Statutes Bill Completes Second Reading

by Desk Editor on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 — 10:09 PM

The second reading debate of the Statutes Amendment Bill (No 4) was completed with general agreement this evening.

The omnibus amendment bill makes non-controversial changes to bills which must have the consent of all MPs to proceed. Amongst these are a number on changes to the Official Information Act.

A number of proposed amendments did not make it through select committee including one proposed by Louisa Wall which proposed extending the prohibited grounds of discrimination in human rights legislation from “sex, which includes pregnancy and childbirth:” to “sex, which includes gender identity, pregnancy and childbirth:”.

Statutes amendment bills do not generally allow for any contentious changes to legislation.

The second reading debate on the Human Rights Amendment Bill began and was interrupted when the House rose at 10pm.

Justice Minister Amy Adams said the bill allowed for more flexible appointments to cover specialist roles outside a number of specified positions such as the Human Rights Commissioner.

The aim of the Bill is to amend the Human Rights Act to enable the establishment of the position of a full-time Disability Rights Commissioner within the Commission and to make changes to the role and structure of the Commission.

Jacinda Ardern said the bill was making significant changes to the way the Commission operated. Labour supported the establishment of a disability commissioner, but the bill would dilute the roles of other commissioners and would be opposed.

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