Estimates Debate Completed

by Desk Editor on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 — 9:51 PM

The Government pushed through the Estimates Debate this evening.

Debate on the committee stage of Appropriation (2013/14 Supplementary Estimates) Bill continued after Question Time, General Debate and an urgent debate on the Government’s negotiations regarding the waiving of diplomatic immunity was held.

During the debate NZ First MP Richard Prosser attacked the Government saying it was not taking defence issues seriously and the armed services were poorly equipped. Prosser said NZ First would spend more on defence

He said Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman was disinterested in the portfolio and the navy could do with eight frigates, not two.

Labour’s Phil Goff said the number of military serving overseas in peacekeeping roles had fallen to new lows. He also spoke against the prosecution of a member of the SAS for theft.

Coleman said there had been great progress in defence and more money was going into it in the coming years. The military were still capable of sustaining two rotations, Coleman also said NZ First Leader Winston Peters had cancelled the third frigate when he was in Government.

The bill was reported with amendment and MPs began the committee stage of the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 2) which was last debated in Parliament in 2007.

The responsible minister Peter Dunne introduced an SOP to make changes to the bill to deal with issues which had arisen since it was introduced and examined by a select committee.

Debate was interrupted when the House rose just before 10pm.

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