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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Parliament Today 7 November 2013

November 7th, 2013 at 12:25 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer.

Questions to Ministers 2.00 PM – 3.00 PM.

  1. DENIS O’ROURKE to the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery: Is he satisfied with progress on all aspects of the Canterbury earthquake recovery?
  2. JACINDA ARDERN to the Minister of Police: Does she have confidence in the Police investigation of alleged sexual violation against young women and underage girls in West Auckland?
  3. PAUL GOLDSMITH to the Minister of Finance: What progress has the National-led Government made in building a more productive and competitive economy capable of supporting more jobs and higher incomes for New Zealanders?
  4. METIRIA TUREI to the Minister of Police: When was she first advised that Police had received a complaint from a girl who alleged she had been raped by members of a group calling themselves the Roast Busters?
  5. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister for Communications and Information Technology: Will the Government enforce its broadband contract with Chorus?
  6. CLAUDETTE HAUITI to the Minister for the Environment: What announcements has the Government made in relation to the national policy statement for freshwater?
  7. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Housing: What reports has he received on the effect of loan-to-value restrictions on the housing market?
  8. Hon PHIL HEATLEY to the Minister for Social Development: What reports has she received about the number of people receiving benefits?
  9. CAROL BEAUMONT to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment: How does women’s participation rate of 1 percent in building and construction industry training assist with the Christchurch rebuild?
  10. Dr CAM CALDER to the Minister of Education: What recent announcements has she made to strengthen the status of the teaching profession?
  11. EUGENIE SAGE to the Associate Minister of Health: Does she agree with the Canterbury Medical Officer of Health that increasing nitrate levels in Canterbury groundwater are a health risk, particularly for pregnant women and babies; if not, why not?
  12. HONE HARAWIRA to the Minister of Finance: What is his budget plan, if any, to immediately address growing poverty in New Zealand, which has got so bad that charitable organisations have today said they are expecting an influx of more than 40,000 struggling families for Christmas dinner because they can’t afford to put food on the table?

Today Labour are asking four questions.  Labour are asking about the Roastbusters affair, the governments broadband contract with Chorus, loan-to-value lending ratios, and the participation of women in the Canterbury rebuild. The Greens are also asking about the Roastbusters affair and Canterbury groundwater. New Zealand first is asking about the Canterbury rebuild. Mana is asking about poverty.

Patsy of the day goes to Cam Calder for Question 10: What recent announcements has she made to strengthen the status of the teaching profession?

Government Bills 3.00 PM – 6.00 PM

1. New Zealand International Convention Centre Bill – Committee Stage

2. Social Housing Reform (Housing Restructuring and Tenancy Matters Amendment) Bill -

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

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Parliament Today 6 November 2013

November 6th, 2013 at 1:05 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer

Questions to Ministers 2.00PM – 3.00PM

  1. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Does he stand by his statement that a publicly-owned insurer is a “dumb idea”?
  2. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements regarding Government policy?
  3. Hon TAU HENARE to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on the economy – and especially on further signs of improving economic momentum and increasing business and consumer confidence?
  4. Hon SHANE JONES to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in his Ministers?
  5. Hon PETER DUNNE to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: What advice has he received on the call from Amnesty International opposing the appointment of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Chair of the Commonwealth for the next two years, and host of next week’s Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting?
  6. Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE to the Minister responsible for the Earthquake Commission: Does he still believe that New Zealanders can have confidence in EQC?
  7. MARK MITCHELL to the Minister of Commerce: What steps is the Government taking to introduce more competition into the housing construction market?
  8. JAN LOGIE to the Minister of Justice: When she said, in response to whether the pre-trial and trial process precludes some sexual violence victims from complaining “quite clearly, it does not”; did she mean that few sexual violence victims are deterred from complaining by the process itself?
  9. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in the Minister for State Owned Enterprises?
  10. JACQUI DEAN to the Minister of Corrections: What recent announcements has she made on the redevelopment of prison facilities?
  11. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Housing: Does he stand by his statement that the housing situation in Christchurch is “a challenge, not a crisis”?
  12. CHRIS AUCHINVOLE to the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage: How does the Government intend to mark the centenary of the First World War?

Today Labour are asking four questions. These are about a potential public insurer (KiwiAssure), whether the Prime Minister has confidence in all his Ministers, confidence in EQC and Housing supply. The Greens are asking about whether the Prime Ministers stands by his statements on policy, and trial procedures for victims of sexual violence. New Zealand First is asking whether the Prime Minister has confidence in the Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Tony Ryall.

Patsy question of the day goes to Jacqui Dean for Question 8: What recent announcements has she made on the redevelopment of prison facilities?

General Debate 3.00PM – 4.00PM

A debate of twelve speeches of no more than five minutes each. Quite good usually.

Government Bills 4.ooPM – 6.00PM and 7.30PM – 10.00PM

1. New Zealand International Convention Centre Bill -Committee Stage

2. Health and Safety (Pike River Implementation) Bill -Committee Stage

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

4. Insolvency Practitioners Bill – Second Reading

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 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 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 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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Parliament Today 5 November 2013

November 5th, 2013 at 2:04 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer 

Questions to Ministers 2.00 PM -3.00 PM.

  1. JOHN HAYES to the Minister of Finance: How is the Government’s economic programme supporting New Zealand families, particularly those on low incomes and with dependent children?
  2. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that the insurance industry is “a highly efficient market”?
  3. KATRINA SHANKS to the Minister of Transport: How will the construction of Transmission Gully benefit the Wellington region?
  4. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Does he agree with IAG’s submission to the Commerce Commission that “there is real potential for major banks to begin underwriting their own general insurance products, and to compete directly with the incumbent insurance companies at the underwriting level as they already do at a retail level of the insurance market”?
  5. METIRIA TUREI to the Minister for Economic Development:Did his office withhold information about the harm caused by the SkyCity convention centre deal because it was considered sensitive by SkyCity; if so, why?
  6. NICKY WAGNER to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment: What progress has been made in the rebuild of the University of Canterbury?
  7. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in the advice his Ministers receive from Government departments?
  8. MIKE SABIN to the Associate Minister of Justice: What has been the outcome of his review of the 2002 Youth Offending Strategy?
  9. JAN LOGIE to the Minister of Justice: Will she reconsider an alternative trial process for sexual abuse cases following Police statements that girls targeted by the Roast Busters group have not been “brave enough” to bring a complaint; if not, why not?
  10. JACINDA ARDERN to the Minister for Social Development: Does she stand by her statement on Q+A in relation to child poverty that “So why do an official measure that then by very definition still has, quite frankly, you know, it’s, sort of, wherever you put the measure, you’re always going to have people in poverty …”?
  11. ALFRED NGARO to the Minister of Housing: What progress has the Government made in growing the community housing sector?
  12. CLARE CURRAN to the Minister for Communications and Information Technology: Will the Government abide by the final Unbundled Bitstream Access Service Price Review determination issued by the Commerce Commission today?

Today Labour are asking four questions. These are two questions about the New Zealand insurance market, one about child poverty and finally a question about Ultra Fast Broadband. The Greens are asking two questions, these are about Skycity Casino and the Roastbusters group. New Zealand First is asking whether the Prime Minister has confidence in the advice he receives from government departments.

