Parliament 13 March 2014

March 13th, 2014 at 1:10 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer.

Questions to Ministers 2.00PM-3.00PM.

  1. PAUL GOLDSMITH to the Minister of Finance: What recent reports has he received on the New Zealand economy?
  2. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in all his Ministers; if so, why?
  3. SIMON O’CONNOR to the Minister of Education: What recent announcement has she made about opportunities to share education best practice with international counterparts?
  4. GRANT ROBERTSON to the Minister of Justice: Does she stand by all her statements regarding her relationship with Oravida Ltd?
  5. JULIE ANNE GENTER to the Minister of Transport: What percentage of the transport budget is currently being spent specifically on ensuring that children can walk or cycle to school safely, and does he consider that is adequate?
  6. JONATHAN YOUNG to the Minister of Energy and Resources:How has the electricity market improved under this Government?
  7. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Minister of Health: What recent reports has he received of staff shortages and the impact of such shortages, if any, in DHBs?
  8. Hon Dr PITA SHARPLES to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment: How does the Government intend on sustaining, supporting and growing Māori-led research driven by Māori researchers with positive outcomes that support the goals and aspirations of whanau, hapu and iwi, in light of the decision by the New Zealand Royal Society not to fund Nga Pāe o te Māramatanga or any other Māori-led research organisation?
  9. JACQUI DEAN to the Minister of Conservation: What progress is the Government making in implementing its “Bluegreen” plan for New Zealand?
  10. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Minister of Justice: Were all her answers to questions relating to her involvement with Oravida accurate and in compliance with the Cabinet Manual?
  11. MIKE SABIN to the Minister of Transport: What reports has he received on the importance of freight movement to New Zealand?
  12. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Housing: Does he expect housing affordability to improve in the coming year?

Today Labour are asking about the Prime Minister’s confidence in Ministers, the Oravida saga, staff shortages at DHBs and housing affordability. The Greens are asking about the amount of the transport budget allocated to cycling and walking intiatives. New Zealand First is asking about the Oravida saga.

Patsy of the day goes to Jacqui Dean for Question 9: What progress is the Government making in implementing its “Bluegreen” plan for New Zealand?

Government Bills 3.00 – 6.00PM

1. Education Amendment Bill (No 2) - First Reading

2. Health and Safety Reform Bill -First Reading

The Education Amendment Bill (No 2) is being introduced into the house by the Minister of Education, Hekia Parata.  The Education Amendment Bill (No 2) (the Bill) amends the Education Act 1989. The public policy objectives of the Bill are to ensure that New Zealand’s education sector is equipped to meet the challenges and opportunities of the modern learning context; and to create a regulatory framework that promotes accountability and high standards within the education sector; and to drive continuous improvement in the education sector by clarifying, streamlining, and strengthening processes, as appropriate.

The Health and Safety Reform Bill is being introduced into the house by the Minister of Labour, Simon Bridges. This bill reforms New Zealand’s workplace health and safety system, following the work of the Independent Task force on Workplace Health and Safety and the Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy.

 

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Parliament – 12th March 2014

March 12th, 2014 at 12:27 pm by Scott Miller

Questions for Oral Answer – 2pm to 3pm

Questions to Ministers

  1. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister of Finance: How will the expected increases in the Official Cash Rate over the coming year affect New Zealand families and businesses?
  2. JOHN HAYES to the Minister of Finance: How will the Government’s economic and fiscal policies ensure its accounts return to surplus in 2014/15 and help keep interest rates lower than during the previous economic cycle?
  3. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements?
  4. KANWALJIT SINGH BAKSHI to the Minister of Energy and Resources: What has the Government done to improve the performance of the electricity market in New Zealand?
  5. GRANT ROBERTSON to the Minister of Justice: Did she seek advice from the Cabinet Office regarding any conflict of interest arising from her husband’s directorship of Oravida Ltd; if so, when and why?
  6. Dr JIAN YANG to the Minister for Economic Development: How is the Government making it easier, quicker and less complicated for businesses to deal with the Government?
  7. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Were all his answers to questions relating to the Hon Judith Collins and Oravida checked to ensure they were true; if not, why not?
  8. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: What is the total amount of dividends that the Government has taken out of Transpower since 2011, and what is the current debt gearing ratio of Transpower?
  9. JOANNE HAYES to the Minister of Justice: What recent reports has she received on Justice sector results?
  10. HONE HARAWIRA to the Deputy Prime Minister: What more is the Government planning to do to ensure all New Zealand children have food to eat each school day in light of the recent Treasury finding that the number of children living in poverty has increased to 285,000?
  11. DAVID SHEARER to the Minister of Energy and Resources: Further to his reply to Oral Question No 9 yesterday, will he now tell me what is his Ministry’s best estimate for the percentage increase in retail electricity prices for the period 1 February to 1 August this year for a household of four persons, averaged across New Zealand?
  12. CLAUDETTE HAUITI to the Minister of Health: What recent announcement has the Government made on the Waitemata bowel screening pilot?

Today, Labour will be asking four questions to ministers on issues such as Hon Judith Collins visit to Oravida, dividends paid by Transpower to the government and electricity price increases in 2014. National will be asking five questions to ministers ranging from issues such as the economic health of the country to power price increases under the previous Labour government. In addition, questions will be asked about justice targets and funding for bowel screening in New Zealand.

Russell Norman will be asking one question about the Official Cash Rate (OCR) potential increases could hurt New Zealand families. New Zealand First will be asking one question about the Oravida visit by Hon Judith Collins and Mana will ask one question about poverty in New Zealand.

Patsy of the day

Today’s patsy of the day question goes to question 6 from Dr Jian Yang to Hon Steven Joyce asking about how the Government will be making it easier, quicker and less complicated for businesses to deal with the Government.

Budget Policy Statement – 3pm to 4pm

This debate is consisted of 12 speeches of 10 minute lengths to debate the Governments Budget Policy Statement. The Budget Policy Statement is a document that highlights what the Governments policy goals and direction are for Budget 2014 to be held on Thursday, 15 May 2014.

This report comes back to the house from the Finance and Expenditure Committee and after this debate has occurred in the house, it is then sent back to the Finance and Expenditure Committee for further consideration. The public can then make submissions to this process and the Minister for Finance is required under Parliaments standing orders to attend further committee hearings to answer questions should the committee request him too.

For further explanation of this statement, feel free to click here.

Private and Local Orders of the Day – 4pm to 6pm

  1. Tasman District Council (Validation and Recovery of Certain Rates) Bill - Hon Damien O’ Connor – Committee Stage

This bill is designed to clarify rating issues in the Tasman District during the years 2003-2004 and 2008-2009 in which they failed to apply section 23 of the Local Government Act 2002 correctly when setting rates in the region, especially in the areas of  Tata Beach and Ligar Bay in Golden Bay who have challenged the Tasman District Council over stormwater charges billed to them during these years.

At the last reading of this bill on 19th February, it was passed 119 to 1 with Mana being the only one against it.

2.  Sullivan Birth Certificate Bill – Louisa Wall – Committee Stage

The purpose of this bill is to allow for the birth details of Rowen Sullivan to to be changed to allow for both parents to be legally added to her birth certificate. Her parents were Diane Sullivan, who was a British citizen, and Doreen Margaret Shields, who was born in New Zealand. On the official birth certificate,  only Diane Sullivan was the one legally on the paperwork.Diane Sullivan became terminally ill and Doreen Margaret Shields attempted to adopt Rowen Sullivan but were blocked because the couple where not married. This bill intends to recognize both parents on the birth certificate instead of only one.

At the last reading of this bill on 19th February, it was passed without objection.

Members Order of the Day – 7.30pm to 10pm

  1. Electronic Transactions (Contract Formation) Amendment Bill - Paul Goldsmith – Committee Stage

The primary purpose of this bill is to amend the  Electronic Transactions Act 2002 to clarify when a contract is formed upon being accepted and communicated electronically between groups.  This bill adapts an already accepted rule  found in common law from the Adams v Lindsell case which finds that a contract is accepted upon posting back a signed contract to a group, to include electronic communications of contracts.

  1. Resource Management (Restricted Duration of Certain Discharge and Coastal Permits) Amendment Bill – Catherine Delahunty – Second Reading

The purpose of this Bill is to amend section 107 of the Resource Management Act, relating to granting discharge permits and coastal permits. Section 107, primary relates to discharges into our waterways and this bill attempts to amend Section 107(2)(a) which allows for discharges to water where “exceptional circumstances” justify it. Currently, this section of the Resource Management Act allows for this cause to be used for up to 35 years. This amendment would limit this to 5 years.

At the last reading for this bill on 29th August 2012, it passed 61 to 60 with National and ACT NZ objecting to this bill.

