8. JACINDA ARDERN to the Minister of Police: When was the Minister of Police first informed of the misreporting of Police statistics in Counties Manukau, and what did she do with the information when she first received it?
  9. Hon TAU HENARE to the Minister of Justice: What recent Better Public Services results has she announced for the justice sector?
  10. CHRIS HIPKINS to the Minister of Education: What evidence does she have that the Government’s Investing in Educational Success programme, which removes teachers and principals from their classrooms for two days a week, is the best way to spend over $359 million in order to raise student achievement?
  11. PAUL FOSTER-BELL to the Minister of Conservation: What new initiatives has the Government taken in the Rimutakas and other areas to help the recovery of endangered native bird populations?
  12. Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Minister of Finance: Does he stand by all his statements?

Today Labour are asking about regional development, the fall in dairy prices, police statistics and changes to teaching. The Greens are asking about whether the Prime Minister stands by all his government’s policies, and whether the Minister of Finance stands by all his policies. New Zealand First is asking about New Zealand’s economic outlook.

Patsy of the day goes to Paul Foster-Bell for Question 11: What new initiatives has the Government taken in the Rimutakas and other areas to help the recovery of endangered native bird populations?

Government Bills 3.00PM-6.00PM and 7.30PM-10.00PM.

1. Accounting Infrastructure Reform Bill – Second Reading

2. Land Transport Amendment Bill- Committee Stage

3. Veterans’ Support Bill – Committee Stage

The Accounting Infrastructure Reform Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Commerce, Craig Foss. This bill continues the changes begun by the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 and the Financial Reporting Act 2013. It proposes amendments to the rules on who may perform statutory audits, to the restrictions on legal form for audit firms, to the requirement for independent assurance of financial statements for certain charities, and to the rules relating to how the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants structures itself.

The Land Transport Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Transport, Gerry Brownlee. This bill seeks to lower the adults legal alcohol limits from 400 micrograms (mcg) of alcohol per litre of breath to 250mcg, and from 80 milligrams (mg) of alcohol per 100 Millilitres (ml) of blood to 50mg.

The Veterans’ Support Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for Veteran’s Affairs, Michael Woodhouse. This bill proposes a new support scheme for veterans of military service that would replace the current scheme prescribed in the War Pensions Act 1954.

 

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Parliament Today 26 June 2014

June 26th, 2014 at 12:22 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer

Questions to Ministers 2.00PM-3.00PM

1. Dr JIAN YANG to the Minister of Finance: What changes has the Government made in recent years to make the tax system fairer and to help families and businesses get ahead?

2. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Minister of Internal Affairs: On what basis was the recall and cancellation of New Zealand Passport LN138690 undertaken?

3. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Associate Minister of Finance: Does he still believe that a 33 cent top marginal income tax rate is the reason for fewer departures to Australia in 2014?

4. CATHERINE DELAHUNTY to the Minister of Education: Did she write a new preference factor for Partnership School applicants on the 14 November education report “Confirming Round Two of Applications to Operate Partnership Schools”; if so, on what advice?

5. CHRIS AUCHINVOLE to the Minister of Conservation: What reports has he received on the extent of the damage to West Coast forests from Cyclone Ita and what estimates are there of the area affected and the volume of wood felled?

6. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Housing: How many homes out of the 5,000 earthquake damaged Housing New Zealand homes have completed repairs as part of its Repair 5000 programme?

7. TIM MACINDOE to the Minister of Education: What recent announcements has she made to celebrate and recognise the highly effective and innovative practice happening across the education system?

8. Hon PHIL GOFF to the Minister of Defence: Has there been a reduction in the capacity of the Army in the last three years to sustain an overseas deployment; if so, why?

9. MELISSA LEE to the Minister for Social Development and Employment: What support is the Ministry of Social Development providing to people in Christchurch still dealing with the impact of the earthquakes?

10. GARETH HUGHES to the Minister of Conservation: Does he agree with the statement given on behalf of the Minister of Energy and Resources that “there has not been a single observation of a Māui’s dolphin in the block offer area”?

11. CAROL BEAUMONT to the Minister of Justice: Given the magnitude of the problem of family violence, is it acceptable to her that none of the Family Violence Death Review Committee’s recommendations from their last annual report have been completed, and no action has been taken on a number of recommendations around funding family violence training for professionals, and addressing the need for better multi-agency practice addressing family violence?

12. KANWALJIT SINGH BAKSHI to the Minister of Statistics: What is the Government doing to modernise the next census?

Today Labour are asking about the top tax rate, housing repairs, deployment capability of the New Zealand army, and family violence. The Greens are asking about partnership schools funding, and dolphins.  New Zealand First is asking about the recall and cancellation of passports.

Patsy question of the day goes to Tim Macindoe for Question 7: What recent announcements has she made to celebrate and recognise the highly effective and innovative practice happening across the education system?

