Parliament – 12th March 2014

Questions for Oral Answer – 2pm to 3pm

Questions to Ministers

  1. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister of Finance: How will the expected increases in the Official Cash Rate over the coming year affect New Zealand families and businesses?
  2. JOHN HAYES to the Minister of Finance: How will the Government’s economic and fiscal policies ensure its accounts return to surplus in 2014/15 and help keep interest rates lower than during the previous economic cycle?
  3. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements?
  4. KANWALJIT SINGH BAKSHI to the Minister of Energy and Resources: What has the Government done to improve the performance of the electricity market in New Zealand?
  5. GRANT ROBERTSON to the Minister of Justice: Did she seek advice from the Cabinet Office regarding any conflict of interest arising from her husband’s directorship of Oravida Ltd; if so, when and why?
  6. Dr JIAN YANG to the Minister for Economic Development: How is the Government making it easier, quicker and less complicated for businesses to deal with the Government?
  7. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Were all his answers to questions relating to the Hon Judith Collins and Oravida checked to ensure they were true; if not, why not?
  8. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: What is the total amount of dividends that the Government has taken out of Transpower since 2011, and what is the current debt gearing ratio of Transpower?
  9. JOANNE HAYES to the Minister of Justice: What recent reports has she received on Justice sector results?
  10. HONE HARAWIRA to the Deputy Prime Minister: What more is the Government planning to do to ensure all New Zealand children have food to eat each school day in light of the recent Treasury finding that the number of children living in poverty has increased to 285,000?
  11. DAVID SHEARER to the Minister of Energy and Resources: Further to his reply to Oral Question No 9 yesterday, will he now tell me what is his Ministry’s best estimate for the percentage increase in retail electricity prices for the period 1 February to 1 August this year for a household of four persons, averaged across New Zealand?
  12. CLAUDETTE HAUITI to the Minister of Health: What recent announcement has the Government made on the Waitemata bowel screening pilot?

Today, Labour will be asking four questions to ministers on issues such as Hon Judith Collins visit to Oravida, dividends paid by Transpower to the government and electricity price increases in 2014. National will be asking five questions to ministers ranging from issues such as the economic health of the country to power price increases under the previous Labour government. In addition, questions will be asked about justice targets and funding for bowel screening in New Zealand.

Russell Norman will be asking one question about the Official Cash Rate (OCR) potential increases could hurt New Zealand families. New Zealand First will be asking one question about the Oravida visit by Hon Judith Collins and Mana will ask one question about poverty in New Zealand.

Patsy of the day

Today’s patsy of the day question goes to question 6 from Dr Jian Yang to Hon Steven Joyce asking about how the Government will be making it easier, quicker and less complicated for businesses to deal with the Government.

Budget Policy Statement – 3pm to 4pm

This debate is consisted of 12 speeches of 10 minute lengths to debate the Governments Budget Policy Statement. The Budget Policy Statement is a document that highlights what the Governments policy goals and direction are for Budget 2014 to be held on Thursday, 15 May 2014.

This report comes back to the house from the Finance and Expenditure Committee and after this debate has occurred in the house, it is then sent back to the Finance and Expenditure Committee for further consideration. The public can then make submissions to this process and the Minister for Finance is required under Parliaments standing orders to attend further committee hearings to answer questions should the committee request him too.

For further explanation of this statement, feel free to click here.

Private and Local Orders of the Day – 4pm to 6pm

  1. Tasman District Council (Validation and Recovery of Certain Rates) Bill – Hon Damien O’ Connor – Committee Stage

This bill is designed to clarify rating issues in the Tasman District during the years 2003-2004 and 2008-2009 in which they failed to apply section 23 of the Local Government Act 2002 correctly when setting rates in the region, especially in the areas of  Tata Beach and Ligar Bay in Golden Bay who have challenged the Tasman District Council over stormwater charges billed to them during these years.

At the last reading of this bill on 19th February, it was passed 119 to 1 with Mana being the only one against it.

2.  Sullivan Birth Certificate Bill – Louisa Wall – Committee Stage

The purpose of this bill is to allow for the birth details of Rowen Sullivan to to be changed to allow for both parents to be legally added to her birth certificate. Her parents were Diane Sullivan, who was a British citizen, and Doreen Margaret Shields, who was born in New Zealand. On the official birth certificate,  only Diane Sullivan was the one legally on the paperwork.Diane Sullivan became terminally ill and Doreen Margaret Shields attempted to adopt Rowen Sullivan but were blocked because the couple where not married. This bill intends to recognize both parents on the birth certificate instead of only one.

At the last reading of this bill on 19th February, it was passed without objection.

Members Order of the Day – 7.30pm to 10pm

  1. Electronic Transactions (Contract Formation) Amendment Bill – Paul Goldsmith – Committee Stage

The primary purpose of this bill is to amend the  Electronic Transactions Act 2002 to clarify when a contract is formed upon being accepted and communicated electronically between groups.  This bill adapts an already accepted rule  found in common law from the Adams v Lindsell case which finds that a contract is accepted upon posting back a signed contract to a group, to include electronic communications of contracts.

  1. Resource Management (Restricted Duration of Certain Discharge and Coastal Permits) Amendment Bill – Catherine Delahunty – Second Reading

The purpose of this Bill is to amend section 107 of the Resource Management Act, relating to granting discharge permits and coastal permits. Section 107, primary relates to discharges into our waterways and this bill attempts to amend Section 107(2)(a) which allows for discharges to water where “exceptional circumstances” justify it. Currently, this section of the Resource Management Act allows for this cause to be used for up to 35 years. This amendment would limit this to 5 years.

At the last reading for this bill on 29th August 2012, it passed 61 to 60 with National and ACT NZ objecting to this bill.