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Parliament Today 11 March 2014

March 11th, 2014 at 1:39 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 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”?
  2. Hon KATE WILKINSON to the Minister of Finance: What will be the focus of the Government’s economic programme going into the election on 20 September?
  3. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in all his Ministers; if so, why?
  4. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his Government’s policies?
  5. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Housing: Does he believe the Government is making it easier for young people in the regions to buy their first home?
  6. IAN McKELVIE to the Minister for Economic Development:What recent reports has he received on the manufacturing sector?
  7. EUGENIE SAGE to the Minister for the Environment: Will she strengthen the proposed water quality national objectives for human health so that New Zealanders can safely swim in our rivers?
  8. CHRIS AUCHINVOLE to the Minister of Labour: What recent progress has the Government made on health and safety reform in New Zealand?
  9. DAVID SHEARER to the Minister of Energy and Resources: What is his Ministry’s best estimate for the percentage increase in retail electricity prices for the period 1 February to 1 August this year for a household of four persons, averaged across New Zealand?
  10. Dr PAUL HUTCHISON to the Minister of Health: What investment is the Government making in improving health services in West Auckland?
  11. CATHERINE DELAHUNTY to the Minister for the Environment: Does she think that companies should be allowed to pollute our rivers for an unlimited amount of time using section 107(2) of the Resource Management Act 1991, or does she think that the use of “exceptional circumstances” should be time limited?
  12. GRANT ROBERTSON to the Minister of Justice: Did she note her visit to the Shanghai offices of Oravida Limited in her report to Cabinet on her Ministerial visit to China in October 2013; if not, why not?

Today Labour are asking about the economy, first home buyers, electricity prices, and Judith Collins’ visit to a Chinese milk factory.The Greens are asking about government policies, water quality of rivers, and about river quality as it relates to the resource management act. New Zealand First is asking whether the PM has confidence in all his Ministers.

Patsy Question of the day goes to Chris Auchinvole for Question 8: What recent progress has the Government made on health and safety reform in New Zealand?

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

1. Electoral Amendment Bill – Committee Stage

2. Families Commission Amendment Bill – Committee Stage

3. Border Processing (Trade Single Window and Duties) Bill – Committee Stage

The Electoral Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Justice, Judith Collins. This bill proposes amendments to the Electoral Act 1993 to implement recommendations made by the Justice and Electoral Committee in its Inquiry into the 2011 General Election. The purpose of the amendments is to improve services to voters, candidates, and political parties.

The Families Commission Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of  Social Development, Paula Bennett. This bill amends the Families Commission Act 2003 to restructure the Commission so that it comprises a single Families Commissioner and other members, amends some functions of the Commission and provides for the appointment of a Social Science Experts Panel to provide academic peer review and guidance.

The Border Processing (Trade Single Window and Duties) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of  Customs, Maurice Williamson. This bill proposes amendments to support the implementation of the Trade Single Window component of the Joint Border Management System.

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Parliament Today 5 March 2014

March 5th, 2014 at 1:04 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer.

Questions to Ministers 2.00-3.00PM.

  1. TRACEY MARTIN to the Minister responsible for Novopay:Does he stand by his statement of 11 February 2014, “education payroll is the most complex in New Zealand and more work remains to be done to simplify the business processes to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible each year”?
  2. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that “the true builders of that future are the millions of New Zealanders working in the homes, the businesses, the industries of our country”?
  3. MAGGIE BARRY to the Minister of Finance: What progress is the Government making with its share offer programme, which is freeing up money for reinvestment in new public assets without having to increase Government debt?
  4. ANDREW LITTLE to the Attorney-General: Will he release all correspondence between the Christchurch Crown Solicitor or any other solicitor acting for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and counsel for Peter Whittall on the decision not to proceed with the prosecution of Mr Whittall under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 relating to conditions at the Pike River Mine that lead to the deaths of 29 miners; if not, why not?
  5. KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister of Health: When were Ministry of Health officials first informed that the dispute between the Southern District Health Board and South Link Health involved allegations of the misuse of public funding, and when were they first informed that this alleged misuse was suspected to involve elements that could be fraud?
  6. Dr CAM CALDER to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment: What announcements has the Government made on the Tertiary Education Strategy for New Zealand?
  7. Hon RUTH DYSON to the Minister responsible for the Earthquake Commission: Does he stand by his statement made yesterday in the House with regard to Canterbury Labour Members of Parliament that they “have made no more than five requests for assistance through the Earthquake Commission”; if not, when will he be correcting his statement and apologising?
  8. MARK MITCHELL to the Minister for Communications and Information Technology: How is the Government’s Information and Communication Technology programme improving New Zealanders’ access to improved technology and better connectivity?
  9. GRANT ROBERTSON to the Minister of Justice: On what date did she receive an invitation to visit the Shanghai office of Oravida Ltd during her Ministerial visit to China in October 2013, and what actions did she take to ensure this visit met her obligations under the Cabinet Manual?
  10. CATHERINE DELAHUNTY to the Associate Minister of Education: Did the communities in Christchurch, Auckland and Queenstown, where four schools are to be built using a public-private partnership (PPP) model, ask the Government for private sector management of their school buildings?
  11. PAUL FOSTER-BELL to the Minister of Health: What investment is the Government making in improving nutrition and exercise for pre-schoolers?
  12. JOANNE HAYES to the Minister of Corrections: What steps has the Government taken to improve access to alcohol and drug treatment for prisoners?

Today Labour are asking three questions. These are about the economy, CERA, and Judith Collin’s obligations under the Cabinet Manual. The Greens have two questions, one of potential fraud in the health sector and the other on Public-Private Partnerships to build new schools. New Zealand First are asking about Novopay and, Pike River.

Patsy of the day goes to Paul Foster-Bell for Question 11: What investment is the Government making in improving nutrition and exercise for pre-schoolers?

General Debate 3.00PM -4.00PM

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

Government Bills 4.00PM-6.00Pm – 7.30PM-10.00PM.

1. Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill -First Reading

2. Environmental Reporting Bill- First Reading

3. Energy (Fuels, Levies, and References) Amendment Bill- First Reading

The Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill is being introduced by the Minister for Building and Construction, Maurice Williamson. This bill amends the Building Act 2004 to improve the system for managing earthquake-prone buildings.

The Environmental Reporting Bill is being introduced by the Minister for the Environment, Amy Adams. The purpose of this Bill is to create a national-level environmental reporting system to ensure that reporting on the environment occurs on a regular basis and can be trusted.

The Energy (Fuels, Levies, and References) Amendment Bill is being introduced by the Minister for Energy and Resources, Simon Bridges. The objective of this Bill is to allow for the costs of meeting New Zealand’s oil stockholding treaty obligation under the Agreement on an International Energy Program to be met through a levy on fuel.

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Parliament Today 4 March 2014

March 4th, 2014 at 1:51 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 stand by his statement “our approach is to put everyday New Zealanders at the heart of everything the Government does, so we organise services around them”?
  2. IAN McKELVIE to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on momentum building in the economy – particularly trends in jobs, wages, and business confidence?
  3. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: When did he first become aware that Treasury had miscalculated estimates of household disposable income?
  4. TE URUROA FLAVELL to the Minister for the Environment:Will she continue to protect the concept of cultural impact assessments as a key tenet of the Resource Management Act 1991 and does she agree with David Taipari, Chair of the Māori Statutory Board for Auckland Council, that, like built heritage, it was important to protect archaeological sites or sites of significance to mana whenua?
  5. JACINDA ARDERN to the Minister for Social Development:When was she first advised about the miscalculation affecting “estimates of disposable income”, and how was this advice received?
  6. TIM MACINDOE to the Minister of Science and Innovation:What announcements has he made to encourage further investment in research and development by tech-savvy firms?
  7. METIRIA TUREI to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in all his ministers?
  8. Dr JIAN YANG to the Minister of Health: What progress can he report on the Government’s health targets for district health boards?
  9. BRENDAN HORAN to the Minister of Energy and Resources: Does he stand by all his statements regarding iron sand seabed mining; if so, why?
  10. NICKY WAGNER to the Minister of Education: What recent announcements has she made on the Greater Christchurch Education Renewal Programme?
  11. DARIEN FENTON to the Minister of Transport: Does he have confidence in KiwiRail following the discovery of asbestos in DL locomotives?
  12. JONATHAN YOUNG to the Minister of Commerce: What decisions have been made on crowd funding following the passage of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013?

Today Labour are asking four questions. These are about services provided by the Government, accuracy of Treasury estimates, household income, and asbestos in Kiwirail locomotives. The Greens have one question, to the Prime Minister about whether he has confidence in all his Ministers. Brendan Horan is asking about seabed mining.

Patsy of the day goes to Jian Yang for Question 8: What progress can he report on the Government’s health targets for district health boards?

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

1. Appropriation (2012/13 Financial Review) Bill – Committee Stage

2. Electoral Amendment Bill – Committee Stage

3. Border Processing (Trade Single Window and Duties) Bill - Committee Stage

4. Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill – First Reading

The Appropriation (2012/13 Financial Review) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Finance, Bill English. The purpose of this bill is to confirm and validate financial matters relating to the 2012/13 financial year.

The Electoral Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Justice, Judith Collins. This bill proposes amendments to the Electoral Act 1993 to implement recommendations made by the Justice and Electoral Committee in its Inquiry into the 2011 General Election. The purpose of the amendments is to improve services to voters, candidates, and political parties.

The Border Processing (Trade Single Window and Duties) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Customs, Maurice Williamson. This bill proposes amendments to support the implementation of the Trade Single Window component of the Joint Border Management System.

The Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Building and Construction, Maurice Williamson. This bill amends the Building Act 2004 to improve the system for managing earthquake-prone buildings.

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Parliament Today 20 February 2014

February 20th, 2014 at 12:38 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer.

Questions to Ministers 2.00PM-3.00PM.

