The Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Bill passed its first reading today, 109 - 10. The parties voting against were the Greens and the Maori Party.
Meanwhile, some of you may be wondering why only 119 votes were cast when we have 121 MPs. The answer is that ACT isn't turning up to vote again. Looking back through Hansard for the last month, it seems that while Rodney Hide have been turning up for Question Time and Member's Days, when it comes to the actual business of Parliament - debating and voting on legislation - they've been rather slack. Of the eight formal votes on readings of government legislation since the beginning of the Parliamentary year, they've missed four of them - including the Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation, and Compensation Amendment Bill (something you'd expect them to be interested in, as it affects the ACC premiums paid by the self-employed), and the Appropriation (2005/06 Financial Review) Bill - a confidence vote. Though to be fair, they did show up to vote on the Budget Policy Statement 2007 and to protect the "right" of spammers to fill your mailbox with junk. They've also shown a distinct lack of interest in committee stages, having spoken in only one of seven so far this year (and that being the anti-smacking bill; they've remained absolutely silent on government legislation)
By any measure, this is a party which is failing in its most basic duty: representing the interests of its constituents in Parliament. And yet they continue to collect their full salaries. If a public servant was failing to do their job in so obvious and egregious a fashion, Rodney would be all over them - but I guess the rules are rather different when you are an MP.
I should also note that ACT no longer has any excuse. Standing Orders 144 (4) and 156 (3) allow small parties like ACT to vote by proxy provided one of their members is within the Parliamentary precinct. Given that MPs are generally supposed to be within the precinct when the House is sitting (and that being elsewhere on official Parliamentary business e.g. attending a select committee meeting in another city counts as being within the precinct), then the only reason for failing to vote is being too slack to arrange a proxy.