Peters Filibusters Own Bill To Keep It Alive

by Desk Editor on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 — 10:11 PM

New Zealand First has successfully mounted a filibuster to slow progress on its own bill, despite the Government doing everything possible to put it to a vote.

At stake was NZ First Leader Winston Peters’ Reserve Bank of New Zealand (Amending Primary Function of Bank) Amendment Bill.

The bill seeks to change the way the Reserve Bank works by taking its focus off maintaining price stability and keeping inflation rates stable.

Peters believes the current high value of the dollar is damaging to the economy and the Reserve Bank should take action to lower it.

Parliament would have got to a vote on the issue this evening, but sensing defeat NZ First sought to extend the life of the bill by doing all it could to slow down proceedings.

During debate on the Local Government (Council-Controlled Organisations) Amendment Bill, NZ First MPs took turns to seek leave to table documents.

To counter this National MPs took very brief calls – Maggie Barry’s being one of the shortest on record “I oppose this Bill’’ was the vast majority of her contribution – to try and ensure the NZ First Bill was put to the sword and taken off the parliamentary agenda.

Labour MPs then joined with their own delaying tactics to assist in delaying progress.

This brought the Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee into the chamber where he said he was aware that NZ First were seeking to delay debate on the Peters Bill, but he was keen to hear it and the endless tabling of documents was a spurious waste of time and should be ruled out.

There then ensued a series of points of order which recalled National in opposition seeking to table individual pages of Standing Orders. It was also pointed out that the Government’s decision to shorten its speeches could also be seen as manipulation of Parliament’s time for political purposes.

No one mentioned that Opposition MPs were eating into the limited time set aside for their bills and not the Government’s time.

Ross Robertson in the chair pointed out the last time the tabling process has been abused for political purposes that it had only been sorted out by parties “coming to their senses’’.

Brownlee sought leave to put Peters’ Bill to the vote immediately this was declined and members did not even get to vote on the local government bill when the House rose at 10pm.

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