Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Member's Day

Today is a Member's Day, and hopefully one where we'll see some action. There's a private bill first up - Christchurch's Arts Centre needs to rework its trust arrangements after the earthquakes - followed by the committee stage of Cam Calder's Summary Offences (Possession of Hand-held Lasers) Amendment Bill. But the main issue of the day is the committee stage of Sue Moroney's Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months' Paid Leave) Amendment Bill and whether the government will try and exercise an unconstitutional financial veto over it. Moroney has lodged an amendment which she thinks will prevent a veto by pushing the commencement of the bill back to July next year, after the next budget. I'm not sure this will work, and we'll likely see some torturous argument over the exact definition of "fiscal aggregates" and the time period they apply to. However, if the bill is vetoed by a government which lacks the majority to vote it down, then I think we need to be clear that the financial veto is an undemocratic, unconstitutional vestige of royal privilege, which has no place any more in a democratic Parliament.