  1. KANWALJIT SINGH BAKSHI to the Minister of Finance: How is the Government’s focus on Better Public Service results improving New Zealanders’ lives while helping New Zealand’s long-term fiscal position?
  2. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that “when this Government came in, there were predictions that unemployment would rise to over 10 percent”; if so, in the December 2008 Economic and Fiscal Update what level did Treasury forecast that unemployment would peak at?
  3. KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister of Health: Was he told in 2010 that the Southern District Health Board had received legal advice that suggested there was the possibility of fraud in its dispute with South Link Health?
  4. Le’aufa’amulia ASENATI LOLE-TAYLOR to the Minister of Consumer Affairs: Does he believe he is doing all he can to protect consumers, particularly vulnerable, low income families?
  5. PAUL FOSTER-BELL to the Minister of Justice: What recent results has she received regarding Better Public Service targets for crime and reoffending?
  6. Hon SHANE JONES to the Minister of Commerce: Was he aware of alleged cash payments being made to buyers from Countdown Supermarkets in return for the preferential treatment of suppliers, prior to 19 February 2014?
  7. Dr CAM CALDER to the Minister of Education: What recent announcement has she made on initiatives to help Pasifika parents engage in their children’s learning?
  8. SUE MORONEY to the Minister of Finance: Is it still his intention to use a financial veto against my Bill which proposes to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks?
  9. MOJO MATHERS to the Minister of Commerce: Will he support the introduction of a supermarket code of conduct in New Zealand that governs relations between supermarkets and their suppliers and an adjudicator with the power to investigate breaches of the code; if not, why not?
  10. DARIEN FENTON to the Minister of Labour: Does he stand by his statement “addressing migrant exploitation is a priority area for the Labour Inspectorate and Immigration New Zealand”?
  11. PAUL GOLDSMITH to the Minister for the Environment: What progress is the Government making to ensure that New Zealanders have access to comprehensive environmental information that is independent, is easy to understand and relevant?
  12. Dr RAJEN PRASAD to the Minister of Immigration: Does he stand by all the statements he made in his answers to Oral Question No 11 on 13 February 2014?

Questions to Members 

  1. JACINDA ARDERN to the member in charge of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill: What is the purpose of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill?
  2. JACINDA ARDERN to the member in charge of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill: Why did she agree to the extension of the report back date from the Government Administration Committee until 28 February for the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill?
  3. JACINDA ARDERN to the member in charge of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill: What support does she have for the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill?

Today Labour are asking five questions. These are about unemployment, supermarket competition, paid parental leave, migrant exploitation, and immigration. The Greens are asking about fraud in the Health sector and supermarket competition. New Zealand First are asking about consumer protection for low income earners. Labour are also asking three questions to Sue Moroney, the member in charge of the Paid Parental Leave bill.

Government Bills 9.00AM-1PM and 3.00PM-6.ooPM

1. Taxation (Annual Rates, Foreign Superannuation, and Remedial Matters) Bill - Third Reading

2. Border Processing (Trade Single Window and Duties) Bill – Second Reading

3. Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill - First Reading

The Taxation (Annual Rates, Foreign Superannuation, and Remedial Matters) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Revenue, Todd McClay. This bill stipulates the annual rates of income tax for the 2013-14 tax year, proposes new rules for New Zealand residents with interests in foreign superannuation schemes, and makes other changes to tax law.

The Border Processing (Trade Single Window and Duties) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Customs, Maurice Williamson. This bill proposes amendments to support the implementation of the Trade Single Window component of the Joint Border Management System.

The Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Building and Construction, Maurice Williamson. This bill amends the Building Act 2004 to improve the system for managing earthquake-prone buildings.

 

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Parliament Today 19 February 2014

February 19th, 2014 at 1:35 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer.

Questions for Ministers 2.00PM – 3.00PM.

  1. KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister of Health: Does he think fraud in the publicly funded health sector is serious and if so would he investigate any allegations of fraud if they were raised with him?
  2. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Minister of Health: What recent reports has he seen on inadequate standards of health care in New Zealand?
  3. SHANE ARDERN to the Minister of Finance: How is the Government balancing its focus on responsibly managing its finances with addressing some of the most challenging social issues facing vulnerable families?
  4. Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE to the Minister of Commerce:When does he expect the Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill to be passed into law?
  5. ALFRED NGARO to the Minister of Housing: What progress is the Government making in growing the Community Housing sector and redeveloping Housing New Zealand homes to better match today’s housing needs?
  6. Hon SHANE JONES to the Minister of Commerce: What documentation, if any, did he and his office prepare prior to 12 February 2014, regarding the behaviour of supermarkets towards suppliers, and when was that documentation prepared?
  7. MIKE SABIN to the Minister of Police: What results have Police recorded since new laws were introduced by the Government in 2009 to combat illegal street racing?
  8. Hon MARYAN STREET to the Minister of State Services: What was the total cost of the Rebstock inquiry into the leaking of internal documents from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and how much of that was paid to Paula Rebstock?
  9. Dr PAUL HUTCHISON to the Minister of Health: What announcements has the Government made about e-Health Ambassadors and their role in promoting patient portals?
  10. Hon TREVOR MALLARD to the Prime Minister: Further to his response of “No” as to whether he received an assurance from Mr Dunne that he had not made a copy of the draft Kitteridge Report on the GCSB available to a Fairfax reporter, in Oral Question No 11 on 12 February and that he “accepted him at his word”, in a supplementary answer to the same question, in what context did Mr Dunne give his word that he did not make said report available to the reporter?
  11. GARETH HUGHES to the Minister of Energy and Resources: Does he think New Zealanders are paying too much for their power?
  12. BARBARA STEWART to the Associate Minister of Health: Is she satisfied with the current level of care in rest homes?

Today Labour are asking five questions. These are about the quality of healthcare in New Zealand, when the Cartels Bill will become law, supermarket behaviour, the cost of the Rebstock inquiry and the whether the Minister of Internal Affairs leaked information in a previous role. The Greens are asking about Health sector fraud and energy prices. New Zealand First are asking about the quality of care in rest homes.

Patsy question of the day goes to Dr Paul Hutchison for Question 9: What announcements has the Government made about e-Health Ambassadors and their role in promoting patient portals?

General Debate 3.00PM-4.00PM

12 speeches of no more than 5 minutes each. Often funny.

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

1. Electronic Transactions (Contract Formation) Amendment Bill – Second Reading

2. Electronic Data Safety Bill - First Reading

3. Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill - First Reading

The Electronic Transactions (Contract Formation) Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by Paul Goldsmith, a National Party List MP. The bill seeks to establish that, for the purpose of contract formation, an offer would be deemed to be accepted by an electronic communication at the time of receipt of the acceptance by the offeror.

The Electronic Data Safety Bill is being introduced to the house by Clare Curran, the Labour MP for Dunedin South. This bill established a Commission of Inquiry into privacy breaches within government agencies.

The Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill is being introduced into the house by the Phil Twyford, the Labour MP for Te Atatu. This bill has the purpose of ensuring that every rental home in New Zealand meets minimum standards of heating and insulation.

 

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Parliament Today 18 February 2014

February 18th, 2014 at 1:27 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer 2.00PM-3.00PM.

Questions to Ministers. 

  1. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that there are “plenty of jobs out there for people if they look really hard”?
  2. MAGGIE BARRY to the Minister of Finance: What progress is the Government making with its multi-billion dollar investment programme in modern infrastructure?
  3. Hon SHANE JONES to the Minister of Commerce: Was he made aware of any concerns regarding the behaviour of supermarkets towards suppliers prior to 12 February 2014?
  4. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his Government’s policies?
  5. TIM MACINDOE to the Minister of Education: What recent announcement has she made on the increase in students achieving NCEA level 2?
  6. SUE MORONEY to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement in regard to proposals to extend paid parental leave, “It’s an important time they bond with their children. Everyone acknowledges having more time with their infants would be an important thing to support”?
  7. Hon PHIL HEATLEY to the Minister for Social Development:What reports has she received about the support the Government is providing to grandparents and other family members raising children?
  8. ANDREW WILLIAMS to the Minister of Veterans’ Affairs: Are there any areas where he believes war veterans are not receiving adequate support for their service to our country?
  9. DARIEN FENTON to the Minister of Transport: Why is the construction of the City Rail Link only beginning in 2020?
  10. SCOTT SIMPSON to the Minister of Justice: What progress has been made on criminal history sharing for employment vetting between Australia and New Zealand?
  11. Hon TREVOR MALLARD to the Minister of Internal Affairs: Does he stand by his answers to all supplementary questions to Oral Questions in the House this year; if so, why?
  12. HOLLY WALKER to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment: Does he share the concerns of the New Zealand Psychological Society and the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists that his decision to cut postgraduate student allowances could significantly impact the future psychology workforce in New Zealand?

Today Labour are asking five questions. These are about jobs, supermarkets, paid parental leave, the Auckland city rail link, and the suitability of the Minister of Internal Affairs to hold his Ministerial warrant. The Greens are asking whether the Prime Minister stands by all his policies, and cuts to student allowance. New Zealand First are asking about support for Veterans.

Patsy question of the day goes to Tim MacIndoe for Question 5: What recent announcement has she made on the increase in students achieving NCEA level 2?

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

1. Taxation (Annual Rates, Foreign Superannuation, and Remedial Matters) Bill - Committee Stage

2. Student Loan Scheme Amendment Bill (No 3) – Committee Stage

3. Trade (Safeguard Measures) Bill - Committee Stage

4. Electoral Amendment Bill - Committee Stage

The Taxation (Annual Rates, Foreign Superannuation, and Remedial  Matters) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Revenue, Todd McClay. This bill stipulates the annual rates of income tax for the 2013-14 tax year, proposes new rules for New Zealand residents with interests in foreign superannuation schemes, and makes other changes to tax law.