Government Bills 3.00PM-6.00PM

1. Appropriation (2014/15 Estimates) Bill – Committee Stage

2. Subordinate Legislation (Confirmation and Validation) Bill (No 3) – First Reading

3. Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill – Second Reading (continued)

The Appropriation (2014/15 Estimates) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Finance, Bill English. This bill seeks parliamentary authorisation of the individual appropriations contained in The Estimates of Appropriations for the Government of New Zealand for the year ending 30 June 2015 .

The Subordinate Legislation (Confirmation and Validation) Bill (No 3) is being guided through the house by the Leader of the House, Gerry Brownlee. The Bill’s purpose is to prevent the lapse (expiry or deemed revocation) of certain subordinate legislation that, by virtue of the Acts under which it is made, lapses at a stated time unless earlier confirmed or validated by Act of Parliament.

The Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Minster of Commerce, Craig Foss. This bill amends the Commerce Act 1986, introducing criminal sanctions for hard-core cartel behaviour and making amendments to provisions that govern jurisdiction and penalties.

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Parliament Today 25 June 2014

June 25th, 2014 at 12:35 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer.

Questions to Ministers 2.00PM-3.00PM.

  1. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he accept inequality, including asset inequality, is increasing in New Zealand?
  2. METIRIA TUREI to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements?
  3. JAMI-LEE ROSS to the Minister of Finance: As part of its wider economic programme, what progress is the Government making in dealing with the most challenging social issues facing New Zealand families and children?
  4. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Does Budget 2014 show the full effect of revenue cuts and expenditure that the National Government expects over the next four years?
  5. SCOTT SIMPSON to the Minister of Corrections: What progress has the Government made in reducing reoffending rates for prisoners?
  6. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Minister of Health: What recent action, if any, has he taken to find the leak of information relating to Health Benefits Limited?
  7. JONATHAN YOUNG to the Minister of Energy and Resources:What reports has he received on likely future support for oil and gas development in New Zealand?
  8. BRENDAN HORAN to the Minister of Transport: Can he assure the people of Tauranga that the Hairini Link project will include four-laning from the Cameron Road intersection to the Maungatapu and Hairini roundabouts; if not, why not?
  9. EUGENIE SAGE to the Minister of Conservation: Have any commercial logging operations started on conservation land since the Department of Conservation was established in 1987?
  10. CHRIS HIPKINS to the Minister of Education: Is she satisfied that the $359 million Investing in Educational Success Programme is the most effective way to invest that money to lift student achievement; if so, why?
  11. JOANNE HAYES to the Minister for Courts: What recent announcements has he made on work to modernise and improve specialist courts and tribunals?
  12. MOANA MACKEY to the Minister for Climate Change Issues: Does he agree with reported moves by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to build an alliance with like-minded countries to dismantle carbon pricing initiatives and undermine recent efforts by United States President, Barack Obama, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and if not, will he rule out his Government joining such an alliance at any point in the future?

Today Labour are asking about inequality, revenue cuts and expenditure of the government, savings in the health budget, investment in education, and carbon pricing. The Greens are asking whether the Prime Minister stands by all his statements, and logging operations on DOC land. Brendan Horan is asking about a road. Yes, a road.

Patsy of the day goes to Scott Simpson for Question 5: What progress has the Government made in reducing reoffending rates for prisoners?

General Debate 3.00PM-4.00PM

An informative and entertaining debate of 12 speeches of no more than 5 minutes each.

Private and Members Bills 4.00PM-6.00PM and 7.30PM-10.00PM

1. Arts Centre of Christchurch Trust Bill – First Reading

2. Summary Offences (Possession of Hand-held Lasers) Amendment Bill – First Reading

3. Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill – First Reading

The Arts Centre of Christchurch Trust Bill is a Private Bill being guided through the house by the Member for Christchurch Central, Nicky Wagner. This bill reflects the local, national, and international heritage significance of the Arts Centre. It is intended to provide legal foundations for the trust board to continue to be able to respond to, and recover from, the impact of the earthquakes.

The Summary Offences (Possession of Hand-held Lasers) Amendment Bill is a Members’ Bill being guided through the house by a National List MP, Dr Cam Calder. This bill proposes amendments to make it an offence for a person to have in his or her possession a hand-held laser, without reasonable excuse.

The Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill is a Members’ Bill being guided through the house by a Labour List MP, Sue Moroney. The purpose of this bill is to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks.

 

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Parliament Today 24 June 2014.

June 24th, 2014 at 1:26 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer.

Questions to Ministers 2.00PM-3.00PM.

