Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Member's Day

Today is a Member's day, and finally we're back to first readings. First up is Hamish Walker's KiwiSaver (Foster Parents Opting in for Children in their Care) Amendment Bill, and following that is the debate on Rino Tirikatene's Electoral (Entrenchment of Māori Seats) Amendment Bill. This is a potential flashpoint in the coalition, with Labour and the Greens supporting entrenchment, and NZ First almost certainly opposed. But the bill needs National's support to work anyway (because entrenchment bills need to be passed by the margin they propose), so we'll get to see whether they've really moved on from the Brash era or not.

After the dinner break the House will debate Ian McKelvie's Dog Control (Category 1 Offences) Amendment Bill, which will let JPs hear most offences involving dogs. After that is Chris Bishop's Arms (Firearms Prohibition Orders) Amendment Bill, which seems to be more pointless "law and order" grandstanding: firearms licences can already be revoked (and from people likely to supply as well as from those who are not "fit and proper persons"), and there are already a range of penalties (some serious, some not) for unlawful possession and selling to unlicenced persons. Most of the purpose of this bill could be achieved by increasing those penalties directly (though I'm not sure about the level National proposes). The only one which can't - prohibiting people from ever visiting gun shops and shooting ranges - is one which prima facie violates freedom of movement, and should require an actual court order, rather than the whim of the Commissioner of Police.

Finally, the House should make it to Alastair Scott's Land Transport (Random Oral Fluid Testing) Amendment Bill, which is yet more "law and order" grandstanding. Its as if National have a theme...

There should be a ballot for three or four bills tomorrow.