The Student Loan Scheme Amendment Bill (No 3) is also being guided through the house by the Minister of Revenue, Todd McClay. This bill proposes amendments to the Student Loan Scheme Act 2011 to improve repayments from overseas-based borrowers and to increase personal responsibility for debt repayment.

The Trade (Safeguard Measures) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Commerce, Craig Foss. This bill implements a new safeguards regime for New Zealand.

The Electoral Amendment Bill is being guided though the house by the Minister of Justice, Judith Collins. This bill proposes amendments to the Electoral Act 1993 to implement recommendations made by the Justice and Electoral Committee in its Inquiry into the 2011 General Election. The purpose of the amendments is to improve services to voters, candidates, and political parties.

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Parliament Today 12 February 2014

February 12th, 2014 at 1:33 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 statement that “there are more children in poverty than at some point in the past”, and if so, does he remain concerned about child poverty levels in New Zealand?
  2. JAMI-LEE ROSS to the Minister of Finance: How is the Government’s economic programme supporting stronger economic growth, more jobs and higher incomes?
  3. JACINDA ARDERN to the Minister for Social Development: Do her measures of success for vulnerable children include lowering child poverty, child abuse and child neglect rates; if not, why not?
  4. Dr CAM CALDER to the Minister of Health: What is the Government doing to assist areas that face difficulties recruiting and retaining health professionals?
  5. METIRIA TUREI to the Minister for Social Development: What papers or reports, if any, did her office produce in the last 12 months relating to the measurement of child poverty?
  6. RICHARD PROSSER to the Minister of Conservation: Does he stand by all his statements on the use of 1080 poison by the Department of Conservation?
  7. EUGENIE SAGE to the Minister for the Environment: Why do the Government’s proposals for improving freshwater management allow New Zealand rivers to have higher concentrations of nitrogen pollution than China’s Yangtze River?
  8. COLIN KING to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment: What steps is the Government taking to strengthen the governance of New Zealand universities and wānanga?
  9. CHRIS HIPKINS to the Minister of Education: Is she satisfied that all of the funding allocated to Partnership Schools will be spent on educating students; if not, why not?
  10. JONATHAN YOUNG to the Minister for Communications and Information Technology: What recent reports has she received on the number of end users able to connect to the Government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband and Rural Broadband Initiatives?
  11. Hon TREVOR MALLARD to the Prime Minister: Is the Hon Peter Dunne a suitable person to hold the position answerable in this House for the security of information held by Government in light of him repeatedly declining to deny, in the House yesterday, that he made the draft Kitteridge report available to a Fairfax reporter, and, if so, has he received an assurance from Mr Dunne that he did not make the document available to any reporter?
  12. Dr PAUL HUTCHISON to the Minister of Veterans’ Affairs: What progress is being made in planning for Gallipoli 2015 commemorations?

Questions to Members.

  1. Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Member in charge of Members’ Notice of Motion No 1: Why did he lodge the notice of motion requesting Trade Minister Hon Tim Groser to table any final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement at least 28 days before it is approved by the Cabinet?

Today Labour are asking four questions. Two are on child poverty, one on partnership schools and one on the suitability of Peter Dunne to be a Minister.  The Greens are asking about Child Poverty and nitrogen pollution in New Zealand rivers.  New Zealand First is asking about 1080 pest poison.

Patsy of the day goes to Johnathan Young for Question 10: What recent reports has she received on the number of end users able to connect to the Government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband and Rural Broadband Initiatives?

General Debate 3.00-4.00PM.

A debate of one hour consisting of twelve speeches no more than five minutes in length.

Government Bills 4.00-6.00PM and 7.30PM-10.00

1. Airports (Cost Recovery for Processing of International Travellers Bill) – Third Reading

2. Building (Earthquake-prone buildings) Amendment Bill -  First Reading

3. Victims of Crime Reform Bill - Second Reading

The Airports (Cost Recovery for Processing of International Travellers Bill) is being guided through the house by the Minister of Customs, Maurice Williamson. This bill provides for cost recovery arising from processing of travellers in the aviation security, biosecurity, and customs areas.

The Building (Earthquake-prone buildings) Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for Building and Construction, Maurice Williamson. This bill amends the Building Act 2004 to improve the system for managing earthquake-prone buildings.

The Victims of Crime Reform Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Justice, Judith Collins. This bill amends legislation so as to implement the Government’s reform package for victims of crime.

 

 

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Parliament Today 11 February 2014

February 11th, 2014 at 12:07 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 that “personally I’ve been of the view that transparency is a good thing. As Prime Minister I’ve tried to lead that charge…”?
  2. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements?
  3. Hon KATE WILKINSON to the Minister of Finance: How is the stronger New Zealand economy supporting more jobs and higher incomes?
  4. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment: By how much did wages and salaries increase between December 2008 and December 2013 according to the Labour Cost Index and how does this compare to inflation according to the Consumer Price Index over the same period?
  5. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Does he stand by his statement “I think there’s going to be an expectation, particularly for those people with skills that are in demand, that they will be doing better than zero pay increases”?
  6. MELISSA LEE to the Minister for Social Development: What reports has she received about the number of young people in employment, education or training?
  7. CHRIS HIPKINS to the Minister of Education: Is she satisfied that the establishment of Partnership Schools represents value for money to the taxpayer?
  8. Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Minister for Climate Change Issues: Is his Government’s emissions trading scheme working, given hundreds of thousands of seedlings are being destroyed across the country due to the collapsed carbon price?
  9. Hon PHIL GOFF to the Prime Minister: Did he ask Prime Minister Tony Abbott to take any action against the supermarket ban on New Zealand products and unfair treatment of New Zealanders living in Australia; if so, what did he ask for?
  10. SIMON O’CONNOR to the Minister of Education: What recent announcements has she made on recognising and celebrating the teaching profession?
  11. Hon TREVOR MALLARD to the Minister of Internal Affairs: Further to his answers to supplementary questions to Oral Question No 11 on Thursday 30 January relating to his responsibility for the security of information, does he believe that all his actions as a Minister mean he is an appropriate person to hold the position of Minister of Internal Affairs?
  12. MIKE SABIN to the Minister of Police: What recent announcements has she made on the number of foot patrols undertaken by Police?

Today Labour are asking five questions. These are whether the Prime Minister stands by all his statements, pay increases, partnership schools, the Australian supermarket ban on NZ goods and the suitability of the Minister of internal Affairs to hold the portfolio. New Zealand First is asking the Prime Minister about transparency. The Greens are asking about Wages and the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Patsy of the day goes to Simon O’Connor for Question 10: What recent announcements has she made on recognising and celebrating the teaching profession?

Debate on the Prime Minister’s Statement 3.00PM-4.00PM.

This will probably be debated for one hour. There is 6 Hours and 37 minutes remaining.

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

1. Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill – First Reading

2. Subantarctic Islands Marine Reserves Bill - Third Reading

3. Victims of Crime Reform Bill – Second Reading

The Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill  is being guided through the House by the Associate Minister of Health, Tariana Turia. This bill introduces a plain packaging regime for tobacco products.

The Subantarctic Islands Marine Reserves Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Conservation, Dr Nick Smith. This bill would create three new marine reserves.

The Victims of Crime Reform Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Justice, Judith Collins. This bill amends legislation so as to implement the Government’s reform package for victims of crime.

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Whoops

January 30th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

A spy informs me that Parliament is a bit dry at the moment as Bellamys’ liquor license wasn’t renewed in time, and won’t be renewed until the end of the week.

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Parliament Today January 30

January 30th, 2014 at 12:51 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer.

Questions to Ministers 2.00PM-3.00PM. 

  1. JOHN HAYES to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on the outlook for the economy this year – and particularly for monetary policy and interest rates?
  2. Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Minister for Climate Change Issues: Will the Government be announcing a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for 2030; if so, when?
  3. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Does he agree that asset and income inequality have increased over the past 30 years; if not, why not?
  4. MELISSA LEE to the Minister for Social Development: What recent reports has she received on the progress of the Government’s welfare reforms?
  5. Hon PHIL GOFF to the Minister of Defence: Why did he decide to source new training aircraft for the Royal New Zealand Air Force from Wichita Kansas rather than Hamilton New Zealand despite a 40-year relationship with the New Zealand company, Pacific Aerospace?
  6. COLIN KING to the Minister of Science and Innovation: How is the Government supporting genetics research in the sheep and beef sector?
  7. RICHARD PROSSER to the Minister of Defence: Is he satisfied with all aspects of the Air Force deal to buy 11 American T-6C aircraft; if so, why?
  8. JACINDA ARDERN to the Deputy Prime Minister: Does he agree with the Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty that “The available evidence overwhelmingly supports greater investment in the early years of a child’s life”?
  9. JACQUI DEAN to the Minister of Conservation: What advice has he received about the impacts of pests on our native birds, particularly Kiwi, and how will a beech mast this year affect these birds survival?
  10. DENISE ROCHE to the Minister of Labour: Will he commit to regulating the hours of work in the forestry sector immediately, given there have been 11 worker deaths in the sector in the past 13 months; if not, why not?
  11. Hon TREVOR MALLARD to the Minister of Internal Affairs: Does he stand by all his statements?
  12. LOUISE UPSTON to the Minister of Corrections: What recent updates has she received on the implementation of working prisons?