Patsy of the day goes to Mike Sabin for Question 8:  What has been the outcome of his review of the 2002 Youth Offending Strategy?

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

1. Human Rights Amendment Bill - First Reading (Interrupted)

2. Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill – Third Reading

3. New Zealand International Convention Centre Bill – Second Reading

4. Industry Training and Apprenticeships Amendment Bill - First Reading

The Human Rights Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Justice, Judith Collins. This bill enables the establishment of a full-time Disability Rights Commissioner within the Human Rights Commission, and makes changes to the role and structure of the Commission.

The  Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill  is being guided through the house by the Minister for ICT, Amy Adams. The bill seeks to repeal and replace the Telecommunications (Interception Capability) Act 2004

The New Zealand International Convention Centre Bill is being guided through he 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 Industry Training and Apprenticeships Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Steven Joyce. The Industry Training and Apprenticeships Amendment Bill makes the amendments required to implement the findings of the industry taining review undertaken by the Government in 2011 and 2012

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Parliament Today 24 October 2013

October 24th, 2013 at 12:27 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer

Questions to Ministers 2.ooPM -3.00PM

  1. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister of Finance: Does he consider that the Government’s Meridian Energy sale was a failure, given that it attracted only 62,000 retail buyers, which is only a quarter of the 250,000 forecast?
  2. Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE to the Minister of Finance: Does he stand by all his statements?
  3. PAUL GOLDSMITH to the Minister of Finance: What recent progress has the Government made in its share offer programme – and particularly in generating money for investing in new public assets without having to borrow from overseas lenders?
  4. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Finance: What reports, if any, has the Reserve Bank had from trading banks on the effect of loan-to-value ratio lending limits on housing construction?
  5. MELISSA LEE to the Minister for Social Development: What recent initiatives has the Government supported to provide better support to those affected by sexual violence?
  6. Hon PHIL GOFF to the Minister of Defence: Have attrition rates in the last year, which reached 23 percent in the Navy and 24 percent in the Army, reduced the capability of the New Zealand Defence Force?
  7. Peseta SAM LOTU-IIGA to the Minister of Housing: What progress is the Government making in increasing housing supply, improving the quality of the Government’s housing stock and growing the community social housing sector?
  8. DARIEN FENTON to the Minister of Labour: Does he stand by all his statements on health and safety?
  9. SHANE ARDERN to the Associate Minister of Health: What is the Government doing to support rural general practice?
  10. GARETH HUGHES to the Minister of Energy and Resources: Does he stand by his statement about oil and gas, “As minister, my job is to support the development of these resources in a sensible, safe and environmentally responsible way”?
  11. Dr CAM CALDER to the Associate Minister of Transport: What progress is being made in bringing down New Zealand’s road toll?
  12. Le’aufa’amulia ASENATI LOLE-TAYLOR to the Minister of Energy and Resources: Does he stand by all his statements?

Today Labour are asking four questions. These are about whether the Minister of Finance stands by all his statements, lending limits for mortgages, attrition in the New Zealand Defence Force,  and health and safety. The Greens are asking about the Meridian Energy share float, and the development of natural resources. New Zealand First are asking whether the Minister for Energy and resources stands by all his statements.

Patsy question of the day goes to Shane Ardern for Quetion 9: What is the Government doing to support rural general practice?

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

A bill is being introduced at 3.00PM of which the content is not known. A deal has been made with Labour and The Greens to ensure it passes through all three stages of debate under urgency today, and will become law shortly afterwards. You can read what is known about this secret bill here.

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Parliament Today 16 October 2013

October 16th, 2013 at 12:21 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer

Questions to Ministers 2.00PM – 3.00PM.

  1. PAUL GOLDSMITH to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received about forecasts for the New Zealand economy and how are these being reflected in levels of business confidence?
  2. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by the statement made on his behalf on 25 September “The Minister was aware that the Department of Conservation was working on a submission. He was not aware of the content of the leaked draft submission until Tuesday, 17 September”?
  3. COLIN KING to the Minister of Science and Innovation: What recent announcements has the Government made about investment in the National Science Challenges?
  4. METIRIA TUREI to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in all his Ministers?
  5. BRENDAN HORAN to the Minister of Energy and Resources:Does he stand by all of his recent statements?
  6. PAUL FOSTER-BELL to the Minister of Justice: What recent steps have been taken by the Government to make it easier to resolve cross-border disputes between New Zealand and Australia?
  7. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Minister of Health: What reports has he received in the last month of New Zealanders receiving inadequate health services?
  8. ALFRED NGARO to the Minister of Housing: What progress has the Government made in addressing Auckland’s housing supply issues over the past two weeks?
  9. CHRIS HIPKINS to the Minister of Education: Is she satisfied that she is fulfilling all of her legal obligations under the Education Act 1989; if so, why?
  10. JACQUI DEAN to the Minister of Statistics: What does the latest release of Census data show in regard to population growth in the regions?
  11. EUGENIE SAGE to the Minister of Conservation: How many submissions did the Department of Conservation make on regional, district or city plans or regional policy statements in 2012/13 that related to water quality issues?
  12. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he now accept that his statement that Chorus “will go broke” is incorrect; if not, why not?

Today Labour are asking four questions. These questions are about the Ruataniwha dam, Health, the responsibilities of the Minister of Health, and the financial position of Chorus. Labour Leader David Cunliffe is asking two out of four questions himself. The Greens are aksing two questions, whether the Prime Minister has confidence in all his Ministers, and water quality. Independent MP Brendan Horan is asking whether Minister for Energy and Resources Simon Bridges stands by all his statements.

The patsy of the day award goes to Paul Foster-Bell for Question 6:  What recent steps have been taken by the Government to make it easier to resolve cross-border disputes between New Zealand and Australia?

General Debate 3.00PM – 4.00PM 

A lively weekly debate of twelve speeches of no more than five minutes each.

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

1.Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill

2.Insolvency Practitioners Bill

3.Industry Training and Apprenticeships Amendment Bill

4.Human Rights Amendment Bill

The Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for ICT, Amy Adams.  This bill seeks to repeal and replace the Telecommunications (Interception Capability) Act 2004 in order to ensure that interception obligations applying to the telecommunications industry are clear, do not impose unnecessary compliance costs, and are sufficiently flexible to respond to current and future operational needs and technological developments. It also seeks to require network operators to engage with the Government on network security matters, inform the Government of certain proposed decisions, courses of action, or changes in relation to an area of “specified security interest”, and work with the Government to apply any specific risk-based and proportionate security measures. David wrote about the bill earlier here.

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.

The Industry Training and Apprenticeships Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Steven Joyce. The Industry Training and Apprenticeships Amendment Bill makes the amendments required to implement the findings of the industry training review undertaken by the Government in 2011 and 2012.

The Human Rights Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Justice, Judith Collins. This bill enables the establishment of a full-time Disability Rights Commissioner within the Human Rights Commission, and makes changes to the role and structure of the Commission.

