Parliament 28 March 2012

2 pm – 3 pm

  1. SIMON BRIDGES to the Minister of Finance: What measures is the Government taking to responsibly manage its finances and reduce the build-up in debt?
  2. CHARLES CHAUVEL to the Attorney-General: Were theProsecution Guidelines dated 1 January 2010 applied to the decision not to prosecute Mr Ambrose over the Tea Tape complaint?
  3. TIM MACINDOE to the Minister for Social Development: How will the Government’s proposed welfare changes give greater flexibility to support beneficiaries back into work?
  4. Hon TREVOR MALLARD to the Minister for ACC: Does she stand by her answers to all supplementary questions to Oral Questions No. 2 and No. 9 yesterday?
  5. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister of Finance: Has the Treasury underestimated the forecast lost profits to the Crown from the sale of State-owned energy companies in light of Mighty River Power’s enhanced earnings and dividend announcement?
  6. MIKE SABIN to the Minister of Corrections: What reports has she received about the amount of drug use in prisons?
  7. RICHARD PROSSER to the Minister for Primary Industries: Does he have confidence in New Zealand’s current biosecurity arrangements?
  8. DAVID BENNETT to the Minister of Transport: What is the Government doing to reduce compliance costs for motorists?
  9. GARETH HUGHES to the Minister of Conservation: How many adult Maui’s dolphins are estimated to be alive today and can she guarantee that on her watch no more Maui’s dolphins will die of human-induced causes?
  10. Hon PHIL GOFF to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: What is the cost budgeted for this financial year of the 30 or more positions in the Change Programme Office within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the consultants engaged by the Ministry on the change process?
  11. KANWALJIT SINGH BAKSHI to the Minister of Statistics: What information has he received on preparations for the 2013 Census?
  12. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Minister for Economic Development: Is the Government considering legislative or regulatory concessions with respect to SkyCity Casino in order to build an international convention centre; if so, why?

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 Q11 – What information has he received on preparations for the 2013 Census?

Labour are asking on teapotgate, ACC, MFAT and Sky City.  Interesting that Mallard not Little (the ACC spokesperson) is asking the ACC questions.

Greens are on asset sales and dolphins. NZ First on biosecurity.

General Debate 3.00 pm – 4.00 pm

Government Bills 4.00 pm – 6.00 pm and 7.30 pm – 10.00 pm (and Thu 9am to 1 pm)

  1. Members of Parliament (Remuneration and Services) Bill – first reading
  2. Student Loan Scheme Amendment Bill – committee stage
  3. Trade (Safeguard Measures) Bill – second reading continued
  4. Building Amendment Bill (No 4) – first reading
  5. Crown Pastoral Land (Rent for Pastoral Leases) Amendment Bill – third reading

The Members of (Remuneration and Services) Bill was introduced in October 2011. It implements most of the 2010 Law Commission report, including handing over entitlements of MPs to travel and accommodation services will be determined by an independent body. It also allows an MPs salary to have a 0.2% deduction for every day they are absent without leave, which effectively increases it from $50/day to $270/day.

The Student Loan Scheme Amendment Bill was introduced in September 2011 and seeks to amend the scheme to shorten the repayment holiday from three years to one year and require borrowers to apply for a repayment holiday, plus other changes. It was supported at first reading by National, Labour, ACT, Maori, Progressive and United and opposed by Greens and Chris Carter. It appears to continue to have broad support as there was no minority report back from the select committee.

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.

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.

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”. At second reading and committee stage it was supported by National, ACT and Maori Party but opposed by all other parties including (unusually) United Future.

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