Today Labour are asking four questions. These are about income inequality, defence procurement, child poverty and whether the Minister of Internal Affairs stands by all his statements. The Greens are asking about greenhouse gas emissions and deaths in the forestry industry.  New Zealand First are asking about defence procurement.

Government Bills 3.00 – 6.00PM

1. Sub Antarctic Marine Reserves Bill – Third Reading

2. Airports (Cost Recovery for Processing of International Travellers) Bill - Third Reading

The Sub Antarctic Marine Reserves Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Conservation, Nick Smith. It will create three new marine reserves in the Sub Antarctic region.

The Airports (Cost Recovery for Processing of International Travellers) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy. This bill provides for cost recovery arising from processing of travellers in the aviation security, biosecurity, and customs areas.

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Parliament Today 29 January 2014

January 29th, 2014 at 11:58 am by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer 2.00PM -3.00PM

Questions to Ministers.

  1. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement in 2011 that “for the average New Zealand child, most of them are doing extremely well”?
  2. PAUL GOLDSMITH to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received indicating that progress in lifting economic growth will create new job opportunities and support higher wages in 2014?
  3. METIRIA TUREI to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement yesterday that “giving the odd kid a lunch. That is not actually going to fix the problem. What will fix the problem is paying $50,000 to a world-class principal to go in and fix up a school that is failing those kids”?
  4. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Minister of Immigration: Does he believe Immigration New Zealand has the required level of resources to uphold the immigration laws of this country?
  5. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Does he stand by his statement that “Government policies have helped to reduce income inequality at the margin”; if not, why not?
  6. Dr CAM CALDER to the Minister of Education: What recent announcements has she made on lifting achievement of children in schools?
  7. JACINDA ARDERN to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that “I want to see every one of our children getting the very best start to life. They deserve nothing less”?
  8. NICKY WAGNER to the Minister responsible for the Earthquake Commission: What progress has been made on the Canterbury Home Repair Programme?
  9. GARETH HUGHES to the Minister of Energy and Resources: Does he agree with the Electricity Authority that households have been paying too little for power in the past and how has this issue been corrected under the current Government?
  10. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Minister of Health: What recent reports has he received on access to elective surgery?
  11. SIMON O’CONNOR to the Minister of Science and Innovation: How is the Government encouraging New Zealand businesses to undertake more research and development?
  12. Dr RAJEN PRASAD to the Minister of Immigration: Is he concerned about the level of illegal job selling taking place according to reports on Campbell Live this week?

Today Labour are asking five questions. These are two questions about child poverty, one about inequality, elective surgery and immigration. The Greens are asking about child poverty and power bills. NZ First is asking about immigration.

Government Bills 3.00 -5.30PM and 7.30PM- 10.00PM

All legislation is delayed until the debate on the Prime Ministers  2014 statement is completed. There is 11 hours and 23 minutes remaining. Speeches are 10 minutes in duration and take the form of either a defence or attack of the Government’s legislative programme.

Maiden Speeches 5.30PM – 6.00PM

Maiden speeches are 15 minutes each. Poto Williams, the new Labour MP for Christchurch East will make her Maiden Statement to the house. Here is a profile of Poto. Joanne Hayes, a new National list MP following the early retirement of Katrina Shanks, will also make her Maiden Statement to the house. I assume if these speeches are allowed to happen today it will be at 5.30PM before the dinner break. Here is a profile of Jo Hayes.

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Parliament should embrace equality for women

January 4th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Parliament’s Speaker, David Carter, has sought a review of Maori protocols at Parliament after two senior women MPs were asked to move from the front row for a welcome ceremony to visitors.

He said he wanted to “modernise” the protocols. “Parliament needs a protocol that is modern and acceptable to a diversified Parliament.”

Parliament’s longest serving woman MP Annette King and her Labour colleague Maryan Street were asked to move from the front bench during a powhiri at the start of the Youth Parliament several months ago.

That prompted the Speaker to begin a process to review protocols that were put in place 15 years ago with the oversight of the Wellington iwi, Te Atiawa.

On a marae, the protocol is set by the host Iwi. They can set whatever rules they want (and of course bear any criticism of those rules). But in Parliament, the rules should be set by Parliament, and they should and must embrace equality. It is offensive to women MPs to be told during Youth Parliament they can not sit on the front bench during the powhiri.

Ms King and Ms Street came in late and when they sat on the front row alongside the Speaker, they were asked to shift by Kura Moeahu, who assists Parliament’s kaumatua, Rose White-Tahuparae.

“They were asked to move and I thought that was embarrassing to them,” Mr Carter told the Herald.

He had had feedback from other MPs.

“I have initiated the discussions with Te Atiawa and I haven’t had feedback from those discussions. But the matter won’t rest. I intend to follow it up in the New Year. I want Te Atiawa to talk to other iwi so that we can modernise protocol but do it in a way that respects Maori tradition,” Mr Carter said.

It sounds like the Speaker is determined to get change, which is excellent.

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From parliamentary staff to Parliament

December 12th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Adam Bennett at NZ Herald reports:

Should recently selected party insider Chris McKenzie retain co-leader Tariana Turia’s Te Tai Hauauru seat for the Maori Party next year, he will become the latest in an increasingly long line of those who have made the leap from political employee to MP.

Phil Goff, former employer of a handful of present MPs, says a stint working in Parliament is the perfect training ground for those with ambitions of changing society for the better through politics. But former Act MP Stephen Franks says the increasingly well worn path from the Beehive’s back offices to a seat in the House is symptomatic of the worrying rise of a self-interested political class.

They are both right.

Goff is correct that being a staffer in Parliament is good training for being an MP. You can come into the job knowing how Government works, how oral and written questions work, using the OIA, standing orders, parliamentary debates and the like.

But Franks is also right that there is a growing trend of a political elite – in Australia also, where a growing proportion of MPs come through the party machine, and have not done much in their lives except work in politics.

So my advice is that it is great to have some parliamentary experience if you are a prospective MP, but before you stand make sure you go out and do some other stuff. Work in the private sector. Set up a business. Become a teacher. Raise a family.

If you are a New Zealand MP, there’s a one in 10 chance you worked for your party in Parliament before getting elected. And if you are one of those 12 current MPs who has worked in Parliament before, there’s a better than one in three chance you worked for Phil Goff.

The crop of Goff office graduates in Parliament comprises Labour’s David Shearer, Kris Faafoi, Jacinda Ardern, Moana Mackey and National list MP Paul Goldsmith. “Five disciples and a renegade”, jokes Mr Goff. “Maybe they thought if this guy can do it, anybody can do it.”

Goff has been there so long, I’m surprised more haven’t worked for him :-)

But Mr Franks said the number of MPs who’ve come from the ranks of party employees parallels the emergence of a “political class”, a group of people “who’ve never done anything else with their lives”.

He is worried such people have achieved little “other than worming their way around political process and therefore will be judged on politics as if it’s a game”.

“It’s an insider class. They tend to be a bit contemptuous of outsiders, they tend to share more with their opponents who have a similar background than those they purport to represent. There’s an absence of deep conviction and there’s no external track record on which to judge them. All we know is whether they’re good at the game which is basically the game of greasing.”

As I said, it is when they have not done anything else with their lives that I worry.

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Parliament Today 10 December 2013

December 10th, 2013 at 1:39 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer

Questions to Ministers 2.00PM – 3.00PM.

  1. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister for Social Development:Will she set specific targets for reducing child poverty; if so, what child poverty measures will she use?
  2. DAVID BENNETT to the Minister of Finance: What progress has the Government made with its economic programme in 2013?
  3. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: How has the Government’s asset sale programme increased the confidence of “mum and dad investors” in capital markets and improved the standard of living for New Zealanders?
  4. Dr JIAN YANG to the Minister for Economic Development:What reports has he received on progress in the manufacturing sector?
  5. JACINDA ARDERN to the Minister for Social Development:Does she stand by her statement that “I do not think that anyone denies that there are children living in this country at a standard that we do not find acceptable”; if so, what specific targets, if any, will she set in light of the Child Poverty Monitor released on Monday?
  6. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Associate Minister of Māori Affairs: Does he stand by all of his statements?
  7. PAUL FOSTER-BELL to the Associate Minister of Health: What recent announcements has he received regarding newly listed medicines?
  8. JULIE ANNE GENTER to the Minister of Trade: Will he release the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement before it is approved by the Cabinet; if not, why not?
  9. TE URUROA FLAVELL to the Deputy Prime Minister: Does he agree with the Children’s Commissioner that “Setting targets, like we do with the road toll and with NCEA, if we had that kind of commitment, that legislation and plan, then we’d see a year-on-year fall”; if so, is he prepared to instruct the Ministerial Committee on Poverty to introduce the four child poverty measures released in the Child Poverty Monitor?
  10. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Minister of Health: What recent reports has he received on the affordability of health care for New Zealanders?
  11. CLAUDETTE HAUITI to the Minister for the Environment: What recent reports has she received on the progress of the TV Takeback scheme?
  12. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Housing: Does he believe he is doing a good job of tackling housing demand for those most in need?

Today Labour are asking about asset sales, child poverty, healthcare affordability and housing demand. The Greens are asking about child poverty and the trans-pacific partnership agreement.  New Zealand First is asking whether the Minister of Maori Affairs stands by all his statements.

Patsy question of the day goes to Claudette Hauiti for Question 11: What recent reports has she received on the progress of the TV Takeback scheme?

