Tempers Fray As National Delay

by Desk Editor on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 — 9:12 PM

Tempers frayed slightly in the House tonight with Labour MPs frustrated as National filibustered to delay debate on paid parental leave legislation.

Slow progress was made on the committee stage debate on the Summary Offences (Possession of Hand-held Lasers) Amendment Bill this evening.

Labour MPs sought for all clauses of the bill to be considered in one debate, but leave was declined.

Most of the evening was taken up with National MPs taking as much time as they could, while frustrated Labour MPs tried to close down the debate to get to the paid parental leave legislation next on the Order Paper

The bill’s sponsor Cam Calder spent some time talking about the meaning of the bill’s commencement date 28 days after Royal assent.

National had the numbers with United Future MP Peter Dunne on one procedural matter to negate a closure motion, though there was some confusion about Labour casting Brendon Horan’s vote on the closure motion.

At one point Labour MP Maryan Street called out for Chris Auchinvole to “cut the crap” and stop the debate and was asked by the Chair to use “higher grade” language in her interjections. National MPs reminded the Opposition that filibustering was a parliamentary tactic often used to frustrate Government in passing their legislation

Eventually the Government allowed debate to close just after 9pm and the bill was reported with amendment on a voice vote.

MPs then began the committee stage debate of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill.

National has indicated if necessary it will use Finance Minister Bill English’s power of veto after passing its more watered down version of extended paid parental leave arguing the bill’s proposal is too expensive. Labour has the backing of all other parties including National’s usual allies the Maori Party and Peter Dunne to pass the bill into law.
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