Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Member's Day

Today is a Member's Day, and one where we should finally see some progress. While there's a local bill at the top of the Order Paper, and the final passage of Alfred Ngaro's Local Government (Auckland Council) Amendment Bill (No 3), there should be time to start on Andrew Little's Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill (No 2). This one will be a rela fight, since National doesn't have a guaranteed majority to defeat it. Which will force them to either make concessions on the bill's core subjects - requiring landlords to insulate and heat rental properties rather than providing cold, damp, slums - or face the prospect of the House legislating over their heads for it. And because it doesn't involve the government spending money, there's no chance of an unconstitutional financial veto.

I expect National will compromise and announce some half-measures for the budget. It won't be enough, but progress is progress, and a party extracting it from a right-wing government while in opposition is very good indeed. And, as with all of National's other concessions, it lays solid groundwork for real progress when they're finally de-elected.

If Little's bill is debated, there should be a ballot tomorrow. Hopefully we'll see some more good ideas from the opposition parties in that.