Parliament 1 March 2012

Oral Questions 2 pm – 3 pm

  1. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister of Finance: Does he stand by his statement that “the mixed ownership programme will be good for…the economy as a whole; if so, will it be good for the economy as a whole if these mixed ownership companies then sell New Zealand electricity generating assets into foreign ownership?
  2. LOUISE UPSTON to the Minister of Transport: What important transport projects are underway in the Waikato region?
  3. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Minister for Economic Development: Does he stand by his statement, in his answer to Oral Question No 8 yesterday, that the current account deficit is forecast in the PREFU to deteriorate by “about just under $5 billion over the next 4 years”?
  4. SIMON O’CONNOR to the Minister of Justice: What initiatives is the Government planning in the justice system to help reduce drug and alcohol related offending?
  5. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: What current account deficit, in dollars, was projected in the pre-election fiscal update by the Treasury for 2012 and for 2016; and does he agree with Hon Steven Joyce’s answer in Oral Question No 8 yesterday, that “the pre-election update last year forecast the current account deficit to widen by about just under $5 billion over the next 4 years”?
  6. IAN McKELVIE to the Minister for Primary Industries: Has he received the report of the Ministerial Inquiry into Foreign Charter Vessels?
  7. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Minister of Local Government: Does he have confidence in the financial management of Auckland City Council?
  8. DARIEN FENTON to the Minister of Labour: What action, if any, does the Government intend to take in respect of industrial action currently occurring in New Zealand?
  9. MICHAEL WOODHOUSE to the Minister for Communications and Information Technology: What recent progress has the Government made to improve New Zealanders’ access to broadband?
  10. GARETH HUGHES to the Minister of Transport: Will he commit to holding a Royal Commission or a Commission of Inquiry into the Government’s response to the grounding of the Rena?
  11. CLARE CURRAN to the Minister of Broadcasting: What duties if any, does he believe he has to protect the Broadcasting Commission, also known as NZ On Air, and broadcasters from political interference?
  12. SCOTT SIMPSON to the Minister for the Environment: What action has the Government taken to assist local councils to deal with the possible contamination of residential and community properties in Moanataiari?

Today there are five questions from National, four questions from Labour, two from the Greens, and one from NZ First.

Patsy of the day goes to Q4 – What initiatives is the Government planning in the justice system to help reduce drug and alcohol related offending?

Labour are asking about current account deficit twice, industrial action and NZ on Air again.

Greens are on asset sales and Rena. NZ First is on confidence in the financial management of the Auckland City Council. That could be a short question and answer as no such entity exists any longer.

Government Notices of Motion (no debate as agreed by Business Committee)

  1. to approve the Misuse of Drugs (Classification of Tapentadol) Order 2011 (makes Tapentadol a Class B3 drug)
  2. to appoint as members of the Parliamentary Service Commission: Michael Woodhouse, Chris Hipkins, Metiria Turei, Barbara Stewart, Te Ururoa Flavell, and Hone Harawira.
  3. to make the Abortion Supervisory Committee, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, and Air New Zealand Limited be public organisations for the purposes of the Standing Orders.

Government Bills 3.00 pm – 6.00 pm

  1. Search and Surveillance Bill – second reading
  2. Game Animal Council Bill – first reading
  3. Crown Pastoral Land (Rent for Pastoral Leases) Amendment Bill – second reading
  4. Building Amendment Bill (No 3) – committee stage

The Search and Surveillance Bill was introduced in July 2009 and aims to implement the Government’s decisions on the legislative reform of search and surveillance powers”, based on the Law Commission’s report, “Search and Surveillance Powers”. It amends 69 different Acts and was supported at first reading by all parties except the Green Party.

The select committee did an interim report in August 2010 and a final report in November 2010. There was considerable opposition to the bill as originally drafted, such as by Tech Liberty.  Significant changes were made by the select committee with the Greens noting “They generally restrict search and surveillance powers more than the original bill, and improve accountability provisions”.  However they still oppose the bill, especially the provisions for Examination and Production Orders. Labour also opposes those two provisions.

The Game Animal Council Bill was introduced in October 2011. It aims to deliver on the Government’s confidence and supply agreement with the United Future Party to proceed with the establishment of a Big Game Hunting Council as part of a national wild game management strategy with a view to it becoming a statutory authority. The primary purpose of establishing such a council is to improve the management of deer, tahr, chamois, and wild pig, including the improvement of opportunities to hunt those animals.

The Crown Pastoral Land (Rent for Pastoral Leases) Amendment Bill was introduced in December 2010 and aims to replace the land valuation basis for setting rents for pastoral leases with a property-earning-capacity basis for setting rents for pastoral leases. It was supported at first reading by National, Greens, ACT, Maori and United and opposed by Labour.  Labour opposed the bill at select committee saying it “severely compromises the property rights of the land owner, the Crown, to negotiate a fair return on the full value of the land”.

The Building Amendment Bill (No 3) was introduced in October 2010 and aims to implement policy decisions from the 2009 Building Act review. It was passed on a voice vote at first reading but the select committee reports that Labour and Greens will now oppose the bill as they see the building reforms as being done piecemeal.


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