Thursday, May 11, 2017


A ballot for four Member's Bills was held today, and the following bills were drawn:

  • Local Electoral (Equitable Process for Establishing Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill (Marama Davidson)
  • Newborn Enrolment with General Practice Bill (Parmjeet Parmar)
  • Employment Relations (Restoring Kiwis’ Right to a Break at Work) Amendment Bill (Sue Moroney)
  • Education (Public Good not Profit from Charter Schools) Amendment Bill (David Clark)
Despite the big talk from earlier in the week, there was no bill to repeal blasphemy in the ballot today. Instead, Chris Hipkins has offered it as an amendment to the Statutes Amendment Repeal Bill. This isn't really constitutional - the Statutes Amendment Bill is designed for amendments which are technical, short, and non-controversial. While this is undoubtedly short, its not technical, and despite the widespread agreement I don't think its non-controversial either (in that there will be people who will object, strongly). OTOH, amendments to Statutes Amendment Bills require the unanimous support of the House, so if anyone disagrees it fails.

Correction: I didn't pay enough attention to the bill Hipkins is trying to amend. Using the Statutes Repeal Bill - a bill designed to get old laws off the books - is absolutely constitutional and requires simple majority support. Which I have no doubt they'll get. So, hopefully the "crime" of blasphemy will be rapidly consigned to the dustbin of history.