Questions & Answers – August 16

by Desk Editor on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 — 12:00 PM

  • Social Housing—Reform

    1. TODD MULLER (National—Bay of Plenty) to the Minister of Finance: What recent announcements has the Government made regarding its Social Housing Reform Programme?

    Hon BILL ENGLISH (Minister of Finance): On Friday the Government announced that the IHC subsidiary Accessible Properties is the preferred bidder for the potential transfer of 1,124 social houses in Tauranga. Accessible Properties is the largest NGO provider of social housing in New Zealand. This is good news for tenants and for Tauranga. The tenants will, ultimately, benefit from a new approach to social housing where we are encouraging community organisations with different and innovative views on support for tenants. It is also good for Tauranga, because, like most other provincial cities in New Zealand, it has a significant tract of State houses of a traditional mode that need to be redeveloped. The Government believes there is a role for further expansion of the community housing sector in delivering social housing.

    Todd Muller: What other programmes has the Government announced that are contributing to its objective of creating more diverse ownership of social housing?

    Hon BILL ENGLISH: Where there is strong demand, the Government is going to be producing more social housing, not just more diverse ownership. Last week we welcomed news that the Tāmaki Regeneration Company has started the procurement of the Tāmaki redevelopment programme, from which we will see 1,000 existing social houses transformed into 2,500 new mixed-tenure houses over the next few years. By the time the Tāmaki programme is completed, the current 2,800 social houses will become around 7,500 homes of all types of tenure, adding new housing to the Auckland market on a scale that Government has never done before.

    Todd Muller: Does the Government stand by its commitment to achieve fair and reasonable value for taxpayers in social housing transactions?

    Hon BILL ENGLISH: Yes, but we need to understand the effects of Government policy on the value of these houses. The houses in Tauranga, for instance, have been offered with encumbrances on the titles—specifically, that they must remain as social houses until the Government agrees otherwise. Purchasers are required to meet various obligations and minimum standards, as you would expect, and only community housing providers can participate in transactions. The current valuation on these properties does not reflect these encumbrances or obligations. The properties are valued as if a developer were selling an individual property for the best price on the day, for maximum capital gain. These houses are required to remain as social houses, so their value will be considerably less than the commercial value.

    Todd Muller: What support has he seen for the social housing reform programme—in particular, the goal of growing the community housing sector?

    Hon BILL ENGLISH: Widespread support—pretty much anyone who is involved with social housing is supporting the direction of these changes. I have read a particular speech, which says: “Our vision … is to have Housing NZ … and a bigger, stronger community housing sector working in partnership … We are committed to [giving] your members … access to [Income Related Rent Subsidies] … We [want] to grow the whole social housing sector. That means … a priority [for growing] … community providers.” That was Phil Twyford. [Interruption]

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] Order! Before I call the member, I require substantially less interjection from one member in particular if he wants to remain for question No. 4.

    Phil Twyford: How incompetent does a Government have to be to have sold off 298 State houses at an average of $32,000 below the council valuation at a time when house price inflation is running at 26 percent nationwide?

    Hon BILL ENGLISH: The Government is very proud of the fact that it has sold hundreds of houses to State house tenants. We have seen people in their 50s and 60s enjoy, for the first time in their lives, the benefit of homeownership. The member may be the only person in New Zealand who is surprised to find out that some of our rubbishy, hopeless, old, wrong-sized State houses are worth almost nothing.

  • Immigration, Minister—Confidence

    2. ANDREW LITTLE (Leader of the Opposition) to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in his Minister of Immigration, given his statement that “there are jobs for every single New Zealander who wants them”?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): Yes, I do have confidence in the Minister. As the Minister went on to say, it would be naive to think there are not barriers to employment for some New Zealanders. The Government is working extremely hard to remove those barriers and ensure that every young New Zealander is fit for work.

    Andrew Little: Why were work visas issued for 6,500 labourers in the past year when 15,600 unemployed New Zealanders were looking for labouring work?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Precisely—but I am fairly sure it will be because they are in different locations. Of course, for the average New Zealand employer, they would far rather take someone on locally because it is an easier process to go through, by definition. As you see with something like the Christchurch rebuild, they need an enormous number of workers over a short period of time and, frankly, a lot of people were not prepared to move to Christchurch. [Interruption]

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! From both sides the level of interjection and cross-chatter is disruptive to question time. It will cease.

    Andrew Little: Can he guarantee that work visas are being issued to fill only genuine skill shortages?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: What I can guarantee is that the Government looks at the issues of where skills are required, and over the last 3 years, 56 occupations have been taken off the list and only five have been added. The reality is that, as I said, there are often mismatches between where the demand is for people and where people actually live. So that is primarily the issue. You can see from the fact that there are so many jobs being created and the unemployment rate is falling that, broadly, it is working, but people will not always move location.

    Andrew Little: Is it not the reality that there are employers who know they can get immigrants to work for lower wages and worse conditions and the Government is allowing them to undercut Kiwi workers?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: That might be the line that the unions that made him the leader want him to say, but the truth is that wages are up—wait for it, 25 percent—in the 8 years that we have been the Government. Real wage growth has been 13 percent since 2008. That is significantly greater than the 9 years under the previous Labour Government, when inflation took away pretty much all of the pay rises that the workers got.