 

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Parliament Today 15 October 2013

October 15th, 2013 at 12:01 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 “One of the risks for us is that there’s heavily pronounced economic development in Auckland, but not in the rest of the country”?
  2. Hon KATE WILKINSON to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on the Government’s financial position and especially progress in meeting its target of returning to surplus by 2014/15?
  3. METIRIA TUREI to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that Mighty River Power’s buy back of $50 million worth of shares is “highly normal”?
  4. CHRIS HIPKINS to the Minister of Education: Is she satisfied that she is fulfilling all of her legal obligations under the Education Act 1989; if so, why?
  5. NICKY WAGNER to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment: What recent reports has he received on the value of the international education industry to New Zealand?
  6. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Housing: When he carried furniture into a Housing New Zealand tenant’s house, was he consciously comparing himself to Michael Joseph Savage?
  7. METIRIA TUREI to the Minister of Education: Does she believe that she has effectively explained National Standards to earn the trust of parents and the teaching profession; if so, why?
  8. MIKE SABIN to the Associate Minister of Social Development: What new measures have recently begun to help prevent fraudulent criminal activity in our welfare system?
  9. GARETH HUGHES to the Minister of Energy and Resources: Does he stand by his statement that “there may well be” a relief rig present during the drilling of Anadarko’s exploratory deep sea oil wells; if so, can he guarantee that there will be a relief rig?
  10. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Has he briefed the Cabinet on the progress and details of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement; if not, why not?
  11. MOANA MACKEY to the Minister for the Environment: Does she agree with all the comments made by her colleague the Minister for Energy and Resources, Hon Simon Bridges, on Campbell Live last night relating to the regulation and risk management of offshore oil and gas exploration?
  12. Dr JIAN YANG to the Associate Minister of Health: What initiatives is the Government taking to address mental health?

Today Labour are asking four questions. These are about the economic development of New Zealand outside of Auckland, the responsibilities of the Minister of Education, Housing and oil drilling. The Greens are asking about the Mighty River Power share float, and oil drilling. New Zealand First is asking about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

The patsy of the day award goes to Mike Sabin for Question 8: What new measures have recently begun to help prevent fraudulent criminal activity in our welfare system?

Government Bills 3.ooPM-6.00PM and 7.30PM-10.ooPM

1. Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill – Second Reading

2. Maritime Transport Amendment Bill – Third Reading

3. Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Amendment Bill – Third Reading

The Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for ICT, Amy Adams.  This bill seeks to repeal and replace the Telecommunications (Interception Capability) Act 2004 in order to ensure that interception obligations applying to the telecommunications industry are clear, do not impose unnecessary compliance costs, and are sufficiently flexible to respond to current and future operational needs and technological developments. It also seeks to require network operators to engage with the Government on network security matters, inform the Government of certain proposed decisions, courses of action, or changes in relation to an area of “specified security interest”, and work with the Government to apply any specific risk-based and proportionate security measures. David wrote about the bill earlier here.

The Maritime Transport Amendment Bill and Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Amendment Bill (formerly the Marine Legislation Bill) are being guided through the house by the Minister of Transport, Gerry Brownlee.  This is an omnibus bill in two parts. Part 1 seeks to amend the Maritime Transport Act 1994; part 2 seeks to amend the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012. The Maritime Transport Act would be amended to provide for local regulation of maritime safety and maritime-related activities by regional councils; to regulate alcohol consumption by seafarers; to implement four international maritime conventions; to create offences and prescribe penalties for the improper operation of ships; and to make other miscellaneous changes.

 

 

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Review of Standing Orders Submission

October 11th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

SUBMISSION OF DAVID FARRAR ON THE
REVIEW OF STANDING ORDERS TO THE STANDING ORDERS SELECT COMMITTEE

 About the Submitter

  1. This submission is made by David Farrar in a personal capacity. I would like to appear before the Committee to speak to my submission.
  2. I am a former Parliamentary staffer from 1996 to 2004, and write reasonably extensively on parliamentary issues on my blog.

Overall View

  1. The changes to standing orders made in 2011 were beneficial, and generally Standing Orders are working well. However there are a number of areas where further improvement can be made

Urgency

  1. The ability for the House to have an extended sitting, as an alternative to urgency, has worked well. It is pleasing to see the use of urgency has reduced considerably.
  2. Urgency is from time to time still necessary when the Government decides (and the House concurs) that it needs to progress legislation more quickly than is possible under an extended sitting. I note with approval that the current Government has almost always granted leave for question time to occur when the House is in urgency.
  3. I believe it would be desirable to codify this practice and amend Standing Orders so that question time still occurs under urgency. A future Government could use urgency to avoid the important scrutiny of question time.
  4. While it is important the Government has the ability to progress legislation in a timely manner, an hour a day of question time is not a significant detriment from this. It could be stated that only questions to Ministers are allowed under urgency, so that numerous questions to Members can’t occur as a form of filibuster.

NZ Bill of Rights

  1. Standing Order 262 provides for the Attorney-General to report to the House if a bill contains a provision which appears to be inconsistent with the NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990, upon introduction of the bill.
  2. Bills can be significantly amended by a select committee or the committee of the whole House which can change a bill’s consistency with the NZBORA.
  3. It would be desirable to amend SO 262 so that the Attorney-General report on NZBORA consistency to the House prior to the second and third reading of a bill if the Attorney-General believes changes to a bill warrant a further opinion .

Question Time

  1. I propose that Tuesday’s question time to Ministers and Members be replaced with a half hour question time to the Prime Minister, as occurs in the UK House of Commons.
  2. We have almost ended up with a de facto PM’s question time with wide ranging questions to the PM along the lines of “Does he have confidence in all his Ministers” which allows almost any issue to be a supplementary. We also have a tradition that the PM is always present on a Tuesday, normally on a Wednesday and rarely on a Thursday.
  3. I believe a House of Commons type PMs question time would be a good opportunity for the House to question the PM on his or her Government, without the requirement to lay specific primary questions. It would be challenging to a PM, but I am sure recent PMs would be up to the challenge.

General Debate

  1. I believe the General Debate serve little useful parliamentary purpose, if one accepts the purpose of the House is to debate laws, hold the Government to account, debate topical issues or policies or highlight matters of importance.
  2. General Debate is generally a slagfest between MPs, that generates an occasional Jane Clifton column, but generally does little to advance the purposes of the House.
  3. I note, through listening to Channel’s 4 Today in Parliament, that the House of Commons (and Lords) regularly debate specific issues, unrelated to legislation under consideration. In contrast to the NZ General Debates, their more focused debates often provide very interesting and useful insights into issues.
  4. I propose that we retain General Debate every second sitting week (say when it is a Member’s Bills week) and that every other week the time slot be allocated to a debate on a specific issue or policy area.
  5. One would need to establish a mechanism for determining the policy topics, but this should not be overly difficult. It could be done by the Business Committee, or topics allocated proportionally to each party, or have each Select Committee determine in turn a topic.

Financial Procedures Debates

19. Many of the Financial Procedures debates also become little more than slagfests after the first dozen or so speeches. They take up days and days of House time when MPs make speeches with little relevance to the financial bills in questions. That time could be spent more productively debating legislation.

