First Extended House Session in February

by Desk Editor on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 — 2:39 PM

The Business Committee has agreed that the House will sit under the new extended sitting rules in February for the first time.

The changes were part of the review of Standing Orders in the last Parliament to give the Government the ability to extend the hours available to make progress on legislation without using Urgency provisions.

As a result Parliament’s Business Committee had agreed that on February 16 the new rules will be used for:

*The first reading or second reading and the committee stages of six Treaty of Waitangi settlement bills;

*For the remaining stages of the Statutes Amendment Bill (No 2); and

*For the first reading of the Statutes Amendment Bill (No 3).

The new rules are below.

Extended sitting hours
(1) A sitting of the House may be extended—
(a) on motion without notice, or
(b) by determination of the Business Committee.
(2) Unless the Business Committee determines otherwise, only one motion under paragraph (1)(a) may be moved in any one week, and such a motion—
(a) may be moved only by a Minister,
(b) is moved without amendment or debate on the question,
(c) must relate to the extension of only one sitting day, being either a Tuesday or a Wednesday,
(d) may be moved only if the Government has advised the Business Committee before the week in which it is intended to move for the sitting to be extended, and
(e) must specify which orders of the day are intended to be considered during the extended sitting.
(3) A determination under paragraph (1)(b) may relate to the extension of—
(a) a sitting on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday:
(b) more than one sitting day in the same week:
(c) sittings in more than one week.
(4) Whenever a sitting has been extended under this Standing Order, the sitting is suspended at the normal time for its conclusion and,—
(a) if the sitting is on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, resumes at 9 am the following day:
(b) if the sitting is on a Thursday, resumes at 7.30 pm, then is suspended at 10 pm, and resumes at 9 am the following day:
(c) concludes when the orders of the day (or other business as determined by the Business Committee) intended to be considered during the extended sitting are dealt with, or at a time determined by the Business Committee, or at 1 pm on the day after the sitting commenced, whichever is the earlier

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