  1. TE URUROA FLAVELL to the Minister of Conservation: Does he agree with Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright, that joint decision-making with the Minister for Energy and Resources on mining the conservation estate undermines the role of the Minister of Conservation as guardian of that estate, and how will he respond to her advice to Parliament that conservation should take precedence?
  2. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that “for most New Zealanders an indicator of how well the economy is doing is whether or not they can keep up with the cost of living”; if so, is he satisfied that they currently can?
  3. Hon TAU HENARE to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on inequality in New Zealand, and how do recent changes in trends compare to other countries?
  4. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Does he agree with BERL that “outside of dairy and forestry, export receipts have effectively flatlined since April 2009″ and that “The risks inherent in such a narrowing of our export base should be of concern to all”; if not, why not?
  5. Dr CAM CALDER to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment: What announcements has he made about the Māori and Pasifika Trades Training initiative?
  6. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his Government’s decisions?
  7. PAUL FOSTER-BELL to the Minister of Housing: What progress has he made with local government in securing Housing Accords under the legislation passed last year, and how are they increasing the supply and affordability of housing?
  8. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Minister of Health: What was the original forecast cost for Health Benefits Limited and what is the revised forecast cost now, if any?
  9. MAGGIE BARRY to the Minister of Education: What recent announcements has she made on the Government’s $359 million investment to raise student achievement?
  10. Hon RUTH DYSON to the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery: How much has the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority spent on legal fees in the last 3 years?
  11. DENIS O’ROURKE to the Minister of Transport: When will the Government provide a comprehensive and integrated land transport plan for New Zealand?
  12. PAUL GOLDSMITH to the Minister of Revenue: What is the objective of the Government’s recently announced Taxpayer’s Simplification Panel?

Questions to Members.

  1. Hon RUTH DYSON to the Member in charge of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill: Does the member intend to proceed with the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill this year; if not, why not?
  2. Hon RUTH DYSON to the Member in charge of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill: Why is the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill necessary?

Today Labour are asking about living costs, narrowing of the export sector, cost savings in health spending, and legal fees of CERA. Labour are also asking two members questions about PPL.  The Greens are asking whether the government stands by its decisions.  New Zealand First is asking about land transport.

Patsy of the day goes to Paul Goldsmith for Question 12: What is the objective of the Government’s recently announced Taxpayer’s Simplification Panel?

Government Bills 3.00PM-6.00PM and 7.30PM-10.00PM.

1. Appropriation (2013/14 Supplementary Estimates) Bill – Second Reading

2. Victims’ Orders Against Violent Offenders Bill – Third Reading

3. Companies and Limited Partnerships Amendment Bill – Third Reading

The Appropriation (2013/14 Supplementary Estimates) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Finance, Bill English. This bill seeks parliamentary authorisation of the individual appropriations and changes contained in The Supplementary Estimates of Appropriations for the Government of New Zealand and Supporting Information for the year ending 30 June 2014.

The Victims’ Orders Against Violent Offenders Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Justice, Judith Collins. This bill would establish a mechanism for a victim of a violent offence to obtain a non-contact order against an offender sentenced to imprisonment for five years or more.

The Companies and Limited Partnerships Amendment Bill is being guided through parliament by the Minister for Commerce, Craig Foss. This bill amends the Companies Act 1993 and the Limited Partnerships Act 2008 so as to increase confidence in New Zealand’s financial markets and regulation of corporate forms.

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Parliament Today 19 June 2014

June 19th, 2014 at 12:43 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer.

Questions for Ministers 2.00PM-3.00PM

1. CLAUDETTE HAUITI to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on progress in building a growing economy that can support more jobs and higher incomes for New Zealanders?

2. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Is he concerned about rising inequality in New Zealand?

3. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Minister of Commerce: Has he received any reports on anti-competitive behaviour in the banking sector?

4. Dr PAUL HUTCHISON to the Minister of Health: What progress is being made on the Christchurch Hospitals’ redevelopment?

5. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Which of the statements, if any, by NZIER chief economist, Shamubeel Eaqub does he agree with most: that interest rate rises will punish the provinces, that “one of the biggest issues of this generation is the widening gap between the haves and have-nots”, or that “The gaps opening up in New Zealand are really big across geographical, race and education lines”?

6. KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister for Social Development: Does she agree with Professor Jonathan Boston that there are New Zealand children living in “houses that don’t have heating, in caravans that don’t have running water, and in families that simply don’t have enough food of the right kind every day”; if so, will she guarantee these children have immediate access to the State support they need?

7. GRANT ROBERTSON to the Minister for Economic Development: On how many occasions has he discussed the current pay negotiations for Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment staff with the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and on what dates did those discussions take place?

8. IAN McKELVIE to the Minister for Primary Industries: What recent announcement has he made regarding the biocontainment facility at Wallaceville?

9. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Minister of Health: Does he stand by all his answers to Oral Question No. 7 yesterday?

10. JULIE ANNE GENTER to the Minister of Transport: Does the draft Government Policy Statement on transport funding identify any funding for the Auckland City Rail Link in the transport budget over the next decade?