20. I propose that the Budget debate reduce from 14 hours (up to 84 speeches) to seven hours (up to 42 speeches, or more likely 26 – 30 speeches).

21. I also propose the Estimates debate reduce from eight hours to four hours.

Non-Legislative Procedures

22. The Address in Reply and PM’s statement also have the same issue, in which after the first few speeches, there are few contributions that introduce new material, or advance the interest of the House.

23. However I recognize the Address in Reply does provide an opportunity for new MPs to make maiden speeches.

24. I propose the Address in Reply reduce from 19 hours to 15 hours. This would provide three hours for specified party leaders, eight hours for say 32 maiden speeches and four hours for other MPs.

25. For the debate on the PM’s statement, I would propose a reduction from 15 hours to six hours, allowing two hours for party leaders and four hours for other MPs.

26. These reductions in total would free up 24 hours of House time, which is almost two extra weeks of sitting time.

Thank you for considering this submission. I would like to make an oral submission in support, and look forward to appearing.

 

David Farrar

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The parliamentary prayer

October 4th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Gareth Hughes blogs on the parliamentary prayer, which is:

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

Gareth says:

Speaking in my personal capacity, I think it’s time to have a discussion around it.  Like many Kiwis and MPs I am not a Christian and I don’t think the prayer reflects the rich and varied religious and spiritual life in New Zealand in 2013. To me, it’s an issue of having Parliament – the representatives of the people of New Zealand – actually reflect the people of New Zealand rather than only one religious group. We should have an inclusive ceremonial opening that all kiwis can feel comfortable with, whatever their faith.

Not all Parliaments around the world have a prayer, though most inherited the practice from growing out of Britain’s Westminster model. South Africa’s National Assembly and parts of Canada have a moment of silence for personal reflection for MPs. In Scotland, they rotate speakers of different affiliations to reflect the make-up of the census. One week they might have a Christian speaker, and another a speaker with no religious affiliations.

There are three major options as I see it:

  1. The status quo of a Christian prayer
  2. Change the prayer so it isn’t exclusively Christian, but a general spiritual prayer
  3. Have no prayer at all

My preference is 2. I could make a case for 3, but people don’t have to take part in a prayer if they don’t want to. However having a prayer which is exclusive to one religion is not a good thing, and is a bad precedent.

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Parliamentary catering

September 26th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Isaac Davidson at NZ Herald reports:

MPs may soon no longer have access to an inhouse pub or room service if proposals to cut costs within Parliament go ahead.

Parliamentary Service, which manages the Beehive and Parliament Buildings, is reviewing its food and drink services and has put many options including a 140-year-old restaurant on the chopping block.

In an email sent to Parliamentary staff, it proposed closing Pickwicks bar on the third floor of the Beehive, the ministerial dining room and the members only dining room. It also suggested closing Bellamy’s, a fine dining restaurant which MPs and their families have used since 1867.

Pickwicks (almost always referred to internally as 3.2 after its room number) used to be a hub of activity every night, and could really go off on urgency nights with midnight sittings. Sadly it is now sparsely attended and I am not surprised it may become unfinancial.

The Bellamy’s dining restaurant is divided up into two sections – members and guests (open to MPs, staff and guests) and members (open to MPs and families only). However they are the same restaurant and just have a dividing wall between them. Not sure you save much by removing the separation.

Wine and beer would still be available at Copperfields Cafe in Parliament Buildings. However, the breakfast buffet could be cut.

National staff had a tradition for well over a decade of a breakfast gathering at Copperfields on a Friday morning. It was a great team builder, and made working there so much more bearable. Would be sad to see an end to breakfasts there.

However I have long submitted that Copperfields should be replaced with a mini food court. Allow three or four operators to set up there and compete on price and variety and quality. Have a sushi bar, a sandwich bar, a grill and even a McDs if they think they’d get enough business.

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Parliament – 25th September 2013

September 25th, 2013 at 1:08 pm by Scott Miller

Questions to Ministers – 2pm to 3pm 

  1. JAMI-LEE ROSS to the Minister of Finance: How is the Government supporting New Zealand families through the economic recovery?
  2. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Has he or his Office sought an assurance from the Minister of Conservation that he did not know about the existence of the draft submission prepared by the Department of Conservation in early July relating to the Ruataniwha Dam, before 17 September 2013; if not, why not?
  3. ALFRED NGARO to the Minister of Justice: What recent Better Public Services results for the Justice Sector has she announced?
  4. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Minister of Health: Has the increase in health funding for 2013/14 been sufficient to stop cuts in health services and staffing?
  5. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister of Conservation: What did he say in his meeting with officials on 29 July that led Department of Conservation Deputy Director-General Doris Johnston to write in an email later that day that he is “… likely to query whether we leave it all to the EPA to consider”?
  6. Hon SHANE JONES to the Minister of Finance: Does he agree with the Productivity Commission that the “growing gap in labour productivity has been the main driver of an increasing disparity in GDP per capita between the two trans-Tasman economies,” and given double-digit house price inflation in Auckland, doesn’t this show the Government’s efforts to rebalance the economy towards productive exports and jobs has failed?
  7. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Minister for Whānau Ora: Does she stand by her answers to Oral Question No. 4 yesterday?
  8. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Housing: What does he say to the almost 80 percent of people looking to buy their first homes who say they cannot afford the 20 percent deposit or will need family help because of LVR lending limits?
  9. Dr PAUL HUTCHISON to the Minister of Health: What progress is the Government making on its rheumatic fever programme?
  10. Hon RUTH DYSON to the Minister of Conservation: Did he receive the draft submission on the Ruataniwha Dam proposal, which was requested by Doris Johnston, Deputy Director-General at the Department of Conservation, to be delivered on Tuesday 30 July 2013; if so, on what date?
  11. Hon TAU HENARE to the Minister of Customs: What is Customs doing to stem the tide of illegal psychoactive substances?
  12. DENISE ROCHE to the Minister of Finance: What is the expected value of the dividends from TVNZ that the Crown will forego as a result of the dividend relief agreement related to the SkyCity deal?

Questions today are 5 Labour, 4 National, 2 Greens and 1 New Zealand First.

Labour will be asking about Nick Smith’s handling of the DOC submission on the Ruataniwha Dam, health funding, productivity, LVR limits for housing and a further question from Ruth Dyson on the Ruataniwha Dam. National will be asking questions on issues such as the economy, justice sector targets, rheumatic fever and customs handing of drugs. Green’s will be asking about the DOC submission and TVNZ dividends, with New Zealand First asking a question about their favorite topic, Whānau Ora.

Pasty Question of the Day 

Question 9 from Dr Paul Huntchison to the Minster of Health on the rheumatic fever programme is today’s winner of pasty question of the day.

General Debate – 3pm to 4pm 

12 rounds of 5 minute open speeches from Members of Parliament.

