Mixed Results For Members’ Bills

by Editor on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 — 10:05 PM

One Member’s bill passed into law, another made it to select committee and another was shot down at the first hurdle in the House this evening.

The Conservation (Natural Heritage Protection) Bill in the name of National MP Jacqui Dean completed its third reading by 117 to 3 with the Maori Party opposing.

The Social Security (Clothing Allowances for Orphans and Unsupported Children) Amendment Bill in the name of NZ First MP Tracey Martin completed its first reading on a Voice vote and was sent to the Social Services Committee for consideration

Jacinda Ardern’s Care of Children Law Reform Bill did not have such good fortune.

Adern said the bill would upgrade adoption laws written in the 1950s when adoption was largely a matter of shame. The law did not cope with modern society and was “antiquated at best”.

This bill requires the Minister of Justice to review the law relating to the care of children and to draft legislation that the Minister must publish and introduce in the House.

National MP Scott Simpson said the bill was sloppy and lazy which did no more than tell the minister to tell the Law Commission to review the law.

There were issues in some adoption laws but in the main they worked. The Government was already doing work in the area and another bill was in the ballot which better addressed the issues.

The Greens also opposed the bill saying it would in fact delay reform.

The bill did not progress by 78 to 42 with National, Greens, Maori Party, ACT, United Future and Brendan Horan opposed.

The House rose at 10pm interrupting debate on the first reading of the Privacy (Giving Privacy Commissioner Necessary Tools) Amendment Bill.

National indicated it would vote against the bill which means it is likely to be defeated unless it gains support from both John Banks and Peter Dunne.

Progress was slowed down during the evening by a series of pedantic points of order being raised during proceedings.

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