11. CHRIS HIPKINS to the Minister of Education: Is she satisfied that schools receive sufficient funding to deliver the New Zealand Curriculum; if so, why?

12. Hon PHIL HEATLEY to the Minister for Senior Citizens: What recent reports has she released relating to enduring powers of attorney?

Today Labour are asking about inequality, interest rate increases, pay negotiations for MBIE, savings in the health system, and school funding.  The Greens are asking about inequality and rail transport. New Zealand First is asking about anti-competitive behaviour in the banking sector.

Patsy of the day goes to Ian McKelvie for Question 8: What recent announcement has he made regarding the biocontainment facility at Wallaceville?

Government Bills

1. Taxation (Annual Rates, Employee Allowances, and Remedial Matters) Bill – Third Reading

2. Vulnerable Children Bill – Third Reading

The Taxation (Annual Rates, Employee Allowances, and Remedial Matters) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Revenue, Todd McClay. This taxation omnibus bill introduces amendments to various Inland Revenue Acts.

The Vulnerable Children Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for Social Development.  This is an omnibus bill that proposes establishing the Vulnerable Children Act and the Child Harm Prevention Orders Act. The purpose of the proposed amendments is to protect and improve the well-being of vulnerable children.

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Parliament Today 18 June 2014

June 18th, 2014 at 1:03 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer

Questions to Ministers 2.00-3.00PM

  1. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his reported statement that “if New Zealanders saved more, the money could go into the productive sector and fund new companies and investments”?
  2. PAUL FOSTER-BELL to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on progress New Zealand is making in improving its external trade and investment position with the rest of the world?
  3. GRANT ROBERTSON to the Minister for Economic Development: Did he meet with the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on 4 June 2014, and if so did he discuss with him the pay negotiations that were underway with MBIE staff?
  4. MELISSA LEE to the Minister for Social Development: What recent announcements has she made about campaigns to prevent sexual violence amongst young people?
  5. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister of Energy and Resources: Does he stand by all his decisions?
  6. JACQUI DEAN to the Minister of Science and Innovation: What announcements has he made on the Christchurch Innovation Precinct?
  7. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Minister of Health: What concerns, if any, has he expressed regarding the progress Health Benefits Ltd has made towards obtaining the $700 million of “savings” which he required them to obtain in September 2012?
  8. SHANE ARDERN to the Minister of Health: What recent investments has the Government made in health services for the Bay of Plenty?
  9. TRACEY MARTIN to the Minister of Education: How much public money has been spent on land and other physical assets for Partnership schools up to 31 March 2014?
  10. JONATHAN YOUNG to the Minister of Conservation: What steps has the Government taken to improve marine protection, particularly in respect of dolphins?
  11. Dr MEGAN WOODS to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment: How many secondary schools currently receive Adult and Community Education funding compared to the 212 secondary schools in 2009 when the funding was cut?
  12. JAN LOGIE to the Minister for Social Development: Does she stand by her statement in relation to sexual and domestic violence that “it is actually about services on the ground that are able to address it”?

Today Labour are asking about household savings, pay negotiations with MBIE, savings in the Health budget, and Adult and Community Education funding. The Greens are asking whether the Minister for Energy and Resources stands by all his decisions, and services to address sexual and domestic violence. New Zealand First are asking about partnership schools.

Patsy of the day goes to Jonathan Young for Question 10: What steps has the Government taken to improve marine protection, particularly in respect of dolphins?

General Debate 3.00 -4.00PM

A debate of 12 speeches of no more than 5 minutes each. Entertaining and informative.

Government Bills 4.00PM-6.00PM and 7.30PM-10.00PM.

1. Companies and Limited Partnerships Amendment Bill - Committee Stage

2. Victims’ Orders Against Violent Offenders Bill – Committee Stage

3. Taxation (Annual Rates, Employee Allowances, and Remedial Matters) Bill – Third Reading

The Companies and Limited Partnerships Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Commerce, Craig Foss. This bill amends the Companies Act 1993 and the Limited Partnerships Act 2008 so as to increase confidence in New Zealand’s financial markets and regulation of corporate forms.

The Victims’ Orders Against Violent Offenders Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Justice, Judith Collins. This bill would establish a mechanism for a victim of a violent offence to obtain a non-contact order against an offender sentenced to imprisonment for five years or more.

The Taxation (Annual Rates, Employee Allowances, and Remedial Matters) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Revenue, Todd McClay. This taxation omnibus bill introduces amendments to various Inland Revenue Acts.

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Parliament Today 17 June 2014

June 17th, 2014 at 12:36 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer.

