A bill giving powers to detain boat people and deter people smugglers was sent to select committee against the will of Opposition parties will be debated in Parliament this afternoon.A bill giving powers to detain boat people and deter people smugglers was sent to select committee against the will of Opposition parties will be debated in Parliament this afternoon.
The Immigration Amendment Bill passed its first reading by 63 to 57 with National, ACT, United Future and the Maori Party supporting.
MPs opposing the bill said it was unnecessary, draconian and an attempt to distract public attention from political scandals.
National MPs said the bill was necessary to deter and deal with people smugglers.
The bill was sent to the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee to be reported back by Sept 10.
The bill defines a “mass arrival group’’ and allows them to be detained for an initial period of six months and then longer while claims for refugee status are considered.
It also places limitations on legal avenues for appeal and judicial review.
The second reading of the Commerce Commission (International Co-operation, and Fees) Bill completed its second reading on a voice vote and the House rose at 6pm.
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