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

1. Appropriation (2012/13 Financial Review) Bill – Second Reading

2. Subordinate Legislation (Confirmation and Validation) Bill (No 2) – Second and Third Reading.

3. Taxation (Annual Rates, Employee Allowances, and Remedial  Matters) Bill- First Reading

The Appropriation (2012/13 Financial Review) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Finance, Bill English. The purpose of this bill is to confirm and validate financial matters relating to the 2012/13 financial year.

The Subordinate Legislation (Confirmation and Validation) Bill (No 2) is being guided through the house by the Leader of the House, Gerry Brownlee.  This bill seeks to validate certain subordinate legislation that would otherwise lapse.

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

 

 

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Parliament – 4th December 2013

December 4th, 2013 at 12:50 pm by Scott Miller
 Questions for Oral Answer – 2pm to 3pm
  1. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in the stability of his Government?
  2. KANWALJIT SINGH BAKSHI to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on progress in lifting New Zealand’s export performance and reducing its reliance on borrowing from overseas lenders?
  3. HONE HARAWIRA to the Minister of Education: What responsibility does she accept for the New Zealand results as identified in the OECD’s PISA report released yesterday, which shows New Zealand’s test scores in maths, reading and science have all deteriorated under her watch, and that New Zealand’s education system has failed to keep pace with the educational achievements of other countries, also under her watch?
  4. Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE to the Minister of Finance: Why has he revised the estimated proceeds from asset sales down to a minimum of $4.6 billion?
  5. SIMON O’CONNOR to the Minister of Science and Innovation:What steps is the Government taking to improve the understanding, skills and adoption of science and technology in New Zealand society?
  6. Dr PAUL HUTCHISON to the Minister of Health: What improvements in health services are shown in the latest health targets results?
  7. Hon PHIL HEATLEY to the Associate Minister of Social Development: How is the enhanced information sharing between the Ministry of Social Development and Inland Revenue delivering on the Government’s promise to crack down on welfare fraud?
  8. CHRIS HIPKINS to the Minister of Education: Is she satisfied that the Government’s educational priorities are leading to an improvement in student achievement; if so, why?
  9. JACQUI DEAN to the Minister of Defence: How have recent New Zealand Defence Force exercises contributed toward the Government’s goal of developing a Joint Amphibious Task Force?
  10. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister of Finance: Has he been advised whether the Prime Minister stands by his statement on asset sales that “mixed ownership will free up $5 billion to $7 billion”?
  11. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Minister of Education: Is she satisfied with her own performance as Minister of Education; if not, why not?
  12. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Housing: Does he stand by all his statements?
Patsy question of the day
Today’s patsy of the day question of the day goes to question 6 from Dr Paul Hutchison to the Minister of Health asking about improvements to health targets.
General Debate – 3pm to 4pm
This debate is made up of 12 rounds of  5 minutes speeches on any general topic members wish to speak on
Private and local orders of the day  – 4pm to 6pm

This bill is designed to correct irregularities in the setting and assessing of rates in the Kaipara District Council area between 2006/07 to 2011/12 as a result of the Kaipara District Council using a one-off targeted rate on residents to pay for the Mangawhai Community Wastewater Scheme. In addition, this bill seeeks to vaildate the 2010/11 annual report, 2009-2019 & 2012-2022 long term plans in regards to the one off targeted rate to help fund the Mangawhai Community Wastewater Scheme.

For more bankground to how this bill has become a major issue for the area, please feel free to visit this link

Kaipara rates revolt – Rodney Times

2) Tasman District Council (Validation and Recovery of Certain Rates) Bill - Hon Damien O’ Connor – Second Reading

This bill is designed to claifiy rating issues in the Tasman District during the years 2003-2004 and 2008-2009 in which they failed to apply section 23 of the Local Government Act 2002 correctly when setting rates in the region, especially in the areas of  Tata Beach and Ligar Bay in Golden Bay who have challenged the Tasman District Council over stormwater charges billed to them during these years.

For some background reading to the bill and the reasons why it has been created feel free to read these stories from the Nelson Mail

http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/7731601/Council-seeks-bill-to-fix-rating-mistake
http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/7783535/Residents-meet-MP-over-new-bill

Members’ orders of the day – 7.30pm to 10pm

1) Electronic Transactions (Contract Formation) Amendment Bill - Paul Goldsmith – Second Reading

The primary purpose of this bill is to amend the  Electronic Transactions Act 2002 to clarify when a contract is formed upon being accepted and communicated electronically between groups.  This bill adapts an already accpeted rule  found in common law from the Adams v Lindsell case which finds that a contract is accepted upon posting back a signed contract to a group, to include electronic communications of contracts.

2) Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment Bill - Hone Harawira – First Reading

The purpose of this bill is to provide state funded Breakfast and Lunch programmes to all decile 1 and 2 schools in New Zealand by amending the Education Act 1989 to allow for state funding of this programme. This bill is orignally designed as a result of the Child Poverty Action Groups 2011 report entitled – Hunger for learning, which called for action to be taken in regards to poverty in New Zealand.

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Will 3.2 close?

December 4th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

In its heyday, Parliament’s Pickwicks bar was cheek to jowl with patrons including some of the country’s most influential politicians, journalists and lobbyists. These days it can barely pull $200 a day.

The sorry state of the third floor Beehive bar, known by workers as 3.2, was revealed in a survey of staff which asked whether it was time for for Pickwicks to pull its last pint.

It has been under threat of closure since a survey of catering services at Parliament earlier this year.

Most staff were in favour of keeping it open – but a surprising 40 per cent of staff were happy to see it close.

It is no longer the vibrant place it was. In the 1990s a couple of dozen staff at least would drop into it almost every night just before 6 pm to watch the news, have a drink or two, chat about the day, and then head back to work. Occasionally they may turn into all nighters.

My major achievement was getting the management to place a second TV in there, so we could watch both the TV1 and TV3 news.

Former patron, Carterton Mayor and former NZ First MP Ron Mark, said the writing was on the wall after the introduction of smoke free bars in 2004 forced the smokers among the MPs and journalists to go elsewhere.

Parliament was the worse for the loss of that regular contact between journalists and MPs over a beer, Mark said.

It gave both a chance to understand each others perspective.

”There was an old rule that what happened and what was said in 3.2 stayed in 3.2.”

That is indeed the rule.

Former TVNZ boss Bill Ralston, who worked as a parliamentary reporter in the 1980s and 1990s, said the bar used to thrive.

”It was one of those places certainly during the term of the Lange Labour government and the early years of Bolger and the late years of Muldoon, [where it was] a huge advantage for journalists to be actually to reach out and sit down and talk with the key politicians of the day.”

Pickwicks provided a more relaxed social setting where people from all parts of the political process could meet.

Media and MPs had less contact today and the relationship was more formal.

”It made Parliament a little, kind of gentler I suppose in some ways. Simply because you were going to be confronted by these people, should you go to that bar you would run a chance of meeting them. Whereas I suppose these days you can sit in the Gallery, write a story and go home and never actually see the politician that you might have described from the House or in any form of commentary.”

It will be sad if it closes, but if not enough people use it, then it shouldn’t be subsidised.

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Parliament Today 21 November 2013

November 21st, 2013 at 12:53 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 reports has he received on the economy – and especially on further signs of economic momentum in the regions and among manufacturers?
  2. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister of Finance: How much did the Government’s share sales in Mighty River Power, Meridian, and Air New Zealand raise, given that the Supplement to the 2010 Investment Statement of the Government of New Zealand projected that those sales would raise $5.18 billion?
  3. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister for ACC: How much did ACC invest in Pike River Coal Limited and in New Zealand Oil and Gas Limited over the last eight years, and how much has it made or lost in total on its investment in each company, taking into account share purchases, subscriptions and sales, dividends, and current share prices?
  4. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Minister of Māori Affairs:Does he stand by his statement “I know Māori want to talk about the place of the Treaty of Waitangi in our constitution, and how our legal and political systems can reflect tikanga Māori.”; if so, why?
  5. Hon SHANE JONES to the Associate Minister of Finance: Is he satisfied with his performance in regard to his delegations as Associate Minister of Finance?
  6. JONATHAN YOUNG to the Minister for Building and Construction: What reports has he received regarding the state of the building and construction sector?
  7. GARETH HUGHES to the Minister for the Environment: Did the Environmental Protection Authority assess the full version of Anadarko’s Discharge Management Plan and Emergency Response Plan as part of its evaluation of the company’s Environmental Impact Assessment for the Deepwater Taranaki Well; if not, why not?
  8. Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE to the Minister of Finance: When, if at all, did Cabinet approve the timing of the Air New Zealand sell-down and what directions did Cabinet give the shareholding Ministers?
  9. NICKY WAGNER to the Minister of Housing: What steps is the Government taking to rebuild Christchurch’s housing stock damaged or destroyed by the earthquakes?
  10. Hon DAMIEN O’CONNOR to the Minister for Primary Industries: Does he stand by his statement “The opportunity, and challenge, for our meat producers now is to add value to different cuts of meat and continue to sell the New Zealand story”; if so, why?
  11. IAN McKELVIE to the Minister of Local Government: How is the Government improving councils’ financial reporting?
  12. DARIEN FENTON to the Minister of Labour: Does he stand by his statement that “I am especially keen to hear what affected parties have to say on the Part 6A proposals in the Bill, and will carefully consider their submissions and the recommendations of the select committee”?

