Paid Parental Bill praised but opposed by National

Sue Moroney and her second Paid Parental Leave bill were praised but opposed by National and ACT MPs, but it still passed it’s first reading last night by 61-60. UnitedFuture support paid parental leave so voted for this bill, along with Labour, Greens, NZ First and the Maori Party.

Most interesting was praise from National MPs and David Seymour, even though they opposed the bill.

SARAH DOWIE (National—Invercargill)

Although I do rise in opposition to this bill I am not ungracious to not acknowledge the work of Ms Sue Moroney in championing this topic. It is a very valid topic to bring to the House and I think it is a worthwhile debate.

 There are several published and documented outcomes on the benefits of paid parental leave. Of course, some of those include increased breastfeeding opportunities and all the health benefits that are associated with that.

As we are aware, breastmilk is a perfect food source for baby. It is made up of a correct compound of vitamins and proteins, and because of that extra time bonding it is easily digestible for baby and it helps prevent infections from bacteria and viruses.

That is one of the benefits of paid parental leave. I touched on it before—this time gives parents and mums that valued quality time to bond with baby.

Dowie goes on to praise other aspects of Paid Parental Leave, and concludes:

The intent of this bill and the spirit of this bill are good—I acknowledge that.

But she voted against it.

BRETT HUDSON (National):

 I rise in opposition to this bill, but before I might canvass the reasons why we will oppose the bill I would like to reiterate some comments that my colleague Sarah Dowie made. I would like to acknowledge what I think is a very, very clear, absolutely honest, and fundamentally based in integrity the position the member sponsoring this bill Sue Moroney has.

He concludes:

We will oppose this bill but I do commend Ms Moroney for her obviously deeply held views on this matter.

Anti-bill but not wanting to sound anti-mother and anti-baby perhaps.

The bill has passed it’s first reading and stands a good chance of successfully passing, but National have said they will use their power of veto based on cost.

Moroney had her first Paid Parental Leave Bill failed to pass but succeeded in pressuring National into increasing Parental Leave to a lesser extent, from 14 to 18 weeks.

ACT MP David Seymour has also played in negotiating increased paid leave for parents with high need babies, for example premature babies, but opposed this bill

All InTheHouse videos: Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave and Work Contact Hours) Amendment