Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Member's Day

Today is a Member's Day, and things are finally getting exciting - not because of the bills they're dealing with today, but because they've finally worked their way through the backlog of second readings and committee stages to allow a ballot. The big question is whether it will be one bill or two...

But first, they have some bills to get through. First up is Jeanette Fitzsimons' Resource Management (Climate Protection) Amendment Bill, which would put climate change back in the RMA. Given the government's prolonged dithering over the ETS, this is looking like an even better idea than it did two years ago - but they will vote it down. The interesting question here will be which way Labour votes: do they want to do anything about climate change or not?

After that, we have Brendon Burns' Sale of Liquor (Youth Alcohol Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill, which tightens restrictions on TV alcohol advertising. This one has been passed around - Burns inherited it from Martin Gallagher, who in turn inherited it from Matt Robson all the way back in 2005. I have no idea whether the government will back it or not.

Then we have Te Ururoa Flavell's Public Works (Offer Back of and Compensation for Acquired Land) Amendment Bill, which has been waiting around for the last two years. This is a fundamentally fair bill, and it should go to select committee; it will be a slap in the face to the Maori party if the government votes it down.

Finally, if the House moves quickly, it might make a start on Jeanette Fitzsimons' Climate Change (Transport Funding) Bill. Given the government's preference for roads over public transport (not used by rich people), then it'll get squashed pretty quickly. In the process, it will demonstrate that the gvernment is fundamentally uninterested in catering to the needs of the many, or in doing anything real to reduce our long-term emissions pathway.

And finally, tomorrow, a ballot. More on that when it happens.