Parliament 25 September 2012

2.00 pm – 3.00 pm

  1. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister responsible for the Government Communications Security Bureau: Does he consider that he should have been informed about the unlawful bugging of Kim Dotcom earlier than Monday, 17 September 2012; if not, why not?
  2. JOHN HAYES to the Minister of Finance: What measures has the Government taken to improve the long-term competitiveness of the New Zealand economy?
  3. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: How many times has he been formally briefed by the Government Communications Security Bureau, by year, since November 2008?
  4. DAVID SHEARER to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements in relation to Kim Dotcom and the inquiry into the actions of the Government Communications Security Bureau?
  5. NIKKI KAYE to the Minister of Education: What support exists for the publication of National Standards data?
  6. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Does he stand by his statement that “exporters are actually doing their best, and they need all the help they can get from a Government that is actually in favour of exporting and investing”; if so, what support has the Government given Solid Energy to prevent layoffs and redundancies?
  7. COLIN KING to the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment: What is the Government doing to improve access to foundation-level tertiary education for young New Zealanders?
  8. GARETH HUGHES to the Minister of Energy and Resources: Does he stand by his statement on fracking that he has “full confidence in the ability of councils to manage it” when unlined earthen blow-down pits were used without resource consent for over a decade, and now the soil and groundwater near Kapuni wellsites in Taranaki is contaminated?
  9. GRANT ROBERTSON to the Prime Minister: Is it still his position that the test for his confidence in Hon John Banks was that he complied with the law; if so, on what basis does he believe that Mr Banks complied with the law with respect to anonymous donations under the Local Electoral Act 2001?
  10. KANWALJIT SINGH BAKSHI to the Minister of Civil Defence: What progress has the Government made in encouraging New Zealanders to participate in the ShakeOut earthquake drill?
  11. CHARLES CHAUVEL to the Attorney-General: Has the Government given any type of indemnity relating to legal actions concerning Kim Dotcom; if so, what are the terms and which agencies were consulted before it was given?
  12. SHANE ARDERN to the Associate Minister of Health: What initiatives is the Health Promotion Agency taking to assist the Government’s heart health and diabetes targets?

Today there are five questions from National, four questions from Labour, two from the Greens and one from NZ First. Four questions for John Key, three of which are about the GCSB.

Patsy of the day goes to Q2 – What measures has the Government taken to improve the long-term competitiveness of the New Zealand economy?

Labour are asking about Kim Dotcom and the GCSB twice, Solid Energy job losses, and John Banks.

Greens and NZ First are both asking about the GCSB, and Greens are also asking about fracking.

Government Bills 3.00 pm – 6.00 pm and 7.30 pm – 10.00 pm

  1. National War Memorial Park (Pukeahu) Empowering Bill – second reading
  2. Customs and Excise (Tobacco Products – Budget Measures) Amendment Bill – second reading
  3. Lawyers and Conveyancers Amendment Bill – second reading

These three bills all have a full two hours allocated for their second readings, so the Lawyers and Conveyancers Amendment Bill will probably not quite finish its second reading by 10pm. [DPF: I expect there will be an urgent debate on the GCSB, so they may not start the Lawyers Bill as if accepted an urgent debate takes up 90 minutes]

The National War Memorial Park (Pukeahu) Empowering Bill was introduced last month by Chris Finlayson. It seeks to grant statutory authorisations and property rights to the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the New Zealand Transport Agency (the Agency) to enable completion of the National War Memorial Park (Pukeahu) (the Park) by April 2015, the centenary of the commencement of the Gallipoli landings of the First World War. Only the Greens and Mana voted against it at the first reading. It was reported back by the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee with opposition from the Greens.

The Customs and Excise (Tobacco Products—Budget Measures) Amendment Bill was introduced by Tariana Turia in May, and seeks to amend the Customs and Excise Act 1996 to make 4 cumulative 10% increases to the duties on all tobacco products. It was supported unanimously at first reading, and reported back by the Finance and Expenditure Committee with opposition from NZ First. [DPF: Probably Winston annoyed he can’t get a super gold card discount on his cigarettes!]

The Lawyers and Conveyancers Amendment Bill was introduced by Judith Collins in March 2010. It seeks to restore the rank of Queen’s Counsel and restrict eligibility for appointment to that rank, and make other minor amendments to the principal Act. At first reading it was opposed by Labour and the Progressives. The Justice and Electoral Committee reported the Bill back with opposition from Labour.

[DPF: Thanks to Stuart for doing this post. I had lots of offers of help, and accepted the first four. Stuart is doing Tuesdays, Hamish Thursdays, Scott Wednesday Member’s Days and Jordan Wednesday Govt Days]

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