Questions to Ministers 2.00PM -3.00PM

  1. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his Government’s policies?
  2. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement relating to an increased level of household saving that it “is a necessary foundation for more sustainable growth in the medium and longer terms”?
  3. Hon KATE WILKINSON to the Minister of Finance: what recent reports has he received about the outlook for the New Zealand economy?
  4. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Minister of Immigration: Is he satisfied with the current immigration policy settings?
  5. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Does he stand by the Cost to the Crown of the Canterbury Rebuild presented in Budget 2014?
  6. DAVID BENNETT to the Minister of Transport: What recent announcements has he made on funding for transport?
  7. SUE MORONEY to the Minister for Social Development: Will she agree to establish a cross-party taskforce to address the rates of child abuse and domestic violence in New Zealand as described in The People’s Report: ?
  8. JAN LOGIE to the Minister for Social Development: Will she support a Child Poverty Act that sets out targets and measures for eliminating child poverty as recommended by the Tick4kids campaign; if not, why not?
  9. MARK MITCHELL to the Minister for Economic Development: What announcements has he made about the future direction of the Government’s Business Growth Agenda?
  10. GRANT ROBERTSON to the Minister for Economic Development: Does he agree with the Minister of Finance that workers “have a right to expect to see some of the benefits” of growth in the economy?
  11. JONATHAN YOUNG to the Minister of Consumer Affairs: How will consumers benefit from the improvements to consumer law that come into effect today?
  12. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Housing: Will New Zealand return to its historic average levels of house prices to incomes and house prices to rents under his Government’s housing policies; if so, how long will it take for this to occur?

Today Labour are asking about household savings, the cost of the Canterbury rebuild, establishing a cross party taskforce on child abuse, workers and the benefits of economic growth, and house prices. The Greens are asking about whether the Prime Minister stands by all his statements and child poverty legislation. New Zealand First is asking about immigration.

Patsy question of the day goes to Mark Mitchell for Question 9: What announcements has he made about the future direction of the Government’s Business Growth Agenda?

Government Bills 3.00PM – 6.00PM and 7.30PM-10.00PM.

1. Appropriation (2014/15 Estimates) Bill -Consideration in Committee

2. Taxation (Annual Rates, Employee Allowances, and Remedial Matters) Bill – Committee Stage

3. Vulnerable Children Bill – Committee Stage

The Appropriation (2014/15 Estimates) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Finance, Bill English. This bill seeks parliamentary authorisation of the individual appropriations contained in The Estimates of Appropriations for the Government of New Zealand for the year ending 30 June 2015 .

The Taxation (Annual Rates, Employee Allowances, and Remedial Matters) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Revenue, Todd McClay. This taxation omnibus bill introduces amendments to various Inland Revenue Acts.

The Vulnerable Children Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for Social Development, Paula Bennett. This is an omnibus bill that proposes establishing the Vulnerable Children Act and the Child Harm Prevention Orders Act. The purpose of the proposed amendments is to protect and improve the well-being of vulnerable children.

 

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Parliament Today 29 May 2014

May 29th, 2014 at 12:12 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer.

Questions to Ministers 2.00PM-3.00PM. 

  1. MARK MITCHELL to the Minister of Finance: What measures did Budget 2014 include to support children and families, as part of the Government’s wider programme to build a more productive and competitive economy?
  2. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Does he agree with the Productivity Commission regarding consumer prices that “when judged against average expenditure, the price level in New Zealand appears relatively high”?
  3. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister for Climate Change Issues: Is he confident that ordinary New Zealanders are being treated fairly under the emissions trading scheme?
  4. SIMON O’CONNOR to the Minister of Transport: What announcements did the Government make in Budget 2014 regarding investment in Auckland transport infrastructure?
  5. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Housing: How many homes have been built in the Special Housing Areas as a result of the Auckland Housing Accord, and now have people living in them?
  6. SCOTT SIMPSON to the Minister of Justice: What recent announcements has the Government made for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner?
  7. ALFRED NGARO to the Minister of Housing: What steps is the Government taking to grow the community housing sector to achieve the target of 20 percent of social housing by 2018?
  8. Hon MARYAN STREET to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment: What was the problem that needed to be fixed when he proposed to reduce the size of University Councils in the Education Amendment Bill (No. 2)?
  9. IAN McKELVIE to the Minister for Primary Industries: What reports has he received on the economic impacts of the Primary Growth Partnership?
  10. GRANT ROBERTSON to the Minister of Justice: Does she agree with Suzanne Snively from Transparency International that there is “an awful lot of complacency” about corruption in New Zealand?
  11. Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Minister for Climate Change Issues: Has he asked for any advice on the potential profit made by companies, which were given free New Zealand units under industrial allocations in the emissions trading scheme, submitting cheaper offshore units instead to meet their liabilities; if so, what was it?
  12. JACQUI DEAN to the Minister for the Environment: What recent announcements has she made about funding to support implementation of the EEZ legislation?

Today Labour are asking four questions. These are about consumer prices, housing, the size of University Councils, and corruption. The Greens are asking two questions about the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Patsy of the Day goes to Jacqui Dean for Question 12:  What recent announcements has she made about funding to support implementation of the EEZ legislation?

