Earlier in the month I commented on the thinness of the government's legislative agenda. While the government seemingly had a pile of business on the Order Paper, it was only actually interested in half of it, the other bills being parked while it sorts out the numbers, or effectively dead.
Now the situation is even worse. At the end of today, there were 11 government bills on the Order Paper (including the Terrorism Suppression Amendment Bill, which is "below the line" and can't receive its first reading until next Thursday). Of these, the government is only interested in advancing three or four of them. Things have got so bad that today the government was reduced to talking out the committee stage of the Criminal Procedure Bill to ensure that it has enough business for next week. And with nothing due back from committee until April 5th, unless they have a pile of bills to introduce next week, they run a very real risk of running out of real business, and having to progress some of those "parked" bills.
Meanwhile, there was a suggestion by National today that the government would seek urgency for the anti-smacking bill on Wednesday. I have no idea whether there's any truth to it, or whether the opposition is simply making things up to smear the government, but it would an unusual move to say the least - not to mention completely unjustified. Urgency requires a reason, and the usual ones are either that the law must be passed as quickly as possible, or that there is a lot of pressing business to get through (usually so the MP's can then go on holiday). Neither applies in this case, and I see no reason to interfere in the normal process.