Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Members' Day

Today is a Members' Day, the first of the new Parliamentary year. Unfortunately, the Order Paper is dominated by private and local bills (including the excreable Wanganui gang patch bill), which will delay proceedings somewhat. On the plus side, the government is finally advancing the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Bill, which is sure to meet with tough opposition from National (and which could be dragged out for the whole evening if they want). There's also the odd little Melanesian Trusts (Income Tax Exemption) Amendment Bill, the primary purpose of which is to make the rest of us pay for other people's religion - but sadly, that particular outrage seems unlikely to encounter any real opposition. And so church privileges dating back to the middle ages are further perpetuated...

The Wanganui bill will see a lot of chest beating about gangs and law & order, but will probably fly through, since no-one other than the Greens and Maori Party will want to be seen opposing it. Bill of Rights? Who cares when you can posture as "tough on crime"?

If we are lucky, we might see some debate on Sue Bradford's Corrections (Mothers with Babies) Amendment Bill from 21:00, but I wouldn't want to count on it.