Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Member's Day

Today is a Member's Day, and likely the start of a long period in which we won't see any ballots. last year, the House sent a number of private and member's bills to select committee. And now they're all coming back. And with second and third readings trumping first readings on the order paper, its going to be a log-jam.

We can see this today. There's three private bills on the top of the order paper, one of them a second reading. That one will be back for the next two member's days as it progresses, and it will be joined by a couple more which are due out of committee next week. Meanwhile, the interesting part of the order paper - actual member's bills - is headed by the second reading of Meka Whaitiri's Environmental Protection Authority (Protection of Environment) Amendment Bill. The (National-dominated) select committee recommended by majority that this not be passed, but it got there in the first place because there was an anti-National majority for it. It will be interesting if that majority persists, or whether NZ First, United Future or the Maori Party have been convinced by the committee's findings. In the unlikely event they get through that - and if National filibusters, the House will be lucky to even start it - there's the second reading of Alfred Ngaro's Local Government (Auckland Council) Amendment Bill (No 3). But either way, they won't be making progress on any first readings, and are unlikely to for quite some time. Which means no ballots for the foreseeable future.