Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Members' Day

Today is a Members' Day, and while I was expecting to see the committee stages of Sue Bradford's Corrections (Mothers With babies) Amendment Bill and Darien Fenton's Minimum Wage and Remuneration Amendment Bill, that's not going to happen. Instead, Bradford and Fenton have delayed their bills. The net result, once the fluff is dealt with, will be to push Nandor Tanczo's Waste Minimisation (Solids) Bill to the front of the queue; it will almost certainly complete its second reading today, and then be at the top of the Order Paper for its committee stage in two weeks' time.

As for why such tricks are necessary, it's because there are only five Members' Days before Parliament rises - including today. Getting a bill through its final stages needs at least three of those days (maybe more, depending on what's ahead of it and how long the committee stage is), so time is definitely getting short. With this move, the Greens and Labour have I think made sure the waste minimisation bill will go through before the election - though possibly at the expense of a minimum wage for contractors. And OTOH, if the government is adopting bills to get them through, its certainly easier to adopt their own rather than have to deal with how to give a minor party sufficient publicity off what would become a government bill.

Today will also see the final death of Pita Paraone's Treaty of Waitangi (Removal of Conflict of Interest) Amendment Bill. Good riddance. The bill was a result of NZ First's obsession with the perceived biases of the Maori Land Court, and arguably an attempt to remove specific individuals from the Tribunal, which would have robbed the Tribunal of specialist expertise for no reason. I'll be glad to see the back of it.