The negative side of politics gets a lot of coverage, and many people have a negative impression of inter-party bickering. The working positively and together usually doesn’t get the same headlines.
But it does happen, often behind the seens and media glare.
Two MPs from opposing parties, National’s Nikki Kaye and the Greens’ Kevin Hague, have joined forces to develop a bill that would legalise adoption by gay couples.
Ms Kaye, the MP for Auckland Central, said she had worked for 18 months on the issue with Mr Hague, a West Coast gay MP.
It is possible that the Government could pick up the work Ms Kaye and Mr Hague are doing on adoption and surrogacy laws as a Government measure, while making some of the controversial issues a conscience vote.
Much has been said about the Greens not being prepared to combine in Government with National, but they have always said they will work together on policies of common interest. That’s what Hague is doing here. And thanks to him (and Kaye) this is a policy initiative that may progress.
When the MPs started at looking at the Adoption Act 1955, they decided it would be best to approach it from a perspective in which the welfare of the child was paramount.
The two MPs are drafting legislation to amend the Care of Children Bill 2004 based on a previous Law Commission report that looked at guardianship and adoption.
The measure should be ready in a few months, Ms Kaye said, and would be a private member’s bill in her name or Mr Hague’s.
As a private member’s bill it will depend on being drawn from the ballot.And a Labout MP has something on the go their too:
Labour list MP Jacinda Ardern has a bill in the private members’ bill ballot that would require the Law Commission to rewrite the law to allow gay couples to adopt.
Adern and Kaye are Auckland Central rivals – but the election is over, maybe they could combine on this as well.
With Young National initiatives in getting a remit passed in the weekend at their Northern Conference maybe National will pick it up and ensure it progresses.
The Young Nats’ northern regional conference in Auckland at the weekend passed a remit supporting adoption by couples in a civil union.
With their leader’s support:
John Key says he would support a bill looking to legalise gay adoption through its first reading in parliament.
Several MPs, including Nikki Kaye and Kevin Hague, are also behind the proposed move.
Mr Key told RadioLIVE that while he supports the concept, there are wider issues to consider.
“This is the issue with gay adoption it’s the same issue with heterosexual adoption and that is that there’s just not enough kids to adopt. I mean there were less than either 100 or 200 non-family adoptions last year.”