Government filibustering in Parliament

Accusations have been made (again) that the Government parties have been wasting time in Parliament, speaking on a bill that all parties supported. Labour denied that they were filibustering.

The Hansard transcript of the Education (Tertiary Education and Other Matters) Amendment Bill — In Committee shows that the following MPS spoke:


In Committee

Part 1 Amendments to principal Act relating to international and domestic school students

Hon PAUL GOLDSMITH (National): Thank you, Madam Chair. Look, obviously, this is a bill that has been developed by the previous National Government and much of it we support—in particular, a number of measures designed to strengthen the ability of the agencies responsible for maintaining the integrity of the system…

JAN TINETTI (Labour):  I’m delighted to have the opportunity here to talk to Part 1 of the Education (Tertiary Education and Other Matters) Amendment Bill. Part 1 deals with clauses 4A and 5 through to 8, and I’m particularly interested in talking to this part. I’ve got a few points that I want to make, and I do have a few questions that I would like to ask the Minister…

DENISE LEE (National—Maungakiekie): Thank you, Madam Chair. I appreciate the chance to take this call and speak to this particular bill. I’m going to speak and briefly touch on three matters here…

ERICA STANFORD (National—East Coast Bays): Thank you, Madam Chair. On the whole, this is a good piece of legislation introduced by the National Government…

MARJA LUBECK (Labour): It gives me great pleasure to speak to the Education (Tertiary Education and Other Matters) Amendment Bill. I took an earlier call, I think it was the second reading, talking about how this bill strengthens the education system, brings in more accountability, and also provides additional student protection.

Now, I had some notes prepared on Part 2 of the bill. Are we able to speak to Part 2 or is it just on Part 1?

The CHAIRPERSON (Hon Anne Tolley): No, we’re on Part 1 at the moment. We will come to Part 2, so there’s plenty of opportunity.

MARJA LUBECK: Right, right. OK. In that case, I’ll see if someone else wants to seek the call on Part 1.

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Minister of Education): Thank you very much, Madam Chair. I’m very happy to answer some of the questions that have been raised on Part 1 of the bill so far. So the question that was raised by Jan Tinetti—…

Hon CLARE CURRAN (Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media): Thank you, Madam Chair. Can I take a short call on Part 1 of this bill regarding the schools’ management of international student misconduct. Can I thank the Minister in the chair for the clarification around the contract of enrolment and misconduct. My question to the Minister in the chair goes alongside that…

Hon DAMIEN OCONNOR (Minister of Agriculture): Thank you very much, Madam Chair Tolley. The point I’d like to raise, in the brief speech that I’ll give tonight, is the one I guess of equity or discrimination. We’re talking about foreign students here…

Hon TRACEY MARTIN (Associate Minister of Education): Kia ora, Madam Chair Tolley. Thank you very much. Just to take a call on the Education Amendment Bill. Just to the speaker who resumed his seat—we don’t have foreign students any more. We have international students. Just so you know—”foreign” is a very old-fashioned word, associated with colonialism, and now we have international students…

JAMI-LEE ROSS (Senior Whip—National): I move, That the question be now put.

TAMATI COFFEY (Labour—Waiariki): Thank you, Madam—

Hon Louise Upston: I raise a point of order, Madam Chairperson. I’m just interested in terms of the closure motion that my colleague Jami-Lee Ross has just put forward. It seems that speakers opposite are struggling with your repeated direction around clause 1, and then to have a speaker speaking completely on the wrong bill seems to indicate that there are actually insufficient things for them to debate. And so I would seek your guidance, Madam Chair, on the decision not to accept a closure motion.

Hon Tracey Martin: Speaking to the point of order.

The CHAIRPERSON (Hon Anne Tolley): I don’t need any help, thank you. It is entirely in the hands of the chair to make those decisions. I will say to the Government that it is getting repetitive, but I decided not to accept the closure motion at this stage. Tamati Coffey’s been seeking the call for quite some time, and Ministers have stood ahead of him, which means they have to get the call, so I am now giving him the call.

TAMATI COFFEY: Thank you, Madam Chair. I’m happy to take a very short call on this particular bill.

Alastair Scott: Something new. Add something new and fresh.

