Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Member's Day

Today is the first Member's Day of the new year, and its going to be an exciting one. After the third reading of Ruth Dyson's Rates Rebate (Retirement Village Residents) Amendment Bill, the House will move on to Chlöe Swarbrick's Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis and Other Matters) Amendment Bill. This would complement the pharmaceutical regime of the government's Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill, and it would be good if a select committee could examine them both, hear evidence, and work something out. But the numbers are looking a bit iffy (thanks to National, who are seeing it as being about drugs rather than medicine), and it may not pass. If it fails, I think it would be a lost opportunity to get better law in this area, and ease some pointless suffering.

After that, there's a couple of National law-and-order bills: Ian McKelvie's Sentencing (Livestock Rustling) Amendment Bill (which basicly elevates farmers' property rights above those of the rest of us) and Jonathan Young's Local Government (Freedom of Access) Amendment Bill (which aims to suppress protests by groups like Occupy and has been declared to be inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act). These might get to select committee, depending on how NZ First is feeling; in the latter case I'd hope that the committee would give it the serious BORA scrutiny Young has clearly failed to do.

Depending on how far the House gets, there'll be a ballot for two or three new bills tomorrow.