Tuesday, November 12, 2019


The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 295(3) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one.

They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which includes 4 National MPs), and National's opposition to the bill, they couldn't pass one. Oddly though they couldn't even produce a "we could not agree, but let's fix the typos" report which is usual in such circumstances.

The net result: if you submitted on this bill, congratulations: you wasted your time. I'm not especially annoyed about this personally, because my submission was a lightweight thing done at the last minute. But if I'd put actual work into it - and many submitters will have - I'd be feeling pretty pissed off right now. This failure to report treats submitters with contempt. And it is another perfect example of how MPs earn their reputation and the contempt the public holds them in.

Meanwhile, each member of this Committee is paid $160,000 a year (plus $16,000 a year slush fund). We're paying them to not do their jobs. Maybe we should be looking at some mechanism to dock their pay for this sort of bullshit in future.