TAMATI COFFEY: You want something new? I’ll give you something new. How about this: I think that it’s, first of all, timely that we’re talking about this. I just saw three toga-wearing students outside, and, as students all around the country are preparing for their first week of university, I think this is very appropriate that we’re debating this.

Let’s talk about Part 1, because the part that I’m interested in is the use of allowing wānanga to apply to use the protected term. This has been a debate that I’ve had in my electorate for quite some time—about the ability for wānanga to apply to be called universities, basically.

The CHAIRPERSON (Hon Anne Tolley): I’m sorry to interrupt the member, but the member is speaking to Part 2 of the bill at the moment, and we’re still on Part 1.


The CHAIRPERSON (Hon Anne Tolley): So you could continue, if you speak to Part 1—[Interruption] I don’t need any help, thank you—or else you can sit down and allow another speaker, and seek the call for Part 2.

TAMATI COFFEY: I’ll allow another speaker.

JAMI-LEE ROSS (Senior Whip—National): I move, That the question be now put.

Motion agreed to.

Part 1 agreed to.

Part 2 Amendments to principal Act and other enactment relating to tertiary education

TAMATI COFFEY (Labour—Waiariki): Well, Madam Chairperson, thank you for that. Timing is everything, and mine was just off. But that’s OK.

Look, I wanted to stand and have the discussion about wānanga…

Hon NIKKI KAYE (National—Auckland Central): I’m very pleased to take a call on this committee stage of the legislation. Firstly, can I just acknowledge my colleague the Hon Paul Goldsmith, who couldn’t be here this evening. But he has tabled Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) 17, which is about amending a particular section that is in Part 2, and I will be very focused in my comments to talk to Part 2, but I’m just going to weave in a few broader themes into those clauses as well…

Hon TRACEY MARTIN (Associate Minister of Education): Kia ora, Madam Chair Tolley. Thank you very much. I rise to speak on Part 2 of the Education (Tertiary Education and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, and I recognise the bill, because I happened to be on the hard-working select committee that discussed these items…

DENISE LEE (National—Maungakiekie): Thank you, Madam Chair Tolley—part two of my attempt to speak on Part 2. I’d like to touch on three matters…

Hon NANAIA MAHUTA (Minister for Māori Development): Thank you, Madam Chair Tolley. I’ve been waiting all night to take a call on this great bill, and I want to offer a contribution…

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Minister of Education): Thank you, Madam Chair Tolley. I’d like to reply to a couple of the points that have been raised so far…

JAMIE STRANGE (Labour): Thank you, Madam Chair Tolley. I appreciate the opportunity…

MARAMA DAVIDSON (Green): Madam Chair Tolley, thank you very much. I wanted to pick up on a short call…

MARJA LUBECK (Labour): Thank you, Madam Chair Tolley.

Andrew Bayly: Oh, good.

MARJA LUBECK: I know, my third time—third time lucky, they say, so I’ll give it another crack…

Hon TRACEY MARTIN (Associate Minister of Education): Kia ora, Madam Chair Williams. Thank you very much. I did contribute earlier, but I actually want to just raise a couple of other areas…

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Minister of Education): Thank you, Madam Chair Williams. I just want to comment briefly on “Meetings of councils” in clause 27, which the Hon Tracey Martin just mentioned…

JO LUXTON (Labour): Thank you, Madam Chair Williams. I’m pleased to have the opportunity to speak on this bill…

Dr DUNCAN WEBB (Labour—Christchurch Central): Thank you, Madam Chair. I have a number of questions for the Minister in respect of this amendment Act…

Hon JENNY SALESA (Associate Minister of Education): Madam Chair, thank you so much for this opportunity to speak…

SIMEON BROWN (National—Pakuranga): Thank you very much, Madam Chair Williams. It’s a pleasure to take a very, very quick call on the Education (Tertiary Education and Other Matters) Amendment Bill in its committee stage. I’ve got a question for the Minister: why are we here extending the debate on a bill that we all agree on? We all agree on this bill, and there are Ministers down here in the Chamber asking other Ministers minor questions like “What is the definition of the term ‘university’?” Well, I really want to know what the definition of the term “university” is. Or the other comment was “when and if we pass this bill”. Well, we are ready and we are willing to pass this bill and get on with it.

