Safeguards Bill Used To Taunt Banks

by Desk Editor on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 — 10:00 PM

Cabinet Minister John Banks was forced to endure endless questions and taunts about his political credibility in Parliament tonight.

Banks was the minister in charge for the committee stage of the Trade (Safeguard Measures) Bill, but Labour MPs were more interested in talking about donations to him, his relationship with Kim Dotcom and his recall of events.

Senior Labour MP Phil Goff led the charge against Banks who for the most part sat impassively once interjecting “boring’’, questioning whether the comments were relevant to the bill and complaining about Labour MPs “barking’’.

Though as the debate went on Banks and National MPs’ patience wore thin and Tau Henare went on the attack over some former Labour Cabinet ministers’ record.

The bill replaces New Zealand’s trade safeguards with regime consistent with World Trade Organisation rules. ’Safeguards’ are emergency trade measures such as a duty placed on goods seen as being dumped.

Debate was interrupted on the bill when the House rose at 10pm.

Earlier in the evening the Crown Pastoral Land (Rent for Pastoral Leases) Amendment Bill passed its third reading by 63 to 57 with National, ACT and Maori Party supporting.

It replaces the land valuation basis for setting rents for pastoral leases with a property-earning-capacity basis for setting rents.

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