Private and Local Orders of the Day – 4pm to 5pm

1) New Zealand Mission Trust Board (Otamataha) Empowering Bill - Te Ururoa Flavell  - First Reading

This bill is designed to allow for the transfer of land in Tauranga from the ownership of the New Zealand Mission Trust to the Otamataha Trust. The land was acquired in 1896 by the Church Mission Society and handed over to the New Zealand Mission Trust for the spiritual benefit and spiritual instruction of Maori people in the North Island. The original owners of the land where Ngati Tapu and Ngaitamarawaho and the trustees of the New Zealand Mission Trust have created the Otamataha Trust in order to help the iwi members of Ngati Tapu and Ngaitamarawaho in the future.

Members Orders of the Day – 5pm to 6pm and 7.30pm to 10pm

1) Conservation (Natural Heritage Protection Bill) - Jacqui Dean – Committee Stage

This bill is designed to encourage compliance with enactments administered by the Department of Conservation by increasing penalties to better protect natural and historic resources and protected wildlife. The main changes the Bill makes to the existing law are to both increase the penalties, and implement a consistent approach to penalties across the main enactments administered by the Department of Conservation.

At the last reading of this bill it passed without objection.

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

This bill is designed to ban the possession of a Hand – held Laser in public areas without a reasonable excuse. In addition, the bill gives additional powers to the police to be able to confiscate lasers from people if they are found in a public place. Currently section 270 of the Crimes Act gives the police some powers to stop people from using a Hand-Held Laser on objects such as moving cars and airplanes but this goes one step further.

3) Sentencing (Protection of Children from Criminal Offending) Amendment Bill - Le’aufa’amulia Asenati Lole-Taylor – First Reading

This bill is designed to amend the Sentencing Act 2002 so that if a offence is committed in the presence of a minor, then it should be considered as a aggravating factor at the sentencing of the offender. In addition, the bill expresses the view that if any offense committed in front of a minor has any potential adverse effect on them, then the sentence should reflect that at the time.

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Parliament 24 September 2013

September 24th, 2013 at 1:10 pm by David Farrar

Questions to Ministers 2 pm – 3 pm

  1. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement regarding first-home buyers “I don’t want to see tools implemented that lock them out of the market”?
  2. DAVID BENNETT to the Minister of Finance: What recent progress has the Government made in its share offer programme – and particularly putting everyday New Zealanders at the front of the queue for shares?
  3. TE URUROA FLAVELL to the Minister for the Environment:Does she agree with the former Prime Minister and architect of the Resource Management Act 1991, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, that taken as a whole the proposed amendments to the Resource Management Act 1991 will seriously weaken the level of protection given to New Zealand’s natural environment under the Act, and how will she address the concerns in particular related to the merging of sections 6 and 7?
  4. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Minister for Whānau Ora:Does she have confidence in the Whānau Ora scheme?
  5. SCOTT SIMPSON to the Minister of Justice: What conviction and sentencing statistics has she received for the 2012/13 financial year?
  6. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Did the July 2012 Treasury report Project 14: Initial advice say that the closure of the Tiwai smelter would reduce the market price for electricity by “roughly 10 percent” and why in his answer to Primary Question No. 4 on 21 August 2013 did he not disclose that advice to the House?
  7. MELISSA LEE to the Minister for Social Development: How is the Government’s new warrants to arrest policy for those on benefits ensuring a fairer welfare system?
  8. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Housing: Has Housing New Zealand been referring people to live in campgrounds?
  9. PAUL FOSTER-BELL to the Associate Minister of Health: What initiatives has she announced to showcase aged care nursing?
  10. EUGENIE SAGE to the Minister of Conservation: When was he made aware that the Department of Conservation was preparing a submission that would address the potential effect of the proposed nutrient limits of the Tukituki Catchment Proposal?
  11. Hon RUTH DYSON to the Minister of Conservation: Does he still stand by his statement on the Department of Conservation submission on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal that “I did not give the Department an indication of what that submission would be”?
  12. NICKY WAGNER to the Minister of Conservation: What benefits have been achieved for conservation and recreation from DOC’s partnership with Air New Zealand?

Questions are National 5, Labour 4, Maori 1, NZ First 1 and Greens 1.

Labour is asking about housing affordability, Tiwai Point smelter, homelessness and DOC’s submission on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal. Greens are asking about the Tukituki Catchment Proposal also, NZ First is on his favourite topic of Whanua Ora and Maori Party on the RMA reformss.

The patsy of the day is No 9 by Paul Foster-Bell on showcasing aged care nursing.

Government Bills 3 pm – 6 pm and 7.30 pm to 10 pm

  1. Marine Legislation Bill – Committee Stage
  2. Copyright (Parallel Importing of Films) Amendment Bill – Committee Stage
  3. Local Government (Auckland Council) Amendment Bill (No 2) – Committee Stage
  4. Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa Bill – Committee Stage
  5. Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Bill – Second Reading (continued)

The Marine Legislation Bill was introduced by Gerry Brownlee in August 2012. It would amend the Maritime Transport Act and  Exclusive Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act to clarify port and harbour safety, and transfer the regulation of offshore discharges from Maritime New Zealand to the Environmental Protection Authority. A further Government SOP (347) allows certain marine activities to be non-notified if it has a low probability of significant adverse effects on the environment or is routine or exploratory in nature.

The Marine Legislation Bill passed unanimously on its first reading, was reported back unanimously by the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee with amendments and also passed the second reading unanimously. However SOP 347 is opposed by some parties.

The Copyright (Parallel Importing of Films) Amendment Bill was introduced by Craig Foss in July 2013. It would amend the Copyright Act to continue the ban on the parallel importation of films for three more years but to reduce the ban from 9 to 5 months.

The Copyright (Parallel Importing of Films) Amendment Bill passed its first reading 96 to 1, with Brendan Horan voting against and Greens, NZ First and Mana abstaining. It was reported back by majority vote without amendment by the Commerce Committee. Labour supported the bill with reservations and Greens opposed it. It passed its second reading by 104 votes to 14 with Greens, Mana and Horan opposed.

The Local Government (Auckland Council) Amendment Bill (No 2) was introduced by Chris Tremain in May 2013.  It would amend the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act to enable local boards to delegate responsibilities, duties, or powers conferred or allocated to them.

Local Government (Auckland Council) Amendment Bill (No 2) passed its first reading unanimously, was reported back unanimously without amendments by the Local Government and Environment Committee and also passed its second reading unanimously.

The Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa Bill was introduced by Chris Finlayson in June 2010 and would replace the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa Act, simplifing structure of arts administration in New Zealand.

The Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa Bill passed its first reading unanimously and was reported back with amendments by majority vote from the Government Administration Committee. Labour opposed the report back on the grounds that Pacific Island, Māori, ethnic and other marginalised groups such as those with a disability and children’s voices will be overwhelmed by the new structure of the proposed streamlined council. It passed its second reading by 72 votes to 49 with Labour, Greens and Mana voting against.

The Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Bill was introduced by Chris Finlayson in October 2011. It would replace the Historic Places Act and make changes in the governance structure of the Historic Places Trust, adjust competing values, introduce new archaeological provisions and new emergency provisions.

The Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Bill passed its first reading unanimously, and was reported back unanimously with amendments by the Local Government and Environment Committee.

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Parliament Today 19 September 2013

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

Questions for Oral Answer.

Questions to the Minister.