Labour is today asking five questions. These are about the investments of ACC, performance of Associate Ministers of Finance, the Air New Zealand share sale, adding value to meat exports and proposed Labour law changes.

Patsy question of the day goes to Nicky Wagner for Question 9: What steps is the Government taking to rebuild Christchurch’s housing stock damaged or destroyed by the earthquakes?

Government Bills 3.00PM – 6.00PM and 7.30PM – 10.00PM (The House is sitting under urgency)

1. Statutes Amendment Bill – Committee Stage

2. Unit Titles Amendment Bill – Committee Stage

3. Medicines Amendment Bill - Committee Stage

4. Immigration Amendment Bill (No 2) – First Reading

The Statutes Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Courts, Chester Borrows. This is an omnibus bill proposing amendments of a technical nature to 30 Acts.

The Unit Titles Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Courts, Chester Borrows. The provisions of this bill were divided out from the Statutes Amendment Bill (Formerly part of Statutes Amendment Bill).

The Medicines Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Associate Minister of Health, Todd McClay. This bill amends the Medicines Act 1981 to address some problematic provisions affecting the approval and prescription of medicines and medical devices.

The Immigration Amendment Bill (No 2) is being guided through the house by the Minister of Immigration, Michael Woodhouse. The Bill will ensure that New Zealand’s immigration system is robust, supports the security of the borders, and the integrity of the immigration system.

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Parliament Today 20 November 2013

November 20th, 2013 at 12:53 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer

Questions to Minister 2.00PM – 3.00PM 

  1. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements?
  2. Hon Dr PITA SHARPLES to the Minister of Labour: What is he doing to improve industry standards and to resource safety inspectors appropriately in order to respond to analysis from the Chief Coroner that the forestry sector has the nation’s highest rate of workplace injury deaths?
  3. SIMON O’CONNOR to the Minister of Finance: What recent announcements has the Government made on the next steps in its share offer programme, which is freeing up money to invest in new public assets without having to borrow from overseas lenders?
  4. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Minister of Health: Does he stand by all his answers to Oral Question No. 9 yesterday?
  5. Dr JIAN YANG to the Minister for Economic Development:How is the Government’s Business Growth Agenda helping to strengthen the New Zealand economy?
  6. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in the Minister of Immigration; if so, why?
  7. CHRIS HIPKINS to the Minister of Education: How much of the over $1 billion announced for refurbishing Christchurch schools last week will come from money the schools were already due to receive in the form of regular property funding, leaky buildings remediation, and insurance payouts?
  8. LOUISE UPSTON to the Minister of Corrections: What recent updates has she received on the use of GPS technology to monitor offenders?
  9. GARETH HUGHES to the Minister of Energy and Resources: Does he stand by the Prime Minister’s statement to the New Zealand petroleum industry annual conference that “This Government is very clear, we won’t let cowboys operate here in New Zealand”?
  10. MIKE SABIN to the Minister of Housing: What international reports has he received on how housing affordability can be improved and what lessons can New Zealand learn from these experiences?
  11. DAVID SHEARER to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: Does he agree with the Prime Minister’s statement with regard to his conversation with the British Prime Minister the Rt Hon David Cameron, about Sri Lanka, that: “I just sort of said to him ‘where do you think it’s all going?’ I mean, like us, I mean I think everybody is now really focused on what’s the next steps going forward”?
  12. Hon PETER DUNNE to the Associate Minister of Health: Does the Government support the fluoridation of water supplies?

Today Labour are asking four questions. These are about whether the Prime Minister stands by all his statements, waiting lists at hospitals, funding for Christchurch schools, and relations with Sri Lanka. The Greens are asking about oil drilling. New Zealand First is asking about Immigration.

Patsy question of the day goes to Louise Upston for Question 8: What recent updates has she received on the use of GPS technology to monitor offenders?

Government Bills 3.00PM-6.00PM and 7.30PM-12.00AM. (The House is sitting under Urgency)

1. Game Animal Council Bill - Second Reading

2. Māori Television Service (Te Aratuku Whakaata Irirangi Māori) Amendment Bill - Second Reading

3. Building Amendment Bill (No 4) - Committee Stage

4.Financial Reporting Bill - Committee Stage

5. Reserve Bank of New Zealand (Covered Bonds) Amendment Bill  - Committee Stage

The Game Animal Council Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for Conservation, Dr Nick Smith. This bill establishes the Game Hunting Council as part of a national wild game management strategy.

The Māori Television Service (Te Aratuku Whakaata Irirangi Māori) Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for Maori Affairs, Dr Pita Sharples. This bill amends the Māori Television Service (Te Aratuku Whakaata Irirangi Māori) Act 2003 following the report of a review panel comprising the Minister of Maori Affairs, the Minister of Finance, and the chairperson of Te Putahi Paoho.

The Building Amendment Bill (No 4) is being guided through the house by the Minister for Building and Construction, Maurice Williamson. This bill implements policy decisions of the Building Act Review to provide incentives for building professionals and trades people to take responsibility for their work and to stand behind it.

The Financial Reporting Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Commerce, Craig Foss. The purpose of the bill is to improve the financial reporting system by making general-purpose financial reporting consistent with the primary objective of the financial reporting system, which is to provide information to external users who have a need for an entity’s financial statements but are unable to demand them.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (Covered Bonds) Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Finance, Bill English. This bill seeks to establish a legislative framework for covered bonds.

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Parliament Today 19 November 2013

November 19th, 2013 at 12:10 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer.

Questions to Ministers 2.00PM – 3.00PM

  1. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister of Finance: Why has he announced that the Government plans to end its asset sales programme given that he claims it has been a success?
  2. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Attorney-General: Has he been advised whether the Prime Minister stands by his statement that “the Government believes there is no cause of action” to help contribute to the compensation for the Pike River families?
  3. TIM MACINDOE to the Minister of Finance: What progress is the Government making in building a more competitive and productive economy that supports more jobs and higher incomes for New Zealanders?
  4. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements?
  5. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Minister of Immigration: What concerns, if any, does he have regarding the operation of Immigration New Zealand?
  6. NICKY WAGNER to the Minister of Education: What recent announcement has she made on the single largest investment in education infrastructure in Christchurch?
  7. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Was he advised prior to signing the Reserve Bank Memorandum of Understanding that LVR restrictions would disproportionally affect first-home buyers and that regional exemptions would not apply?
  8. GARETH HUGHES to the Minister of Energy and Resources: Does he stand by the Prime Minister’s statement that, “the reality is that there’s been 50,000 wells drilled in the Gulf of Mexico since the 1960s and they’ve had a problem with one of them.”?
  9. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Minister of Health: How many patients in the year to June 2013, who have been assessed as needing an operation, but are unable to receive it within 5 months, have been told they will not be receiving an operation at this time?
  10. JACQUI DEAN to the Minister for the Environment: What recent announcements has she made to protect wild and scenic New Zealand rivers?
  11. MOANA MACKEY to the Minister for the Environment: Does she stand by all her statements?
  12. Hon TAU HENARE to the Minister of Veterans’ Affairs: What progress has been made in planning for Anzac Day at Gallipoli in 2015?

Today Labour are asking five questions. These are about Pike River compensation, whether the Prime Minister stands by all his statements, LVR restrictions, surgery waiting lists and whether the Minister for the Environment stands by all her statements. The Greens are asking two questions about asset sales, and oil drilling. New Zealand First is asking one question about immigration.

Patsy question of the day goes to Jacqui Dean for Question 10: What recent announcements has she made to protect wild and scenic New Zealand rivers?

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

1. Social Housing Reform (Housing Restructuring and Tenancy Matters Amendment) Bill - Committee Stage

2. Game Animal Council Bill - Second Reading

3. Māori Television Service (Te Aratuku Whakaata Irirangi Māori) Amendment Bill - Second Reading

4. Building Amendment Bill (No 4) - Committee Stage

The Social Housing Reform (Housing Restructuring and Tenancy Matters Amendment) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Housing, Dr Nick Smith. This bill provides a framework for the future provision of social housing.

The Game Animal Council Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for Conservation, Dr Nick Smith. This bill establishes the Game Hunting Council as part of a national wild game management strategy.

The Māori Television Service (Te Aratuku Whakaata Irirangi Māori) Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for Maori Affairs, Dr Pita Sharples. This bill amends the Māori Television Service (Te Aratuku Whakaata Irirangi Māori) Act 2003 following the report of a review panel comprising the Minister of Maori Affairs, the Minister of Finance, and the chairperson of Te Putahi Paoho.

The Building Amendment Bill (No 4) is being guided through the house by the Minister for Building and Construction, Maurice Williamson. This bill implements policy decisions of the Building Act Review to provide incentives for building professionals and trades people to take responsibility for their work and to stand behind it.

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A parliamentary response

November 14th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

MPs have the absolute protection of parliamentary privilege for what they say in the House. Some years ago a standing order was adopted which allowed those who feel they were effectively defamed by an MP, to submit a response to the Speaker, which is tabled in Parliament if accepted by the Speaker.

Paoro Maxwell has done this, and his response is below:

On Wednesday, 4 September and Thursday, 5 September 2013, Clare Curran, MP for Dunedin South, referred to me by name or by implication during questions for oral answer. Ms Curran’s statements infer that there was something to hide about my leaving my previous position at Television New Zealand; she stated that I “left without a reference and under a cloud of financial and staff mismanagement”. She also stated that I was only shortlisted for the position of Chief Executive of Māori Television as a result of improper influence by the Māori Television Board Chairperson. Ms Curran also alleged that my
production company, Aratai Film and Television Productions Limited, owes money to the Māori Broadcasting Funding Agency, Te Māngai Pāho.

