Parliament opens for the year today

Parliament resumes on 12 February 2019

The first sitting day of the year is a bit different from other days.

There‘s no Question Time on the first sitting day of the year. Instead, at 2pm, the Prime Minister makes a statement to the House. This statement reviews public affairs and outlines the Government’s intentions for the year ahead.

The statement is followed by a debate that can last for up to 13 hours, often stretching over several sitting days. The debate on the Prime Minister’s statement is taken ahead of all other Government business.

You can watch the Prime Minister’s Statement and all the other happenings in the House on Parliament TV or listen to Parliament on RNZ.

This week in Parliament is a brief overview of anticipated business and events to be conducted by the House and Select Committees in the coming week.

The Order Paper is similar to an agenda, listing all the business before the House that sitting day. The order of business can change until the final order paper is published at 10:30am on the sitting day.

The Select Committee Schedule of meetings lists all committee business being conducted for the week. Business items displaying an asterisk indicate meetings that are open to the public. The meeting schedule is subject to changes at short notice.

New member of Parliament

Agnes Loheni will be sworn in as the newest member of Parliament tomorrow shortly after 2pm.

She is replacing Chris Finlayson as next on the National Party list.

NZ Herald:  Meet Parliament’s new MP: Agnes Loheni, National Party list MP

Incoming MP Agnes Loheni will take her values of hard work, the importance of family, and a strong Christian faith to Parliament next month as National’s first woman MP of Pacific Island descent.

It will be a proud moment for Loheni, who grew up in a state house – with up to 15 family members in three bedrooms – on McGehan Close, the “dead end” street that epitomised hopelessness for former party leader Sir John Key.

She went on to graduate with an engineering degree from Auckland University, and had a two-year OE based in London before starting a family business that became a trailblazer in contemporary Pasifika fashion.

Through it all, she has been grounded in a close-knit family and Christian values that see her opposed to euthanasia and abortion law reform. She is also against legalising recreational cannabis, but is open to cannabis for medicinal purposes.

The House has approved the sitting calendar for 2019:

February 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, and 21;
March 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, and 21;
April 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, and 30;
May 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, and 30;
June 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, and 27;
July 23, 24, 25, 30, and 31;
August 1, 6, 7, 8, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, and 29;
September 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, and 26;
October 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, and 24;
November 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, and 21;
December 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, and 19.

The House must sit for around 90 days in the year, with the first day being no later than the last Tuesday in February.

(Thanks for the details Gezza)


Provisional Order Paper for Tuesday, 12 February 2019 [PDF 463k]

52nd Parliament opens this week

New Zealand’s 52nd Parliament opens this week, with the Commission Opening of Parliament on Tuesday (MPs sworn in and Speaker appointed), and the State Opening of Parliament on Wednesday.

Coloured outlines of people with text

The Opening of Parliament consists of three key events. The Commission Opening of Parliament begins at 11am on Tuesday 7 November. This is when Parliament is formally opened by three Commissioners representing the Governor-General. Each MP is sworn in by the Clerk, and the Speaker of the House is elected. Then the Confirmation of the Speaker takes place at Government House.

The State Opening of Parliament begins at 10.30am on Wednesday 8 November. This is when the Governor-General gives the Speech from the Throne, which outlines the Government’s legislative policy and plans for the next three years.

People with special roles take part in the ceremonies, which will be attended by dignitaries, MPs and their families.

Check out our Opening of Parliament section to find out more.

Don’t miss out on witnessing this historical event – put the Opening dates in your diary today.

Commission Opening of Parliament

Tuesday 7 November 2017, 11.00am

State Opening of Parliament

Wednesday 8 November 2017, 10.30am. (You can start watching from about 9.45am, when the dignitaries and special guests start arriving.)

View the State Opening Facebook event here.


The incoming Government, led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, has committed to a buy first 100 days – see Taking action in our first 100 days – New Zealand Labour Party.

To achieve this, according to 1 News, Parliament to sit until close to Christmas so Government can push through ‘first 100 days’ agenda

In an unusual move, Parliament will sit until a couple of days before Christmas, so the new coalition Government can pass legislation to push through its ‘first 100 days’ agenda.

There are also a number of reviews and inquiries that need to get underway if the February 3 deadline is to be met.

That includes an inquiry into the abuse of children in state care, establishing a tax working group and an independent climate commission.

“We have until February third to deliver on things like our policies around education and making sure we get more young people into training. But I am confident we can achieve those goals,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

“Everything we’ve said in the first 100 days is an ambitious set of targets, an ambitious set of goals.”

The Government will need to hit the ground running, they will be need to be well organised and well coordinated between the three parties involved, Labour, NZ First and Greens.