Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Members day

Today is a member's day, with another four bills up for first reading. A local bill - the Eden Park Trust Amendment Bill - may delay things, but only for a little while; they've already agreed to handle it as one debate and it will whizz through. Which leaves the House to get on with the interesting business.

First up is Rahui Katene's Te Rā o Matariki Bill/Matariki Day Bill. This needs the support of either National or ACT to go to select committee, but based on the debate three weeks ago, both oppose it. Looks like crawling into bed with National doesn't get the Maori Party any respect then.

The main event will be Phil Twyford's Local Government (Protection of Auckland Assets) Amendment Bill, which attacks the government on a core area of weakness: privatisation. It will fail, of course - National's donors and cronies are already rubbing their hands together with glee at the thought of stealing Auckland's family silver in corrupt sales - but in the process it will have highlighted the issue (which is one thing a good member's bill does). There's more than one way to skin this cat, and given the desire of Aucklanders to protect their assets from National's fie-sale, we can expect the others to be tried in short order.

Sue Bradford's Social Security (Benefit Review and Appeal Reform) Amendment Bill should also get its first reading, and the House should make a start on Kennedy Graham's International Non-Aggression and the Lawful Use of Force Bill. Which means there will be a ballot for at least two, and probably three bills tomorrow.