Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Member's day

Today is a Member's Day, and assuming there is no filibuster, a potentially very interesting one, with bills on both child poverty and the high dollar before the House. But first, there's two private and local bills to get out of the way. These are the usual sorts of things - repealing some old local body empowering legislation, and altering the trust for Riccarton Bush - and they should whizz through. Alternatively, if the government decides that it doesn't want to talk about its economic agenda and its effects, then filibustering them could eat the entire day.

Next there is the vote on Darien Fenton's Local Government (Council-Controlled Organisations) Amendment Bill, which was delayed at the end of last Member's Day due to NZ First filibustering their own bill (I guess Winston was still down on Courtney Place). The fate of the bill depends entirely on the vote of Peter Dunne, and I guess we'll get to see today whether he supports transparency or secrecy in the governance of council-owned assets.

After that, there is Winston Peters' Reserve Bank of New Zealand (Amending Primary Function of Bank) Amendment Bill and Metiria Turei's Income Tax (Universalisation of In-work Tax Credit) Amendment Bill. These are both likely to be highly contentious, given that they basically address pressing issues the government is refusing point-blank to act on. And again, it will be interesting to see whether Peter Dunne stands on child poverty.

Finally, there's Te Ururoa Flavell's Oaths and Declarations (Upholding the Treaty of Waitangi) Amendment Bill, which might end up before a select committee.

If the House does well, it will make a start on Darien Fenton's other bill, the Local Government (Public Libraries) Amendment Bill, which protects free basic library services. I expect National to vote against that too.

If there is no filibuster, there will be a ballot tomorrow for three bills.