Parliament 22 March 2012

2 pm – 3 pm

  1. GRANT ROBERTSON to the Prime Minister: Will he agree to the requests of former Minister Hon Dr. Nick Smith and others for an inquiry about the Minister’s role in the ACC case of Bronwyn Pullar and surrounding issues; if not, why not?
  2. KANWALJIT SINGH BAKSHI to the Minister of Finance: What recent reports has he received about the economy’s performance?
  3. Hon PHIL GOFF to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: Does he have confidence in the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade?
  4. KATRINA SHANKS to the Minister for Economic Development:How is the Government helping New Zealand technology companies access the capital and expertise they need to grow?
  5. Hon LIANNE DALZIEL to the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery: Does he stand by the Prime Minister’s statement that the Government’s offer to insured residential homeowners, whose properties had been red-zoned by the Government, is “incredibly fair”; if so, why?
  6. MARK MITCHELL to the Minister for Social Development: How is the Government providing beneficiaries opportunities for work in Canterbury?
  7. CATHERINE DELAHUNTY to the Minister of Education: Does she agree with Treasury that increasing class sizes will assist educational outcomes for students; if so, why?
  8. HONE HARAWIRA to the Attorney-General: What is the likely total cost of the “Urewera Four” case to the Crown, from the start of surveillance of suspects to the close of the trial on Tuesday, including all of the different government departments that were involved?
  9. Dr CAM CALDER to the Minister of Defence: What reports has he received on recent upgrades to Royal New Zealand Air Force capabilities?
  10. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: What was so vastly different in the contents of the first and second letters from Hon Dr. Nick Smith to ACC regarding Bronwyn Pullar that finally made him decide to accept Dr Smith’s resignation?
  11. Dr DAVID CLARK to the Minister of Revenue: Given the evidence presented by IRD officials in their briefing for the incoming Minister that significant tax reforms enacted since 2008 have reduced the tax to GDP ratio and that “about 2.5 percentage points of this decline is attributable to policy changes” does he agree with the Minister of Finance that the Government’s tax changes have been “broadly fiscally neutral”; if so, why?
  12. NICKY WAGNER to the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery: What support has the Government provided in restoring sporting facilities in Christchurch since the Canterbury earthquakes?

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

Patsy of the day goes to Q12 – What support has the Government provided in restoring sporting facilities in Christchurch since the Canterbury earthquakes?

Labour are asking about the ACC issue, MFAT restructuring, CERA, and tax cuts

Greens are on class sizes, NZ First also on ACC, and Mana on the Urewera 4 case.

Government Bills 4.00 pm – 6.00 pm 

  1. Search and Surveillance Bill – third reading
  2. Crown Pastoral Land (Rent for Pastoral Leases) Amendment Bill – committee stage
  3. Airports (Cost Recovery for Processing of International Travellers) Bill – committee stage
  4. Sentencing (Aggravating Factors) Amendment Bill – committee stage
  5. Building Amendment Bill (No 4) – first reading

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 was considered at committee stage and 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 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 Airports (Cost Recovery for Processing of International Travellers) Bill was introduced in November 2010 and seeks to enable the Crown to recover the costs of aviation security, biosecurity, and customs traveller processing from the operators of international airports. It passed first reading on a voice vote and the same for the second reading.

The Sentencing (Aggravating Factors) Amendment Bill was introduced in October 2010 and seeks to ensure that an offence  committed against a Police officer or prison officer acting in the course of his or her duty is taken into account as an aggravating factor at sentencing. It was supported by all parties bar the Maori Party at first reading, and passed second reading on a voice vote. The Government has indicated they will support a Labour amendment to include other emergency service operators in the bill.

The Building Amendment Bill (No 4) was introduced in November 2011 and seeks to also implement the Building Act reviews decisions, including more comprehensive consumer protection measures and clarifying exemptions from building consent requirements.

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