Royal Society Bill To Haunt Parliament For Last Time

by Desk Editor on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 — 11:42 AM

The first members’ night of this Parliament is scheduled to take place this evening, but first MPs will deal with a bill that haunted much of the last Parliament.

Following Question Time and the General Debate this afternoon the House is due to consider Private and Local Bills, ahead of Members’ bills.

First up is the committee and third reading stage of the Royal Society of New Zealand Amendment Bill in the name of Labour MP Grant Robertson.

The bill, which expands the role of the Royal Society into areas like the humanities, was subjected to a very long and extended filibuster each fortnight for much of last year.

Labour MPs fought to delay the bill to prevent the next item of business – the introduction of voluntary student union membership – from making progress.

In the end their efforts did not work and the Bill in the name of former ACT MP Heather Roy passed into law.

The filibuster also had the side effect of creating a back log of members bills (bills promoted by backbench and opposition MPs), which make slow progress at the best of times.

Once the Royal Society Bill is dealt with there are a number of other private bills to deal with – such as the Southland District Council (Stewart Island/Rakiura Visitor Levy) Empowering Bill and the Hutt City Council (Graffiti Removal) Bill.

The first member’s bill on the Order Paper is the committee stage of the Employment Relations (Secret Ballot for Strikes) Amendment Bill.

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