Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Member's Day

Today is (finally!) a Member's Day, and while there is some local kibble to get out of the way, there are also some real bills to debate.

First up is Chris Hipkins' Electricity (Renewable Preference) Amendment Bill, which would supplement the ETS by restoring the ban on new thermal generation which National repealed back in 2008. Its an important measure, aimed at directing our electricity sector down a green (rather than brown) path, and preventing the development of large new sources of greenhouse gases which would then be locked in for 50 years. So naturally, the government will be voting against it.

Secondly, there is Te Ururoa Flavell's Local Electoral (Māori Representation) Amendment Bill, aimed at creating Maori seats for local councils. I support the goal, but the bill is seriously flawed; still, its nothing a select committee can't work out, and I'd like to see the issue debated. It will be interesting to see whether National will act in good faith and send its coalition partner's bill to committee, or whether they'll pander to the rednecks and reject it out of hand. But given their recent disgusting behaviour around the Tuhoe settlement, my money is on the latter.

If they get through both of these today (or even start on the second), there'll be a ballot for two bills tomorrow morning. It'll be interesting to see what MPs have come up with over the recess.