Parliament under urgency

The 52nd Parliament of new Zealand kicked off under urgency yesterday.

A party vote was called for on the question, That urgency be accorded.

Ayes 60

New Zealand Labour 45; Green Party 8; New Zealand First 7.

Noes 55

New Zealand National 55.

Motion agreed to.

No vote from ACT.

RNZ: Govt puts Parliament into urgency to start 100-day plan

The new government made a swift start on its 100-day plan, putting the house into urgency within hours of Parliament’s state opening.

Senior National MP Amy Adams told the House she was witnessing an incredible turnaround of principles by the parties now on the government benches.

“From parties who until now have derided, castigated, abused, got outraged over the use of urgency.

“When the National-led government took urgency it was very clear as the the need and the reasons for doing so.”

It is clear why urgency is being used here too – the new Government wants to get a lot through Parliament in their first 100n days, but it is questionable whether rushing things is good for democracy and whether the legislation will be sound or not.

Opposition parties tend to oppose urgency. Jacinda Ardern has done this in the past – this from Hansard in 2013:

I did just want to say that although Labour supports this bill, we have proactively engaged with the Minister to get to this point. We had some initial concerns that this might not have been the outcome and we were seeking this particular outcome for now. This process, I think it is fair to say, would have been smoother, Minister, if perhaps we were not debating this one in urgency.

I know that that may not have been what you were necessarily seeking when you took it to your esteemed colleague the Leader of the House, but given that we now have this in an urgency motion, that will bring with it some complications, just in terms of our continuing to make sure that we debate it in full, as we are entitled to do with this process.

But that does not lessen the degree to which we support the notion of what we are doing within this bill. A bit more time with the bill would have also been helpful and appreciated. Although, as I have said, we support the content, we have not seen the content in writing till just now. I am literally just opening this bill as we speak.

Sounds like a similar situation to last night.

 

 

 

23 Comments

  1. Missy

     /  November 9, 2017

    In 2011 Grant Robertson was quite critical of urgency, and said that it should be harder for Government’s to use. It will be interesting to see what laws Labour wish to push through under urgency, and if Grant Robertson thinks that they should be debated in that matter. It will also be interesting if the Government will introduce laws to make it more difficult to use urgency. Now they are in power I doubt it.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10719268

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10719155

  2. robertguyton

     /  November 9, 2017

    Us bleeding-hearts say, Boo Hoo!

    • Well there’s a principled argument….

      • robertguyton

         /  November 9, 2017

        It’s not an argument, it’s a celebration to release 9 years-worth of frustrations at National doing just the thing that’s irking National supporters.

        • Fair point. It probably matches my frustration that Labour were elected under what I believe to be false pretenses.

          • robertguyton

             /  November 9, 2017

            Sounds as though you just can’t accept what’s happened, Duncan. The new Government is installed and cranking. Buckle up and let your indignation fade away as the country gets better and better by the day. Already, great strides have been made. Let’s celebrate!!

  3. I don’t care if it’s National or Labour, the excessive use of urgency just creates bad law, unforseen loopholes and a waste of Parliament’s time making more urgent amendments down the line.

    • robertguyton

       /  November 9, 2017

      Did you speak out when National was doing it? Perhaps you did, just askin’

      • Absolutely 🙂

        • robertguyton

           /  November 9, 2017

          Good man. Fair process is important. The reasons offered for using urgency are what we need to look closely at. Urgency in itself is not a bad thing. National abused the process regularly, imo. The new Government haven’t yet and hopefully will not, despite provocation of the sort witnessed on day one; Bridges et al and their sneaky game playing; bad faith that, and if the Government responded in kind, I’d laugh, it little wryly, perhaps, but natural justice and all that.

  4. Zedd

     /  November 9, 2017

    The main ‘debating point’ from Natz was the issue of using urgency to reintrouce & push through Sue Moroney’s bill that had previously passed & was Vetoed by Natz, on a false premise. All the rhetoric about ‘urgency’ was just a bunch of sore losers scrambling for ‘relevance’.. they actually voted for the bill. Only Act (gang of 1) voted against !

    The other interesting point was J-L Ross (whip) attempting to start the debate on Kermadec ocean sanctuary at about 9:55pm. He was shut down by Dep. Speaker Tolley, who had to call him to order about 3 times. Talk about ‘Dirty Politics’ it was a disgraceful attempt to try & create a crack in the Govt. on day 1.

    Good onya Madam Speaker, for doing your job !

    • Zedd

       /  November 9, 2017

      It was also fascinating to hear the Natz saying they actually SUPPORT paid parental leave; I Lees-Galloway & M Woods (Lab. MPs) both pointed to previous Lab. bills that Natz had voted against, esp. S Moroney’s bill; that passed all stages (as a Mbrs bill) & was finally vetoed by the previous Govt. saying the country cannot afford it. It was pointed out they over exaggerated the figures; $350+mil/Year when in fact it was over 4 years.

      Another example of MONEY being their main priority, above all others. NZ again showing we are falling to the back in OECD on social issues, whilst ranting about having a ‘Rock-star economy’ Total B-S

  5. Gezza

     /  November 9, 2017

    I am really looking forward to the first Question Time. Anybody know when that will be?

    • robertguyton

       /  November 9, 2017

      Good question!

      • Gezza

         /  November 9, 2017

        Thanks. It’s just odds really, robert. Sooner or later one of my questions had to be good one.
        I’m assuming – well, hoping – it’s next Tuesday, but haven’t found anything with google or on Parliament’s website.

        • robertguyton

           /  November 9, 2017

          Take heart, Gezza, it was not your first and odds on, not your last either. Won’t Question Time be delighhtful without Key! He was smarmy to the max 🙂
          (Imagine calling your son, Max! I wonder if Key could see the irony, “Everything in my world is THE BIGGEST!)

          • Gezza

             /  November 9, 2017

            Poor Max. He always seemed to have ripped clothes.

            Question Time had got a bit stale before the election. New Ministers will be having to get their first background material from Departments & have to deal with an experienced Opposition asking the trickier supplementaries. Should be quite entertaining.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  November 9, 2017

      Wikipedia seems to know:
      New Zealand
      Oral questions
      Questions asked to Ministers must be concise and related to the area of the Minister’s responsibility. Questions require that all facts be authenticated. Before a question is asked it is checked that it meets the requirements of the House’s Standing orders, before being transmitted to the relevant ministers.

      In New Zealand oral questions are asked at 2pm on each sitting day. Twelve principal oral questions are asked, with supplementary questions also given that must relate to the initial subject matter. The opportunity to ask questions is equally shared amongst the members of the house, excluding ministers. Urgent Questions, while possible, are uncommon.

      The Question is addressed to the portfolio of the Minister receiving the question, and the questioner must ask the question as written. Once a question is asked, supplementary questions can be asked.

      SKY News New Zealand broadcasts this session from 2pm to the conclusion of questioning. Also, New Zealand’s free-to-air digital television network, Freeview, provides live coverage of the debating chamber when it is in session on Parliament TV.

      Written questions
      There is no limit to the written questions that any MP can ask and can be submitted each working day before 10.30am. Submission and publication of the question is an electronic process with no hard copy record. Ministers have 6 days to respond to a question.

      • Gezza

         /  November 9, 2017

        No what I meant Alan was there was no question time this week. They’re usually Tuesdays to Thursdays. With a new government I just wondered when will the new round kick off.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  November 9, 2017

          As per programme link below this week it was not a sitting day.

          • Gezza

             /  November 9, 2017

            Yup fair enuf. I guess they just go straight into as part of normal business. The debates are underway early then.