Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Members' Day

Today, barring urgency, is a Member's Day, and there's a couple of important bills up for debate.

The first, which everyone knows about, is Rahui Katene's bill to remove GST from healthy food. The Maori Party have won the argument on this, and the bill deserves to progress; unfortunately National and ACT are dead set against it, and so it will be voted down. But it'll be back, and simply putting it up has forced Labour to shift its policy, an important purpose of Member's Bills.

The media is reporting that Jacqui Dean's Shop Trading Hours Act Repeal (Waitaki Easter Trading) Amendment Bill will also get its first reading, but its been delayed for two weeks to allow for further lobbying. Instead, ACT's child-beating bill (now in the name of David Garrett, which is creepily appropriate) will be up for debate. ACT had intended this to be a wooden spoon of Damocles hovering over the government's head. But after this long, I don't think anyone other than creepy fundamentalists and bullies like Garrett really cares. I expect it to be voted down nearly-unanimously, with ACT the only party in support. I'm actually wondering why its come up for debate now; I'd expected ACT to save it until closer to the election to make a play for the bully-vote. But either they've decided instead to use it to support child-beating advocate Colin Craig's campaign for the Auckland mayoralty, or Garrett was caught out by Dean delaying her bill.

Unless there are significant delays, the House will make a start on Garrett's bill, meaning a ballot for four bills tomorrow morning. I wonder what will come up?