  1. MAGGIE BARRY to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on the economy?
  2. Hon RUTH DYSON to the Minister of Conservation: Has he ever seen or received a submission or draft submission from the Department of Conservation regarding the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Plan Change 6, which paves the way for the Ruataniwha Dam proposal, which is critical of it?
  3. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister of Conservation: Does he stand by his statement “No, I did not” when asked in this House whether he gave any indication to the Department of Conservation on the direction or content of its submission on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal?
  4. CLAUDETTE HAUITI to the Minister of Energy and Resources:What reports has he received on competition in the electricity market in New Zealand?
  5. DARIEN FENTON to the Minister of Labour: Does he believe women should have equal pay to men for work of equal value?
  6. CATHERINE DELAHUNTY to the Minister of Education: Will she allow creationism to be taught in charter schools; if so, why?
  7. ANDREW LITTLE to the Minister of Justice: What factors were taken into account in setting the interest rate on legal aid debt under regulation 14 of the Legal Services Regulations 2011 at 8 percent?
  8. KATRINA SHANKS to the Minister of Commerce: How will the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013, which will be phased in from 1 April 2014, strengthen our financial markets?
  9. DENIS O’ROURKE to the Minister of Housing: Does he agree with all of the views expressed by Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga about housing on TV3′s The Vote on 11 September 2013?
  10. CAROL BEAUMONT to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment: Is he concerned about the underrepresentation of women in industry training particularly in light of labour shortages in many trades and technical areas?
  11. LOUISE UPSTON to the Minister of Health: What progress is the Government making with its funded family care policy?
  12. SUE MORONEY to the Minister of Women’s Affairs: Does her Ministry provide gender implications statements on proposed legislative or policy measures being considered by Cabinet?

Today Labour are asking five questions. These are about Ruataniwha Dam proposal, Equal Pay for women,  Legal Aid, Women in Industry and gender implications in policy documents. The Greens are asking two questions. These are about the Ruataniwha Dam proposal and creationism potentially being taught in Partnership Schools. NZ First are asking about housing policy.

Patsy question of the day goes to Louise Upston for Question 11: What progress is the Government making with its funded family care policy?

Government Bills 3.00-600PM.

1. Copyright (Parallel Importing of Films) Amendment Bill – Second Reading

2. Family Court Proceedings Reform Bill - Third Reading

The Copyright (Parallel Importing of Films) Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister for Broadcasting, Craig Foss. This bill extends for three years the ban on the commercial parallel importation of films.

The Family Court Proceedings Reform Bill being guided through the house by the Minister of Justice has now  been divided into ten separate bills. See the Order Paper for more details. This bill would implement the Government’s decisions resulting from a review of the Family Court conducted by the Ministry of Justice.

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Parliament Today 18 September 2013

September 18th, 2013 at 12:54 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer.

Questions to Ministers 2.00 PM – 3.00PM.

  1. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister for State Owned Enterprises: What is the forecast cost to the Crown of the Government’s plan to allow buyers of Meridian Energy shares to pay for their shares in instalments and will the instalment scheme be open to overseas institutions?
  2. JOHN HAYES to the Minister of Finance: What recent reports has he received on the New Zealand economy and business growth?
  3. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Given that he disagrees with the advice of the Treasury on the Tiwai smelter, who advised it should not be subsidised by taxpayers because “it would result in a significant transfer of value from New Zealanders to Pacific Aluminium and Rio Tinto shareholders”, does he then agree with the New Zealand Herald that the $30 million dollar taxpayer subsidy paid to the Rio Tinto-owned smelter is “an abject piece of short sighted thinking”; if not, why not?
  4. METIRIA TUREI to the Minister of Education: Did her statement that “Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua will play their part in meeting our target of five out of five students achieving success in education. They will be established in areas where kids are currently underserved by the existing education system” reflect any selection criteria for the first partnership schools; if not, why not?
  5. JONATHAN YOUNG to the Minister of Energy and Resources: What recent announcement has he made about Block Offer 2014?
  6. JACINDA ARDERN to the Minister for Social Development: Is she satisfied that all relevant government departments and agencies have the funding and resources required to implement her Children’s Action Plan?
  7. MELISSA LEE to the Minister for Social Development: What announcements has she made that will get beneficiaries better deals on whiteware appliances, saving taxpayers money?
  8. Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE to the Minister responsible for the Earthquake Commission: Does he stand by his statement yesterday in relation to the Earthquake Commission’s latest privacy breach “I guess when they’re dealing with that level of correspondence, things can happen”?
  9. JULIE ANNE GENTER to the Minister of Transport: What is the cost of deferring the construction of the Auckland City Rail Link from 2015, the preferred start date of Auckland Council, to 2020, the Government’s proposed start date?
  10. IAN McKELVIE to the Minister of Corrections: What recent announcements has she made to reduce re-offending in prison?
  11. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Minister of Health: Does he agree that every person can afford healthcare and disability support, regardless of their income, health status, or risk profile?
  12. MIKE SABIN to the Associate Minister of Transport: What progress has been made as part of the Safer Journeys road safety strategy?

Today Labour are asking four questions. these are on the Tiwai Point Smelter subsidy, the Children’s Action Plan, the Earthquake Commission, and support for people with disabilities. The Greens are asking three questions. They are about the Meridian Share Float, Partnership Schools and the Auckland City Rail Link.

Patsy of the day goes to Melissa Lee for Question 7: What announcements has she made that will get beneficiaries better deals on whiteware appliances, saving taxpayers money?

General Debate 3.00PM – 4.00PM.

12 Speeches of no more than 5 minutes each.

Valedictory Statement of the Hon Lianne Dalziel, MP for Christchurch East 5.45-6.00PM

A Valedictory statement is the final speech of a Member of Parliament upon retirement or resignation. Lianne Dalziel has served Minister of Immigration, Commerce, Minister of Food Safety and Associate Minister of Justice in the Fifth Labour Government. Dalziel is resigning to contest the Christchurch Mayoralty.

Government Bills 4.00PM-5.45 PM and 7.30PM-10.ooPM

1.Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill – First Reading (Continued)

2.Family Court Proceedings Reform Bill -Committee Stage

3. Copyright (Parallel Importing of Films) Amendment Bill – Second Reading

4. Local Government (Auckland Council) Amendment Bill (No 2) – Second Reading.

The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Justice, Judith Collins. This bill empowers the High Court to issue a public protection order to detain a person in a secure facility, when, at the end of a finite prison sentence or subject to the most intensive form of an extended supervision order, they pose a very high risk of imminent and serious sexual or violent reoffending.

The Family Court Proceedings Reform Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Justice, Judith Collins. This bill would implement the Government’s decisions resulting from a review of the Family Court conducted by the Ministry of Justice.

The Copyright (Parallel Importing of Films) Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Broadcasting. This bill extends for three years the ban on the commercial parallel importation of films.

The Local Government (Auckland Council) Amendment Bill (No 2) is being guided through the house by the Minister for Local Government, Chris Tremain. This bill seeks to amend the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009 to enable local boards established under the Act to delegate responsibilities, duties or powers conferred or allocated to them under the Act.