So that’s a very quick call. I don’t want to take up the committee’s time, but let’s just get on and pass this bill. Thank you.

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Minister of Education): I’m very happy to respond to that brief contribution from Simeon Brown, asking why we are here discussing this particular bill. That’s because that’s our job. It’s what the Parliament does. We scrutinise legislation in this House, and the fact that we have the largest and laziest Opposition New Zealand has ever seen should not detract from the fact that the Parliament still has a job of scrutinising the legislation that is being put before it…

Hon TIM MACINDOE (National—Hamilton West): I move, That the question be now put.

The CHAIRPERSON (Poto Williams): Before I take another call I just want to say that I think that we haven’t been going for an hour yet. I’m still encouraged by the breadth of the debate. So I won’t be taking a closure motion at this stage.

Hon TIM MACINDOE (National—Hamilton West): I raise a point of order, Madam Chairperson. Can I just seek your explanation? Are you saying that it is the time of the debate or the quality and the relevance of the debate? Because if it’s the latter, we’ve heard nothing of any relevance whatsoever.

The CHAIRPERSON (Poto Williams): Thank you. Part 2 of this bill is actually the substantial part of the bill. So I’m prepared to listen to more debate on Part 2.

JAMIE STRANGE (Labour): Madam Chair, thank you for the opportunity to speak, which I assure the member will be a quality presentation. So the member can take notes if the member so wants to…

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Minister of Education): I’ll just take a very brief contribution in response to that matter…

Dr DEBORAH RUSSELL (Labour—New Lynn): The naming of tertiary institutions is a difficult matter, and it isn’t just one of your holiday games. You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter when I tell you a tertiary institution must have three different names…

Hon JACQUI DEAN (National—Waitaki): I move, That the question be now put.

Motion agreed to.

And it went on from there…


  1. Pickled Possum

     /  February 28, 2018

    PC madness!!!!! … Can they really say “Well that was a great productive day at the office”

  2. Zedd

     /  February 28, 2018

    I added a comment in Open forum.. last evening, about this…
    The one comment that really ‘hit it on the head’ (paraphrased): Natl MPs may not be interested in debating the issue, but all the submitters (public) are likely wanting to hear the outcomes, often included in the ‘Committee of the house’.
    Natl may think its a ‘waste of time’ but they are increasingly looking like ‘a WASTE of SPACE’ 😦

    • High Flying Duck

       /  February 28, 2018

      It’s not a “discussion” Zedd – it’s a debate. And when everyone agrees, there is nothing to debate. There are other forums for the select committee findings to be made public.
      This is simple time wasting as the government continue to push through National Party legislation while they frantically work on something of their own that can plausibly be passed.

      • Blazer

         /  February 28, 2018

        if it is National Party legislation ,why does it need to be introduced by Labour?My understanding is that National have been in power for the last…. 9 years.

        • Zedd

           /  February 28, 2018

          I think it was a Natl bill.. that was taken up/amended by Lab.
          Interestingly the only amendment (SOP) that Natl added (but did not debate) was a clause to further privatise the tertiary education sector, BUT; the Govt. threw it out ! 😀

      • Zedd

         /  February 28, 2018

        If thats the case.. why bother having it on TV or radio; why not just do it all behind close doors ?
        OH YES thats right.. its called DEMOCRACY; theyre voted in by ‘We the People’ who may actually be interested in whats going on.. by listening to the DEBATE !

        • High Flying Duck

           /  February 28, 2018

          Bills are all passed in the house Zedd.
          When there is disagreement the opposition will debate it in order to show the public why they think it is wrong to be passed.
          Usually when all are in agreement the bill gets passed quickly so they can move on – you know, implementing an agenda.
          The democratic part is in the select committee stage when the public can have their say.
          When the bill makes it into the house, it is in its final form and too late to make changes.
          Labour are still in the ‘announce reviews and committees’ stage and have no agenda to implement, so that have to pad everything out.
          Having Labour MP’s taking up house time talking about something everyone knows about and agrees on is just bad governing.

  3. David

     /  February 28, 2018

    I think this is brilliant, the more national lite keep filibustering themselves the less damage they can do.
    Blazer, Parisanz, Guyton seem delighted as well given the praise they heap on this outfit. If nothing else at least they signed the TPP and the clock is ticking down on them.