Parliament 21 March 2013

2.00 pm -3.00 pm

Questions to Ministers.

  1. DAVID BENNETT to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on the economy?
  2. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Does he agree with Westpac economist Nathan Penny that the increase in the annual current account deficit to $10.5 billion, 5 percent of GDP, is a “worrying symptom of New Zealand’s two-speed economy and re-emerging imbalances”; if not, why not?
  3. CHRIS AUCHINVOLE to the Minister of Labour: What action is the Government taking to improve work opportunities for young people?
  4. Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE to the Minister for State Owned Enterprises: Does he stand by all statements he and his Ministerial colleagues have made regarding State-owned enterprises?
  5. DENIS O’ROURKE to the Minister of Immigration: Does he stand by his statements made in Question Time on 12 March 2013?
  6. JULIE ANNE GENTER to the Minister of Transport: Has he read the City Centre Future Access Study which found that, of the options for Auckland CBD’s transport infrastructure, the City Rail Link “has the highest road network speeds within the City Centre”?
  7. CLARE CURRAN to the Minister for Economic Development: What contribution, if any, will the ICT sector make to the Government’s stated 2011 Budget commitment to 170,000 net new jobs being created by 2015?
  8. Dr JIAN YANG to the Minister of Tourism: What is Tourism New Zealand doing to promote New Zealand as the first Hobbit movie is released on DVD?
  9. Dr RAJEN PRASAD to the Minister for Social Development: Is she satisfied with the spending decisions made by the Families Commission in the last three financial years?
  10. MIKE SABIN to the Minister for ACC: What is ACC doing to ensure that frontline staff are adequately trained to provide excellent customer service?
  11. Hon PHIL GOFF to the Minister of Defence: Will he rule out “systemic health and safety issues throughout the Defence Force” being a cause of Defence Force fatalities, in light of revelations surrounding the non-combat deaths of Defence personnel over the last three years; if not, why not?
  12. Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in all his Ministers?

In today’s questions, Labour asking five questions, Nation four, the Greens two and New Zealand First one. Labour are asking about the current account deficit, SOEs, the ICT sector, the Families Commission and the Defence Foce. The Greens are asking about the Auckland Rail Link and confidence in Government Ministers. New Zealand First are asking about prior statements.

Patsy of the day goes to Mike Sabin for question number 10; What is ACC doing to ensure that frontline staff are adequately trained to provide excellent customer service?

Government Bills 3 pm – 6 pm

  1. Local Electoral Amendment Bill (No 2) – interrupted debate on second reading
  2. Crown Minerals (Permitting and Crown Land) Bill – second reading
  3. Minimum Wage (Starting-out Wage) Amendment Bill – third reading
  4. Families Commission Amendment Bill – second reading

The Local Electoral Amendment Bill (No 2) was introduced October 2012, in response to the John Banks donation saga. The Bill amends the principle legislation in regard to provisions for the conduct of local elections; transparency and accountability around electoral donations; and the integrity and efficiency of the electoral system.

The Crown Minerals (Permitting and Crown Land) Bill was first read in September last year. This bill is an omnibus bill and amends the Crown Minerals Act 1991, the Conservation Act 1987, the Continental Shelf Act 1964, the Reserves Act 1977, and the Wildlife Act 1953

The Minimum Wage (Starting-out Wage) Amendment Bill was introduced in October. This bill will permit Ministers to set a youth or starting out wage for eligible young people aged 16, 17, 18, or 19 years who are not supervising or training other workers, repealing the ability to set the current new entrant rate, and changing the criteria for setting the current training rate.

The Families Commission Amendment Bill was first read in July. This bill will amend the Commission so that it comprises a single Families Commissioner and other members, amends some functions of the Commission and provides for the appointment of a Social Science Experts Panel to provide academic peer review and guidance.

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