Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Member's Day

Today is a Member's Day. And the big question is what will the parties do in expectation of the shift in the balance of power when the Northland by-election results are finalised? Will they filibuster to prevent ballots or preserve business for when it is winnable, or try and whip through to get rid of it quickly / open space for more?

Today provides plenty of scope for filibustering, with a pair of second readings for private and local bills, followed by the committee stage of Tracey Martin's Social Security (Clothing Allowances for Orphans and Unsupported Children) Amendment Bill. A party which wanted to talk things out could use up the entire day on these. But if they want to push on, there's the first readings of Damien O'Connor's Underground Coal Mining Safety Bill, Iain Lees-Galloway's Electoral (Adjustment of Thresholds) Amendment Bill, and Winston Peters' SuperGold Health Check Bill. And if they start any of those first readings, there will be a ballot tomorrow.

New bills for the ballot include Catherine Delahunty's Public Works (Prohibition of Compulsory Acquisition of Māori Land) Amendment Bill and Jenny Salesa's Employment Relations (Restoring Kiwis' Right to a Break at Work) Amendment Bill, both of which do what they say on the label. There's still no sign of Winston's promised anti-name suppression bill, and now he has won Northland, he may feel that he doesn't need the excuse.