Electoral Finance Bill (not) to have third reading today

NZPA reported close to midnight:

… under a deal understood to have been worked out by MPs late tonight, there will be a break in the urgency motion for the Electoral Finance Bill to be debated for the last time tomorrow [now today].

When it has been passed, urgency will resume and the remaining bills dealt with. After that the adjournment debate will be held.

The arrangement will allow Parliament to adjourn for the long summer recess late tomorrow, avoiding having to come back after the weekend. Friday is not a sitting day.

I would expect the Governor-General to give royal assent to it on Friday, at which stage it will come into law. The regulated period will start on 1 January 2008, but the new laws around donations etc will come into force on the day royal assent is given.

UPDATE: It turns out there was no deal, and the House remains in urgency. When the bills put to urgency are finished with (might be today even) the House will rise and resume on Tuesday. I would expect question time from 2 – 3.30 or so, EFB third reading from 3.30 – 5.30 and then after the dinner break the adjournment debate.

UPDATE2: Have just had confirmed there never was any deal at all, that the media stories came from talk at the press gallery party last night. In fact as I understand it, the position of the leadership is that they are quite happy to still be debating the Electoral Finance Bill on Christmas Eve, and will not be making any deals to help the Government get it through quicker! I think it is great National have managed to succeed in not having the third reading until the week before Christmas.  If you’re not willing to give up some of your Xmas shopping time to fight a bill like this, then you don’t deserve Xmas! So well done Nats.

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