Government Bills 3.00PM-6.00PM

1. Appropriation (2013/14 Supplementary Estimates) Bill (The Budget) – First Reading

2. Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 3) -  Committee Stage

3. Veterans’ Support Bill – Committee Stage

The Appropriation (2013/14 Supplementary Estimates) Bill (The Budget) is guided through the house by the Minister of Finance, Bill English.  This bill seeks parliamentary authorisation of the individual appropriations and changes contained in The Supplementary Estimates of Appropriations for the Government of New Zealand and Supporting Information for the year ending 30 June 2014.

The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 3) is being guided through the house by the Associate Minister for Local Government, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga. This bill would implement the Government’s second phase of legislative reform relating to the operation of local government.

The Veterans’ Support Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for Veteran’s Affairs, Michael Woodhouse. This bill proposes a new support scheme for veterans of military service that would replace the current scheme prescribed in the War Pensions Act 1954.

 

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Parliament Today 27 May 2014

May 27th, 2014 at 12:50 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer.

Questions to Ministers 2.00PM-3.00PM.

  1. TRACEY MARTIN to the Minister of Immigration: What is the Government doing to reduce the inflow of immigrants?
  2. Hon KATE WILKINSON to the Minister of Finance: How is Budget 2014, as part of the Government’s wider economic programme, helping New Zealanders to get ahead?
  3. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements?
  4. MIKE SABIN to the Minister of Police: What steps is the Government taking to reduce the harm caused by methamphetamine in New Zealand?
  5. METIRIA TUREI to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements?
  6. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Housing: Does he stand by his statement that a register of foreign ownership “would be a waste of money”?
  7. SHANE ARDERN to the Minister of Health: What investment is the Government making in Budget 2014 to improve cancer services?
  8. CHRIS HIPKINS to the Minister responsible for Novopay: Does he stand by his statement with regards to Novopay, “I want to see within three months a situation where, as much as possible, workloads from administrators are back to where they were before this thing started”; if so, when did he make that statement?
  9. Dr CAM CALDER to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment: How is the Government lifting the skill levels of New Zealanders to lift productivity and deliver higher economic growth?
  10. Dr RAJEN PRASAD to the Associate Minister of Immigration: Is she satisfied with all aspects of her decision on Sanil Kumar?
  11. SIMON O’CONNOR to the Minister of Immigration: What steps has the Government taken to encourage better outcomes for migrants?
  12. Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Minister for Climate Change Issues: What is his response to comments by former New Zealand climate ambassador, Dr Adrian Macey, that the New Zealand emissions trading scheme has led in the “opposite direction to that of the intended policy, and is most likely to delay New Zealand’s transition to a low-carbon economy”?

Today Labour are asking whether the Prime Minister stands by all his statements, the creation of a register of foreign ownership, whether Novopay has improved its performance, and the outcome of a particular immigration case. The Greens are asking whether the Prime Minister stands by all his statements, and the Emissions trading scheme. New Zealand First is asking about immigration.

Patsy question of the day goes to Mike Sabin for Question 4: What steps is the Government taking to reduce the harm caused by methamphetamine in New Zealand?

Government Bills 3.00PM-6.00PM and 7.30PM-10.00PM.

1. Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 3) - Second Reading

2. Taxation (Annual Rates, Employee Allowances, and Remedial Matters) Bill -Second Reading

3. Food Bill – Third reading

The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 3) is being guided through the house by the Minister for Local Government, Paula Bennett. This bill would implement the Government’s second phase of legislative reform relating to the operation of local government.

The Taxation (Annual Rates, Employee Allowances, and Remedial Matters) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Revenue, Todd McClay. This taxation omnibus bill introduces amendments to various Inland Revenue Acts.

The Food Bill is being guided through the house by Nikki Kaye, the Minister for Food Safety. The bill introduces substantial reforms to the regulatory regime for the safety and suitability of food.

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Parliament Today 21 May 2014

May 21st, 2014 at 12:38 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer.

Questions for Minister 2.00PM -3.00PM.

