Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Member's Day

Today is a Member's Day, probably the last for the year, and the government has once again delayed its local legislation to ensure time for the third reading of Sue Kedgley's Employment Relations (Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Bill. The bill will bring some welcome employee-centric flexibility to the New Zealand workplace, and make it a lot easier for parents with young children or other caregiving responsibilities to juggle work and life. While it's not a government bill, it's easy to see how this fits into the government's programme of encouraging more people into the workforce by addressing work-life balance concerns.

The passage of the bill will be a great moment for Kedgley, and for the Greens. They've already had two member's bills passed this term (s59 and youth rates), and have a good chance of getting another two through by the election (waste management and corrections (mothers with babies)). They've shown considerable skill at picking good issues and building coalitions behind their legislation, as well as compromising where necessary to get it passed. If only more parties would behave like this...

As for other business, Gordon Copeland's New Zealand Bill of Rights (Private Property Rights) Amendment Bill will go down to its inevitable defeat, and the House will be able to make a start on the second reading of Sue Bradford's Corrections (Mothers with Babies) Amendment Bill (which looks to raise her tally to three). If they get through that in time, then they'll finally be able to make a start on the Foreshore & Seabed (and there'll be a ballot), but I don't think its particularly likely. And with Parliament trying not to sit past December 11th, we're unlikely to see one until next year.