Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Member's Day

Today is a Member's Day - and it looks to be a busy one. Lots of bills have been delayed, so MPs look likely to almost empty the Order Paper of Member's Bills.

First up is Winston Peters' Affordable Healthcare Bill. The bill is an explicitly racist measure designed to make new immigrants second-class citizens by depriving them of healthcare (leaving more for Winston's greedy grey constituency). It will fail, but the real question is whether Labour will vote for it to snuggle up to Winston. Second is David Cunliffe's Education (Restoration of Democracy to University Councils) Amendment Bill; does what it says on the label, so National will vote it down. Third is another interesting one: Jian Yang's Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration (Preventing Name Change by Child Sex Offenders) Amendment Bill. This has attracted a section 7 BORA report because it is overbroad - it labels all robbers as child sex offenders. National will vote for it anyway; the question is whether the select committee will fix it in the ways recommended by the Attorney-General. Fourth up is David Shearer's Electricity Transparency Bill, a basic consumer-protection measure designed to let us see which power companies are ripping us off; expect National to vote that one down too. There's another consumer protection bill after that as well - Mojo Mathers' Commerce (Supermarket Adjudicator and Code of Conduct) Amendment Bill, aimed at improving competition by preventing Countdown-style abuse of suppliers. Sadly, I don't expect National to support that either. Finally, the House should make a start on Marama Fox's Oaths and Declarations (Endorsing the Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi) Amendment Bill, but it won't get a vote today.

With only one Member's Bill left on the Order Paper at the end of the night, there should be a ballot for three bills tomorrow.