  1. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements?
  2. DAVID BENNETT to the Minister of Finance: In preparing Budget 2014, what advice did the Government receive on how responsible fiscal management will take pressure off interest rates for New Zealand households and businesses?
  3. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Has he received any report from the Treasury disproving the analysis from Westpac’s chief economist that a proposed 15 percent tax on capital gains on investment property would have a significant effect on the net present value of residential rental property investments; if so, will he table that Treasury report?
  4. METIRIA TUREI to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements?
  5. MAGGIE BARRY to the Minister of Education: How will Budget 2014 continue to support the education system?
  6. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Minister of Health: What consultation with general practitioners, nurses, and district health boards did he undertake before announcing free doctors’ visits for children aged under 13?
  7. Hon PHIL HEATLEY to the Minister for Social Development: What measures does Budget 2014 contain to support vulnerable children?
  8. Su’a WILLIAM SIO to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that he has a “plan to deliver a brighter future for New Zealand.”?
  9. JULIE ANNE GENTER to the Minister for Building and Construction: Will he change the Construction Contracts Amendment Bill or promote other legislative change to ensure that money held by a main contractor, for payment to subcontractors when their work is completed, is not used for any purpose other than paying those subcontractors?
  10. JACQUI DEAN to the Minister for the Environment: How does Budget 2014 help communities and councils manage their local freshwater resources?
  11. Hon MARYAN STREET to the Minister of Justice: Does she stand by all her answers to Oral Question No. 11 yesterday?
  12. ANDREW WILLIAMS to the Minister of Finance: How much have departmental output expenses been cut in Budget 2014 for the 2014/15 financial year compared with the 2013/14 financial year?

Today Labour are asking whether the Prime Minister stands by all his statements, capital gains tax, free doctors visits, whether National is delivering a brighter future, and whether the Minister of Justice stands by her answers yesterday. The Greens are asking whether the Prime Minister stands by all his statements and payments to building contractors. New Zealand First is asking about cuts in departmental budgets as a result of the budget.

Patsy question of the day goes to Maggie Barry for Question 5: How will Budget 2014 continue to support the education system?

General Debate 3.00PM-4.00 PM 

A wide ranging consisting of 12 speeches of no more than 5 minutes in length. Amusing and informative.

Valedictory Speech of Shane Jones MP 5.30PM-5.45PM

The Valedictory Speech of Shane Jones, a Labour List MP. His Wikipedia biography is here.

Government Bills 4.00PM – 5.30PM and 7.30PM-10.00PM.

1. Appropriation (2014/15 Estimates) Bill - Second Reading

2. Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 3)- Third Reading

3. Food Bill - Third Reading

The Appropriation (2014/15 Estimates) Bill (The Budget) is  being guided through the house by the Minister of Finance, Bill English. This bill seeks parliamentary authorisation of the individual appropriations contained in The Estimates of Appropriations for the Government of New Zealand for the year ending 30 June 2015 .

The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 3) is being guided throught the house by the Minister of Local Government, Paula Bennett. This bill would implement the Government’s second phase of legislative reform relating to the operation of local government.

The Food Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for Food Safety, Nikki Kaye. The bill introduces substantial reforms to the regulatory regime for the safety and suitability of food.

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Parliament Today 20 May 2014

May 20th, 2014 at 12:49 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer.

Questions to Ministers 2.00PM-3.00PM.

  1. PAUL GOLDSMITH to the Minister of Finance: How will Budget 2014 continue to support a growing economy, including jobs, higher wages and delivery of better public services?
  2. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement, “there’s no fundamental underlying reasons to believe there’s a problem in our housing market”?
  3. METIRIA TUREI to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements?
  4. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Does he agree with the reported statement, last Friday, from the Prime Minister who would not rule out an increase in GST?
  5. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in the Minister of Justice; if so, why?
  6. Dr CAM CALDER to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment: How will Budget 2014 advance the Government’s work to strengthen the New Zealand tertiary education system?
  7. JACINDA ARDERN to the Minister of Finance: How will the changes to the Parental Tax Credit he announced in the 2014 Budget help those who, as he states, are at “the hard end of poverty”?
  8. JOANNE HAYES to the Minister for ACC: What reports has she received which show New Zealanders could pay lower ACC levies in 2015?
  9. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Housing: Is he concerned that New Zealand has gone from the 10th highest rate of house price growth in the OECD from 2004-2011 to the highest in 2013?
  10. Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Has he received information that any other New Zealander, apart from Daryl Jones, has been killed in United States drone strikes; if so, what was that information?
  11. Hon MARYAN STREET to the Minister of Justice: Does she stand by all her statements?
  12. SCOTT SIMPSON to the Minister of Conservation: What new measures will the Government be able to take to contain and control the kauri dieback disease as a consequence of the $26.5 million committed in the Budget?

Today Labour are asking about the housing market twice, an increase in GST, the Parental Tax Credit, and whether the Minister of Justice stands by all her statements. The Greens are asking whether the Prime Minister stands by all his statements, and a drone strike on a New Zealand citizen. New Zealand First is asking if the Prime Minister has confidence in the Minister of Justice.

Patsy of the day goes to Scott Simpson for Question 12: What new measures will the Government be able to take to contain and control the kauri dieback disease as a consequence of the $26.5 million committed in the Budget?

Government Bills 3.00PM-6.00PM and 7.30PM-10.00.

