Friday, July 03, 2009

In the ballot XXV

Another batch of Member's Bills currently in the ballot. Previous batches are indexed here:

Crimes (Reasonable Parental Control and Correction) Amendment Bill (John Boscawen): John Boscawen's section 59 revanchist bill. This would replace the existing section 59 with a version modelled heavily on Chester Borrows' (later Rodney Hide's) committee stage SOP [PDF], explicitly allowing force for the purposes of correction provided it causes no more than "transitory and trifling" harm, does not use a weapon or implement, and is not inflicted in a cruel or degrading manner. In short, the rule of thumb for child-beaters. That version was defeated overwhelmingly during the committee stage of the original bill, and I doubt it has any more support now. But the purpose of the bill isn't really to pass - its to get National to vote against it, thus allowing ACT to claim that it is the champion of child-beaters.

Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Change of Date for Full Funding) Amendment Bill (David Parker): This would amend the Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2001 to extend the date for full funding of ACC claims from 2014 to 2019. The government has manufactured a "crisis" in ACC by scaremongering over the short-term (and self-correcting) effects of the economic crisis. It has used this as an excuse to increase levies, in the hope of increasing dissatisfaction with ACC as a prelude to privatisation. Parker's bill would solve the problem in a flash, by pushing the date for full-funding out to 2019, allowing ACC to look past the effects of the crisis and reducing the need for a levy increase.

As a side-note, this was recommended by ACC in its Briefing to the Incoming Minister, and really the government should be doing this itself. But if they're not going to govern responsibly, the opposition will just have to do it for them.

Smart Meters (Consumer Choice) Bill (Jeanette Fitzsimons): This bill amends the Electricity Act 1992 to give effect to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's recommendations on smart meters [PDF]. Smart meters would be required to have automatic load control and the ability to talk to smart appliances, while power companies installing them would be required to offer customers an in-home display and (if they are a retailer) a choice of pricing schemes including a flat-rate (so no mandatory TOU metering, and no exposure to the spot market). The overall thrust is to make the technology work for consumers, not greedy power companies - and that's something we should all support.

As usual, I'll have more bills as I acquire them.