Parliament 20 March 2012

2 pm – 3 pm

  1. DAVID SHEARER to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements with regard to asset sales?
  2. KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister for ACC: Does she consider an independent inquiry into ACC’s management of the incident in which personal information relating to 6,700 claimants was sent to Bronwyn Pullar is needed; if not, why not?
  3. PAUL GOLDSMITH to the Minister of Finance: How will the Government’s programme for delivering better public services within tight financial constraints contribute to the Government’s economic plan?
  4. Hon ANNETTE KING to the Minister of Local Government: What recommendations from at least three government reviews of local government since 2006 are yet to be implemented, and if any have not been implemented yet, why not?
  5. NICKY WAGNER to the Minister of Local Government: What steps is the Government taking to address the average national 7% per annum rate increase and the quadrupling of local government debt from $2 billion to $8 billion since the major reforms of 2002?
  6. CHRIS HIPKINS to the Minister of State Services: Does he agree that few problems are solved by significant reorganisations – in fact many more tend to be created and it is easy to underestimate the amount of energy and inspiration soaked up by institutional change, as well as the loss of personal and institutional knowledge?
  7. TIM MACINDOE to the Minister for Social Development: How will the current welfare reforms support the Government’s better public services programme?
  8. ANDREW LITTLE to the Minister for ACC: Will she set up an independent inquiry to reassure all New Zealanders that ACC and its Ministers act with the utmost integrity when in possession of people’s intimate and sensitive information?
  9. COLIN KING to the Minister for Economic Development: What actions are the Government taking to drive business growth in New Zealand?
  10. HOLLY WALKER to the Minister of Housing: Is he concerned that poor quality and overcrowded housing is contributing to high rates of infectious and respiratory diseases among Māori children?
  11. JAMI-LEE ROSS to the Associate Minister of Transport: What is the Government doing to raise awareness about upcoming changes to the give way rules?
  12. BARBARA STEWART to the Minister of Health: Does he stand by all his statements as Minister of Health?

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 Q3 – How will the Government’s programme for delivering better public services within tight financial constraints contribute to the Government’s economic plan?

Labour are asking about asset sales, local government, state sector restructuring, and ACC. Bit surprised to see them asking on local govt and restructuring as these are areas where I’d say the Govt has popular support.

Greens are on ACC and housing. The ACC question is likely to be the most interesting with the Bronwyn Pullar issue.

NZ First is on Health.

Government Notice of Motion 3.00 pm – 4.00 pm

That under section 8 of the Intelligence and Security Committee Act 1996, this House endorse the following as members of the Intelligence and Security Committee: Hon John Banks and Hon Peter Dunne, nominated by the Prime Minister under section 7(1)(c) of the Act; and Dr Russel Norman, nominated by the Leader of the Opposition under section 7(1)(d) of the Act.

This is a debatable motion, with speeches of up to 10 minutes each. The Speaker will probably put it to a vote after an hour.

This continues the pattern of the last with the PM and Opposition Leader appointing other party leaders to the ISC, rather than someone from their own party. The only change is Peter Dunne instead of Tariana Turia.

Government Bills 4.00 pm – 6.00 pm and 7.30 pm – 10.00 pm 

  1. Appropriation (2010/11 Financial Review) Bill – first reading (no debate, happens before Govt notice of motion)
  2. Search and Surveillance Bill – committee stage continued
  3. Regulatory Reform Bill – second reading
  4. Regulatory Reform (Repeals) Bill – second reading
  5. Trade (Safeguard Measures) Bill – second reading

The Appropriation (2010/11 Financial Review) Bill seeks to confirm and validate financial matters relating to the 2010/11 financial year.

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.

At second reading Labour, Greens, NZ First, Maori and Mana voted against. An SoP will be considered at committee stage, which is supported by Labour, but they are still voting against the bill as a whole – mainly because the SFO is not included (they want the SFO powers reduced to the same as other agencies). NZ First appear to be voting against also.

The Regulatory Reform Bill was introduced in December 2010 and seeks to  improve the regulatory environment by amending 13 Acts “to reduce the compliance burden on business by amending ineffective or excessively costly regulation”. It was supported at first reading by all parties except the Greens. There is no minority report from the select committee so appears to have broad support.

The Regulatory Reform (Repeals) Bill was introduced in November 2010 and seeks to repeal “31 Acts that have been identified as spent, meaning they no longer have any actual effect, or have very limited effect, and are out of date”.  It was passed on a voice vote at first reading, and considered in tandem with the Regulatory Reform Bill by the Commerce Select Committee. There was also no minority report so appears to be non-controversial.

The Trade Safeguard Measures Bill was introduced in September 2008, and seeks to repeal the Temporary Safeguard Authorities Act 1987 (which embodies New Zealand’s current safeguards regime) and to replace it with a new regime consistent with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. ‘Safeguards’ are emergency measures applied at New Zealand’s border, such as a duty. It passed first reading on a voice vote and the select committee report back has no minority report.

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