Ms Curran’s comments about both my production company and me are untrue and have damaged my professional reputation both presently and in the future. The statements made in the House could well have adversely affected both my application for the Chief Executive position at Māori Television, and also if I choose to apply for any job in the public sector in the future. For the record, my primary reason for leaving Television New Zealand was that I was satisfied with what I had achieved during my tenure as the General Manager of Māori and Pacific Programmes, and I was also confident that the Māori and Pacific department would be retained in the future and remain under the auspices of Television New Zealand. I left with a reference from the Head of News and Current Affairs at Television New Zealand. Additionally, I reject the suggestion that the Chairperson of Māori Television would have acted inappropriately in dealing with the shortlisting process. More likely the reason for my shortlisting was that I have twenty-six years of experience in the television industry, having served in various senior roles, and am one of a handful of people with the senior management experience to fill the role of Chief  Executive of Māori Television. Ms Curran’s statement in relation to Te Māngai Pāho is also untrue as Te Māngai Pāho has confirmed that I have no current debt to it.

Will we see an apology?

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Parliament Today 14 November 2013

November 14th, 2013 at 1:10 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer.

Questions to Ministers 2.00 – 3.00 PM.

  1. SIMON O’CONNOR to the Minister of Finance: How is the Government’s Better Public Services programme contributing to a stronger economy?
  2. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Can he rule out the partial sale of Air New Zealand proceeding prior to 30 November 2013?
  3. NICKY WAGNER to the Minister of Education: What recent announcements has she made on repairing, rebuilding and renewing schools in Christchurch?
  4. MOANA MACKEY to the Minister of Transport: Does he stand by all his statements?
  5. PAUL FOSTER-BELL to the Minister of Housing: What initiatives has the Government recently taken to assist first home buyers and ensure more lower cost homes are being built?
  6. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in all his Ministers?
  7. Hon SHANE JONES to the Minister for Building and Construction: Does he agree with IPENZ Chief Executive, Andrew Cleland, that the Government needs to give the Institute greater powers to hold their own to account?
  8. KANWALJIT SINGH BAKSHI to the Minister of Revenue: Why is the Government seeking feedback on the financial reporting requirements that apply to most New Zealand companies?
  9. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Housing: What advice, if any, has he received on public support for measures designed to reduce demand in the housing market?
  10. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Minister of Trade: Why is he not prepared to release the text of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement?
  11. MIKE SABIN to the Minister for Primary Industries: What announcements has he made on boosting growth in the Northland region?
  12. JULIE ANNE GENTER to the Minister of Transport: Does he stand by his statement that “I think climate change is something that has happened always, so to simply come up and say it’s man-made is an interesting prospect”; and how does that view affect his decisions on transport investment?

Today Labour are asking four questions. These are about the potential for a partial sale of Air New Zealand, whether the Minsiter of Transport stands by all his statements, holding Engineers to account, and measures to reduce demand in the housing market. The Greens are asking whether the Prime Minister has confidence in all his ministers and climate change. New Zealand First is asking about the text of the proposed TPP.

Patsy question of the day goes to Paul Foster-Bell for Question 5: What initiatives has the Government recently taken to assist first home buyers and ensure more lower cost homes are being built?

Government Bills 3.00PM – 6.00PM.

1. Members of Parliament (Remuneration and Services) Bill - Third Reading

2. Pike River Implementation Bill (Now in three parts, 1, 2, 3) -

This bill is being guided through the house by the Prime Minister, John Key. This bill seeks to establish a new framework for setting entitlements for members of Parliament and the Executive.

This bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Labour, Simon Bridges. This bill seeks to implement the findings of the Royal Commission on the Pike River tragedy.

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Using a tragedy for political point scoring

November 13th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

When a natural disaster strikes another country, the House normally grants leave for (mainly) party leaders to express condolences to the country concerned. Yesterday John Key asked for leave in relation to the typhoon in the Philippines. It was granted and both Key and Cunliffe gave excellent short speeches expressing condolences and solidarity.

Then Russel Norman got up and decided that he knew what had caused the typhoon – greenhouse gas emissions, and subjected to the House to a lengthy diatribe about climate change. He spoke for probably twice as long as the Prime Minister and leader of the Opposition combined, and just used a tragedy for political point scoring. MPs got very very grumpy about this, and the Speaker had to intervene to calm things down.

There is a time and a place to debate climate change. It is not during the condolences to a country struck by a typhoon. Norman showed appalling judgement in politicizing what is by convention a non-political series of speeches. Have a look at the Hansard at the link provided. Key, Cunliffe, Martin and Horan all made short non-political contributions. Then read the lengthy diatribe by Norman.

It takes only one MP in the House to deny leave. If Dr Norman continues to use such occasions to grand-stand on climate change, then there is a significant risk than the next the Prime Minister asks the House for leave to express condolences on a tragedy, an MP will say no.

As for Dr Norman claiming the typhoon was caused by climate change. I quote Brendan O’Neill at the Telegraph:

There are two striking things about this nauseously speedy rush to blame every natural disaster on man’s thoughtlessness or wickedness. The first is how unscientific it is. As some scientists have pointed out, there is no “absolute certainty” that climate change causes things like Haiyan. Indeed, the latest IPCC report says: “Current datasets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century.” The ugly urge to say “that storm was caused by climate change”, even before serious studies have been carried out, even before the bodies have been counted, is fuelled by the weirdly self-flagellating moralism of the Green movement, by Greens’ never-flailing instinct to “prove” that modern life kills, rather than by any cool-headed assessment of the facts.

Very true.

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Parliament Today 12 November 2013

November 12th, 2013 at 1:18 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer.

Questions to Ministers 2.00PM – 3.00PM.

  1. MAGGIE BARRY to the Minister of Finance: What do official statistics show about progress in the Government’s goal of supporting new jobs and higher incomes for New Zealanders?
  2. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement yesterday that the compensation awarded to the Pike River families “should be serviced by the company, not by the Crown”?
  3. KATRINA SHANKS to the Minister of Justice: What steps is the Government taking to support victims of sexual violence?
  4. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Will the Government tax realised capital gains on investment property; if not, why not?
  5. JAN LOGIE to the Prime Minister: Will he oppose Sri Lanka chairing the Commonwealth following the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Sri Lanka, as called for by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative?
  6. NICKY WAGNER to the Minister of Conservation: What steps is the Government taking to improve the conservation of New Zealand’s 113 species of shark?
  7. ANDREW LITTLE to the Minister of Justice: Does she stand by all her answers to Oral Question No. 9 on Tuesday and Oral Question No. 8 on Wednesday last week?
  8. RICHARD PROSSER to the Minister for Primary Industries: What concerns, if any, does he have regarding government policy for the dairy industry in New Zealand?
  9. Dr PAUL HUTCHISON to the Associate Minister of Health: What actions has the Government taken to ensure compliance with the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013?
  10. EUGENIE SAGE to the Minister for the Environment: Will her proposed changes to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management ensure our rivers and lakes are safe for swimming?
  11. SUE MORONEY to the Minister for Social Development: Does she agree with the statement made by her spokeswoman with regard to Work and Income requirements for the disability allowance that “There’s no reason anyone would be repeatedly asked to prove a congenital condition and we have no information about any cases where that has happened”?
  12. MARK MITCHELL to the Minister of Commerce: What progress has the Government made on the introduction of new KiwiSaver periodic disclosure rules?

Today Labour are asking about Pike River compensation, Capital Gains Tax, the Roastbusters, and the disability allowance. The Greens are asking about whether CHOGM should be held in Sri Lanka and management of Freshwater. New Zealand First is asking about the dairy industry.

Government MPs are today asking five patsies. These are about the economy, supporting victims of sexual violence, conservation of shark species, compliance with the Psyschoactive Substances Act 2013 and the new periodic Kiwisaver disclosure regime.

Patsy of the day goes to Nicky Wagner for Question 6:  What steps is the Government taking to improve the conservation of New Zealand’s 113 species of shark?

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

1. New Zealand International Convention Centre Bill – Third Reading

2. Members of Parliament (Remuneration and Services) Bill – Committee Stage

3. Health and Safety (Pike River Implementation) Bill – Committee Stage

4. Social Housing Reform (Housing Restructuring and Tenancy Matters Amendment) Bill - Committee Stage

5. Insolvency Practitioners Bill - Committee Stage

The  New Zealand International Convention Centre Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for Economic Development, Steven Joyce.The purpose of the Bill is to give effect to an agreement between SkyCity Entertainment Group Limited and the Crown called the New Zealand International Convention Centre Project and Licensing Agreement.

The Members of Parliament (Remuneration and Services) Bill is being guided through the house by the Prime Minister, John Key. This bill seeks to establish a new framework for setting entitlements for members of Parliament and the Executive.

The  Health and Safety (Pike River Implementation) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Labour, Simon Bridges. This bill proposes legislative changes to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy.

The Social Housing Reform (Housing Restructuring and Tenancy Matters Amendment) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Housing, Nick Smith. This bill provides a framework for the future provision of social housing.

The Insolvency Practitioners Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Commerce, Craig Foss. This bill creates powers to restrict or prohibit individuals from providing insolvency services, and strengthens measures to automatically disqualify insolvency practitioners.

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