Sue Bradford's Corrections (Mothers with Babies) Amendment Bill passed its first reading with unanimous support last night, and will now go to select committee. This is good news, and a good sign that all parties are willing to examine the issue seriously. While the number of people ultimately affected is small - there are reportedly only thirteen pregnant women in prison at the moment - current practices of separating mothers from their children after only six months are fairly barbaric. While opinions will differ on how long they should have together (other countries allow up to six years), its good to see that parties are unanimous that it should be extended, and I don't really expect the bill to have much trouble at its later readings.
Meanwhile, both Sue Kedgley's Consumer's Right to Know (Food Information) Bill and Rodney Hide's execrable Human Rights (One Law for All) Amendment Bill were voted down last night. The former failed on a 99-20 vote, with the large parties (and Jim Anderton's "Progressives") uniting against the smaller ones to kill a bill which would have allowed consumers to make an informed choice about what they eat. The latter was voted down by everyone except National and ACT, after the Ministry of Justice reported that it violated the BORA by preventing the government acting to counter discrimination. Which was precisely the point; ACT is perfectly happy with existing inequalities and wants to preserve and perpetuate them.
There will be a ballot today to draw another bill for the next Member's Day in July. As usual, I'll post the results when I get them.