 

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Parliament Today 17 September 2013

September 17th, 2013 at 12:34 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 still think that Chorus “will go broke” if his Government does not intervene to change the pricing for access to the old copper-based broadband network as proposed by the Commerce Commission; if so, why?
  2. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister of Conservation: Did he discuss the Tukituki Catchment Proposal with any Department of Conservation senior management in the two months prior to 2 August 2013; if so, with whom?
  3. Hon KATE WILKINSON to the Minister of Finance: What recent reports has he received about the outlook for the New Zealand economy?
  4. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Did the Treasury provide advice as to whether he should support or oppose overruling the Commerce Commission’s draft determination on copper broadband pricing given that the Treasury has previously advised against subsidising big business such as the $30 million Tiwai subsidy which has “no economic justification”?
  5. CHRIS AUCHINVOLE to the Minister for ACC: What announcements has she made today about ACC levies?
  6. Hon MARYAN STREET to the Minister for the Environment:Has she ever received any advice that the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Plan Change 6, which paves the way for the Ruataniwha Dam proposal, in its current form, does not meet the requirements of the Resource Management Act 1993 for plan changes, and would not achieve the requirements of Part 2 of that Act?
  7. Hon PHIL HEATLEY to the Minister for Social Development: How will the Vulnerable Children Bill make a difference for those children most at risk of abuse and neglect?
  8. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Housing: Does he believe there is a housing affordability crisis in Auckland?
  9. MIKE SABIN to the Minister of Education: What recent announcements has she made on partnership schools?
  10. EUGENIE SAGE to the Minister for the Environment: Will she ditch the Government’s proposal to remove references to the “ethic of stewardship”, the “maintenance and enhancement of amenity values”, the “maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the environment” and the “intrinsic value of ecosystems” from the Resource Management Act 1993; if not, why not?
  11. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Why did he say in regard to the raid on the Fiji Democracy and Freedom movement, “I stand 100 percent by what I said before: any actions that the SIS or the GCSB take in my opinion are legal…”?
  12. Hon PHIL GOFF to the Minister of Defence: Does he accept all of the conclusions of the New Zealand Defence Force External Safety Management Review; if not, why not?

Today will be a notable Question Time as it is new Labour Leader David Cunliffe’s first question time as Leader of the Opposition. Today Labour are asking five questions. They are asking about Chorus, Broadband Pricing, the Ruataniwha Dam proposal, Housing Affordability and the Defence Force Review. The Greens are asking about the Tukituki Catchment Proposal and RMA Reforms. New Zealand First is asking about the SIS and the GCSB.

Patsy of the Day Goes to Mike Sabin for Question 9: What recent announcements has she made on partnership schools?

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

1. Vulnerable Children Bill – First Reading

2. Credit Contracts and Financial Services Law Reform Bill – First Reading

3. Electoral Amendment Bill -First Reading

4.Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill -First Reading

The Vulnerable Children Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Social Development, Paula Bennett .The bill forms part of a series of measures to protect and improve the well-being of vulnerable children.

The Credit Contracts and Financial Services Law Reform Bill,  is being guided through the house by the Minister of Commerce, Craig Foss. This bill reforms the legislation that governs consumer credit contracts.

The Electoral Amendment Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Justice, Judith Collins. This bill implements certain amendments to the Electoral Act 1993 recommended by the Justice and Electoral Committee’s Inquiry into the 2011 General Election.

The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Justice, Judith Collins. This bill empowers the High Court to issue a public protection order to detain a person in a secure facility, when, at the end of a finite prison sentence or subject to the most intensive form of an extended supervision order, they pose a very high risk of imminent and serious sexual or violent reoffending.

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Parliament debating blowjobs

September 5th, 2013 at 3:37 pm by David Farrar

Oh dear. NZ First MP Asenati Lole-Taylor asking Anne Tolley if she would feel harrassed if asked walking down the street how much for a blowjob!

Watch the Speaker as he tries to work out if this involves ministerial responsibility!

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Parliament Today 5 September 2013

September 5th, 2013 at 12:57 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer

Questions to Ministers 2.00PM-3.00PM

  1. JOHN HAYES to the Minister of Finance: What steps is the Government taking to build a productive and competitive economy in view of the contraction in the tradable sector and negative growth in manufacturing seen in the mid-2000s?
  2. Le’aufa’amulia ASENATI LOLE-TAYLOR to the Minister of Police: What reports, if any, has she received from the Police concerning public harassment and intimidation from street prostitutes and their clients in South Auckland?
  3. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Does he agree that the Government’s review of telecommunications law which may benefit Chorus by up to $160 million and the $30 million taxpayer funded subsidy to the Rio Tinto-owned Tiwai Smelter are examples of corporate welfare; if not, why not?
  4. JONATHAN YOUNG to the Minister of Energy and Resources:What reports has he received on the petroleum and minerals sector in New Zealand?
  5. JAN LOGIE to the Minister for Social Development: Does she have any concerns that the changes to welfare implemented by her this year are causing some beneficiaries trauma; if not, why not?
  6. Dr JIAN YANG to the Minister of Health: What progress is the Government making in improving waiting times for elective services?
  7. Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE to the Minister of Finance: Does he stand by all his statements?
  8. KANWALJIT SINGH BAKSHI to the Minister of Revenue: What recent initiative has the Government put in place to improve compliance with child support and student loan repayment obligations?
  9. Hon DAMIEN O’CONNOR to the Minister for Primary Industries: Does he stand by all his statements?
  10. CLAUDETTE HAUITI to the Minister of Local Government: What is the Government doing to make it easier to vote in local body elections?
  11. KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister of Health: Does he stand by his statement that “the Government is committed to improving health services for diabetes and heart disease, with a strong focus on prevention”?
  12. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Finance: Has he been advised which banks have put up their interest rates or bank charges since Loan to Value lending limits were announced?

Today Labour are asking four questions. These are about the regulatory relief given to Chorus and the Tiwai Point Smelter one off payment, whether the Minister of Finance stands by all his statements, whether the Minister for Primary Industries stands by all his statements, and finally interest rates. The Greens are asking two questions. These are about Welfare Reform and prevention services in the Health portfolio. New Zealand First are asking one question, about prostitution.

Patsy question of the day goes to Claudette Hauiti for Question 10: What is the Government doing to make it easier to vote in local body elections?

Government Bills 4.00PM-6.00PM.

1. Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill – Third Reading

2.Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Amendment Bill – Third Reading

The Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Housing, Nick Smith. The purpose of this bill is to enhance housing affordability by facilitating an increase in land and housing supply in places with significant supply or affordability issues.

The Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Amendment Bill is being guided though the house by the Minister for Building and Construction, Maurice Williamson. The bill proposes amendments to the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Act 2006 to validate a disciplinary levy and an offences fee prescribed by the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Board. The bill also seeks to extend the Board’s power to impose levies so that it has funding for all of its functions, including the prosecution of non-registered persons.

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Parliament – 4th September 2013

September 4th, 2013 at 12:05 pm by Scott Miller

Questions for Oral Answer – 2pm to 3pm

Questions to Ministers

1) METIRIA TUREI to the Minister for Economic Development: When he said, in relation to the SkyCity convention centre deal, “the negotiated significant additional harm-minimisation measures that apply to all gambling machines in that casino will together act to reduce harm” was he basing his claim on the Health Ministry’s gambling harm minimisation team’s advice; if not, why not?

2) Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Does he stand by his statement that “our companies are becoming more competitive”?

3) PAUL GOLDSMITH to the Minister of Finance: What progress is the Government making in building a stronger economy that will support more jobs and higher incomes, following the domestic recession which started in early 2008 well before the global financial crisis?

4) PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Housing: Does he agree with the New Zealand Herald that “the Government’s latest response to the problem of housing affordability is as ill-directed as it is insipid”?

5) COLIN KING to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment: What recent announcements has the Government made about foundation education?

6) HONE HARAWIRA to the Prime Minister: Does he accept that his reported comments about the asset sales referendum being a $9 million waste of money are likely to be considered rude, disrespectful and insulting by the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who have signed the petition for just such a referendum; if not, why not?

7) Hon MARYAN STREET to the Minister for the Environment: Has she had any advice that exploratory drilling at deep sea levels may pose significant environmental or health and safety risks, and if so, why is she proposing that exploratory deep sea drilling, like the Deepwater Horizon Well, is non-notified under the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012 and therefore protected from public submissions?

8) CLAUDETTE HAUITI to the Minister of Justice: What changes are being made to pre-sentence restorative justice services?

9) CLARE CURRAN to the Minister of Finance: Does he have confidence in the board of Māori Television?

10) Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Does he still stand by his statement yesterday when asked whether he was satisfied that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service has always operated lawfully under his leadership; “as far as I am aware, yes”?

11) CHRIS HIPKINS to the Minister of Education: Will Wanganui Collegiate be required to supervise a child if the child’s parents are unable to pay the $5,200 “parent contribution” for meals, house activities and supervision?

12) IAN McKELVIE to the Associate Minister of Health: What recent announcements has she made regarding assistance for communities to improve their drinking water?

Today, Labour are asking five questions on topics ranging from competitiveness in business, housing affordability, oil drilling, Maori television and Wanganui Collegiate. National will be asking four questions ranging from the economy, education, justice and drinking water.

The Greens will be asking one question about the Sky-City casino deal. New Zealand First will be asking one question about the GCSB with Mana asking one question about assest sales.

Pasty Question of the Day

Today’s pasty question of the day goes to question five from Colin King to Hon Steven Joyce asking the following,

What recent announcements has the Government made about foundation education?

General Debate – 3pm to 4pm

This debate happens most Wednesdays in Parliament with 12 rounds of open speeches from members.

Members Orders of the Day – 4pm to 6pm and 7.30pm to 10pm

1) Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill – Te Ururoa Flavell – Third Reading

This bill was introduced in September 2010 by Te Ururoa Flavell. It seeks to allow local authorities, in consultation with their communities, to reduce the number of, or even eliminate, pokies from those suburbs and towns where they are particularly concentrated or doing particular harm. This bill since the first reading has been rewritten to make some changes to the bill to be able to waterdown some of the effects of the original bill with a deal done between National and the Maori Party recently to get the bill passed.

2) Conservation (Natural Heritage Protection Bill) – Jacqui Dean – Second Reading

This bill is designed to encourage compliance with enactments administered by the Department of Conservation by increasing penalties to better protect natural and historic resources and protected wildlife. The main changes the Bill makes to the existing law are to both increase the penalties, and implement a consistent approach to penalties across the main enactments administered by the Department of Conservation.

3) Electricity (Renewable Preference) Amendment Bill - 1st reading continuation – Moana Mackey

This bill is designed to bring back a 10 year ban on the creation of thermal generation of power. This 10 year ban was originally removed in the Electricity (Renewable Preference) Repeal Bill 2008. The 10 year ban on thermal generation of power was apart of the original Emissions Trading Scheme.

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Parliament Today 3 September 2013

September 3rd, 2013 at 12:17 pm by Jordan.M

Questions for Oral Answer.
Questions to Ministers 2.00PM-3.00PM.

  1. Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE to the Minister of Finance: Does he stand by his statement regarding the estimated proceeds of asset sales that “I just want to emphasise that it is not our best guess; it’s just a guess”?
  2. JAMI-LEE ROSS to the Minister of Finance: What steps is the Government taking to responsibly manage its finances and deliver better public services, following fast-rising government spending of the mid-2000s?
  3. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: What is the difference between a “one-off incentive payment” and a subsidy?
  4. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Is he satisfied that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service has always operated lawfully under his leadership?
  5. Dr CAM CALDER to the Minister of Science and Innovation:What progress has been made in the Government’s plan to provide internships for students in New Zealand’s research and development intensive industries?
  6. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister for State Owned Enterprises: Will the Government suspend its asset sales programme until a referendum on the issue has been held, given the Clerk of the House has certified that 327,000 New Zealanders, or more than 10 percent of voters, have signed a petition triggering that referendum?
  7. Hon PETER DUNNE to the Associate Minister of Health: What specific “corrective actions” will the Malvina Major Retirement Village be required to undertake, following the recent Ministry of Health spot audit?
  8. Hon DAMIEN O’CONNOR to the Minister for Primary Industries: Does he stand by all his statements?
  9. SIMON O’CONNOR to the Minister of Education: What recent announcements has she made on how the education system is performing at a local level?
  10. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Minister of Health: Does he stand by all his promises in Health?
  11. KATRINA SHANKS to the Minister of Broadcasting: What progress has been made on the regional rollout of the digital switchover for New Zealand television viewers?
  12. Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Will he support a parliamentary debate and vote on any Government decision to give moral support for a United States-led military strike on Syria; if not, why not?

Today Labour are asking four questions. The first two questions are about Mixed Ownership Model, and the Tiwai Point smelter one off incentive payment. The last two questions are about whether the Minister for Primary Industries stands by all his statements and whether the Minister of Health stands by his promises. The Greens are asking about the asset sales referendum and military action on the Syrian crisis. New Zealand First is asking one question about the SIS.

Patsy of the Day goes to Katrina Shanks for Question 11: What progress has been made on the regional rollout of the digital switchover for New Zealand television viewers?

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

1. Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill – Committee Stage

2. Family Court Proceedings Reform Bill- Committee Stage

3. Airports (Cost Recovery for Processing of International Travellers)  Bill – Committee Stage

4. Statutes Amendment Bill – Committee Stage

5. Unit Titles Amendment Bill – Committee Stage

The Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Housing, Nick Smith.The purpose of this bill is to enhance housing affordability by facilitating an increase in land and housing supply in places with significant supply or affordability issues.

The Family Court Proceedings Reform Bill is being guided through the house by the Minister of Justice, Judith Collins. This bill would implement the Government’s decisions resulting from a review of the Family Court conducted by the Ministry of Justice.

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.

The Statutes Amendment Bill and the Unit Titles Amendment Bill are being guided through the house by the Minister for Courts, Chester Borrows. The first  is an omnibus bill proposing amendments of a technical nature to 30 Acts. The second is the provisions of this bill that were divided out from the Statutes Amendment Bill (Formerly part of Statutes Amendment Bill).

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