1. Appropriation (2014/15 Estimates) Bill - Second Reading

2. Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 3)- Third Reading

3. Food Bill - Third Reading

4. Vulnerable Children Bill - Committee Reading

The Appropriation (2014/15 Estimates) Bill (The Budget) is  being guided through the house by the Minister of Finance, Bill English. This bill seeks parliamentary authorisation of the individual appropriations contained in The Estimates of Appropriations for the Government of New Zealand for the year ending 30 June 2015 .

The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 3) is being guided throught the house by the Minister of Local Government, Paula Bennett. This bill would implement the Government’s second phase of legislative reform relating to the operation of local government.

The Food Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for Food Safety, Kikki Kaye. The bill introduces substantial reforms to the regulatory regime for the safety and suitability of food.

The Vulnerable Children Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for Social Development, Paula Bennett. This is an omnibus bill that proposes establishing the Vulnerable Children Act and the Child Harm Prevention Orders Act. The purpose of the proposed amendments is to protect and improve the well-being of vulnerable children.

 

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Parliament Today 14 May 2014

May 14th, 2014 at 12:45 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer.

Questions to Ministers 2.00PM-3.00PM.

  1. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his Government’s policies?
  2. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Has his Government delivered on his expectation of a “more equal society” and as a result is “every one of our children getting the very best start to life”?
  3. JOHN HAYES to the Minister of Finance: How will the Budget tomorrow support a growing economy, including jobs, higher wages, and delivery of better public services?
  4. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Will Budget 2014 continue the trend of widening inequality between the wealthy and poorer areas of New Zealand, as shown by the University of Otago 2013 index of deprivation?
  5. Hon PHIL HEATLEY to the Minister for Social Development:What recent announcement has the Government made about funding for sexual violence services?
  6. Hon Dr PITA SHARPLES to the Minister of Energy and Resources: How many homes have been insulated as a result of the Relationship Accords signed with the Māori Party in 2008 and 2011, and of these, how many were in low income households?
  7. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Minister of Health: Will the total allocated funding for Vote Health in Budget 2014 be sufficient to keep pace with population growth, ageing, and increased costs?
  8. ANDREW WILLIAMS to the Minister of Finance: Will the 2014 Budget contain specific measures to improve tighter rules on foreign ownership of New Zealand land, businesses and other New Zealand-owned assets; if not, why not?
  9. Dr JIAN YANG to the Minister of Health: What is the Government doing to increase awareness of prostate cancer?
  10. JACINDA ARDERN to the Minister of Finance: Does he believe families with newborn babies are currently receiving adequate support via Government-funded tax credits and paid parental leave?
  11. CLAUDETTE HAUITI to the Minister of Statistics: What reports has she received on how the 2013 Census data will help shape communities and inform decision making?
  12. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Housing: Does he stand by his statement that collecting the data on offshore ownership of houses “would be a waste of public money”; if so, what would the cost be?

Today Labour are asking about the government’s record in creating a better society,  inequality, health spending, paid parental leave and home ownership. The Greens are asking whether the government stands by all its policies.  New Zealand First are asking about foreign ownership of New Zealand businesses and property.

Patsy question of the day goes to Claudette Hauiti for Question 11: What reports has she received on how the 2013 Census data will help shape communities and inform decision making?

General Debate 3.00PM-4.00PM

A debate consisting of 12 speeches of no more than 5 minutes in duration. Informative and entertaining.

Government Bills 4.00PM-6.00PM and 7.30PM-10.00PM.

1. Food Bill –  Committee Stage

2. Vulnerable Children Bill – Committee Stage

3. Veterans’ Support Bill – Committee Stage

The Food Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for Food Safety, Nikki Kaye. The bill introduces substantial reforms to the regulatory regime for the safety and suitability of food.

The Vulnerable Children Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for Social Development, Paula Bennett. This is an omnibus bill that proposes establishing the Vulnerable Children Act and the Child Harm Prevention Orders Act. The purpose of the proposed amendments is to protect and improve the well-being of vulnerable children.

The Veterans’ Support Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for Veteran’s Affairs, Michael Woodhouse. This bill proposes a new support scheme for veterans of military service that would replace the current scheme prescribed in the War Pensions Act 1954.

 

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Relocating Parliament

May 9th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

An interesting Cabinet paper on what happens to Parliament and Cabinet if Wellington is devastated by an earthquake. Key aspects are:

  • Parliament and Government shifts to Auckland
  • Parliament will meet at the Devonport Naval Base for 14 days initially, and then elsewhere in Auckland
  • Decision to move would be made by the Prime Minister
  • MPs and essential staff would be transported by either helicopter from Paraparaumu, plane from Ohakea or by ship
  • The House would meet within 7 days
  • Only 42 essential staff plus 120 MPs, GG and spouse would relocate to Auckland
  • Temporary Executive Government and Parliament would have 12 DPMC staff, two GG staff, seven Clerk’s Office staff, eight PMO and Ministerial staff, five Parliamentary Counsel staff and six Parliamentary Service staff

 

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