Parliament Resumes To Pass Budget Bills

by Editor on Friday, May 17, 2013 — 5:00 PM

The House sat on Friday under Urgency rules to debate a number of Budget related bills.

MPs started by completing the first reading of the Social Housing Reform (Housing Restructuring and Tenancy Matters) Amendment Bill by 63 to 56 with National, Maori Party, ACT and United Future in favour.

It was referred to the Social Services committee with a report back of October 1.

Amongst other things the bill allows the Government to review the housing needs and tenancy of long term state housing tenants, moves the assessment processing to the Ministry of Social Development and gives more ability for community groups to provide subsidized housing on the Government’s behalf.

MPs completed the first reading of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Bill (No 2) by 63 to 55 with National, Maori Party, ACT and United Future in favour. The

Health Minister Tony Ryall said the bill was the Government’s response to court rulings on support payments for those caring with adults with special needs. He said the bill would allow for some payments, but would balance the demand it placed on the taxpayer.

The second reading debate was completed by 63 to 55 with National, Maori Party, ACT and United Future in favour.

The committee stage was completed and the bill was reported without amendment, MPs began the third reading debate.

The following bills remain in the Urgency motion that was agreed to yesterday.

• the introduction and passing of the Crown Minerals Amendment Act 2013 Amendment Bill

• the introduction and passing of the Customs and Excise (Budget Measures—Motor Spirits) Amendment Bill

Yesterday the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill completed its first reading by 104 to 15 with Greens and Mana opposed and it was sent to the Social Services Committee with a report back by July 2.

There was also a one hour debate on the referral motion which passed by 70 to 49 with National, NZ First, Maori Party, ACT and United Future in favour

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