Tuesday, July 28, 2020

A tight timeline

The bad news: Jacinda Ardern still wants to bill exiled kiwis for returning home. The good news: it would require a law change, which the Greens won't back, so she'll need to go grovelling to National. The other good news: she's running out of time to do it.

This is the second-to-last sitting week before the election. The government basicly has six days to pass everything it wants done before then. They can get more time with urgency, but that just means they get this Friday as well. And a lot of that time will be eaten by stuff they need to get done before then, notably the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Bill (due to come into force on 30 September), the Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill (No 2) (due to come into force on 1 October) and the renewal of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act (which must be done by August 11). Plus there's a bunch of appropriations stuff to get through. The government could do it, but they'd need to use all-stages urgency, which is hardly going to help the legitimacy of the law. Alternatively, they could introduce it under urgency and send it to select committee for the next Parliament to pick up. Which means no billing until maybe December.

As for whether they will, Gerry Brownlee is asking them in Question Time today. So I guess we'll know by three o'clock what is going on. Unless the government tries to lie and dissemble to the people whose votes it needs. Which would be stupid, but the habit of trying not to answer anything in Question Time is deeply ingrained, and it may be difficult for them to break.

(And again: if you are a kiwi overseas and you don't like this idea, enrol so you can vote to punish the fuckers planning it. Your vote is a weapon. use it.)