    David Seymour: Is the Prime Minister aware of any instances where immigrants have worked, earned money, spent it, and created demand leading to more job creation; if he is not aware of any such instances, how were there so many jobs after the last 170 years of immigration?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I think the member has successfully asked and answered his own question, and he has done a better job of both of them than probably I could do.

    Andrew Little: Does he agree with Treasury and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) that the immigration system is being used to drive down wages rather than being used to fill genuine skills gaps?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I do not think that is an accurate reflection of the way both Treasury and MBIE view migration. I think they have made the case that we need to constantly be looking at who is coming in and why and whether it is possible to get New Zealand workers—and, of course, that is something that the Government is doing. And through the Business Growth Agenda, we have had a significant programme of big employers training people. We have got more people in apprenticeships. There is a huge amount of work going on. But the reality is that some work is part-time. This is not a new thing: it was under the previous Labour Government that the Recognised Seasonal Employee scheme was introduced to New Zealand, for the very reason of supporting our agricultural and horticultural sectors, and when that was happening it was very successful.

    Hon David Cunliffe: How many millions from Talley’s?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Well, there is one person who has lost his job—and that is David Cunliffe, because he led the Labour Party to its worst result in the history of the party.

    Tim Macindoe: What reports has the Prime Minister seen supporting the contribution that migrants make to New Zealand?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I have seen one report that started by stating: “I welcome all people who want to make a future for themselves and their families to be part of our beautiful country.” I could not agree more with that. I saw another report that said: “I would never want for anyone in this country to feel like they are somehow being targeted.”—that was, of course, from Andrew Little, just a day after he called for a ban on Chinese and Indian chefs.

    Andrew Little: I seek leave to table a Treasury paper called Immigration Work Programme Opportunities for Policy Changes, which states that increasing flows of younger and lower-skilled migrants may be contributing to a lack of employment opportunities for local workers. I seek leave also to table an MBIE report called Improving the Long-term Contribution of Immigration to the Labour Market, which states that filling labour shortages through migration can result in wage suppression.

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! I am familiar now with the two documents. I just need to check whether they are easily available to members on a website.

    Andrew Little: I only received them in hard copy; I could not find them by any other means.

    Mr SPEAKER: I will take the member’s word for it and put the leave. Leave is sought to table a Treasury paper and an MBIE document. Is there any objection? There is objection. Supplementary question, Rt Hon—[Interruption] Order! No, I am sorry; Mr Peters will have to resume his seat.

    Hon Gerry Brownlee: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Just recently you have been generous in putting leave, having previously made it very clear that if something is publicly available then leave to table in the House is inappropriate. The problem with that, of course, is that when we know that something is freely available and we deny the leave, then the political win obviously goes to the person trying to table something that is already out there. I suspect Mr Little has the information he has got because one of his staff members downloaded it for him.

    Mr SPEAKER: Order!

    Andrew Little: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

    Mr SPEAKER: Well, I will hear from Andrew Little.

    Andrew Little: There has got to be some kind of equivalence here. When I put a question about this issue, the catcalls from Mr Brownlee and Mr Joyce were that the statements, which are proven in these documents, were never made and did not exist. It cannot be the case that they are able to assert, even by way of interjection in this House, that something that a Government paper says is true is not true, according to them, and then that they would seek to prevent me from tabling a paper that proves the opposite of what they are asserting.

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! I will address both points together. The purpose of tabling a document is to better inform members of the House. It is not the opportunity to make a political point. I am unaware of whether those two documents are easily available on the website, I therefore asked the member who is seeking leave to table them, and on this occasion he was not able to give a categoric answer. My decision, then, is whether to put the leave. At the end of the day, once I put that leave, any member has any right to object, and that is what happened on this occasion.

    Hon Michael Woodhouse: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I draw your attention to Speaker’s ruling 163/2, which is around the tabling of documents and the addition of descriptions, which you have previously ruled out of order but we have seen a trend of increasing commentary about what the document says, which in recent times has paraphrased—in many members’ views, incorrectly—what the document intends to say. I would just draw your attention to that Speaker’s ruling.

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! Again, that is an easy matter to resolve. If a document is deliberately incorrectly described, then a member risks a very serious allegation being raised by another member of misleading the House. On that occasion, I allowed a fairly fulsome description of the document because of the answers that had been given by the Minister and, also, the interjections that had occurred.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: Does he believe that immigration controls under his Government are tighter than under the previous Labour Government?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Interestingly enough, actually, there has been a bit of talk about this 210,000 work visa number. I think my office went away and had a look at the number back in 2008, and the number was, broadly, about the same, give or take a little bit, on working holiday programmes—some fluctuation in the categories, but the numbers are broadly the same.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I did not talk about one specific area; I said immigration controls—are they tighter under his Government than the previous Labour Government? I am waiting for that answer—tighter or not?

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! I am going to allow that question to be repeated, simply because I could not hear the answer because of the level of interjection coming from my left. I have asked now for cooperation on, I think, three occasions. If I do not get it, I am going to be asking a member to leave.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: Thank you, Mr Speaker. To the Prime Minister: does he believe that immigration controls under his Government are tighter than under the previous Labour Government?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I think they are broadly about the same. I think the big difference, really, in migration flows in this period of time has been that instead of 35,000 Kiwis leaving every year to go to Australia, New Zealanders have come home and stayed here, because under a National-led Government they can see a brighter future, they are ambitious for New Zealand, they have got a 25 percent wage increase, and they are doing pretty well. I think it is only natural that they would come back and want to be part of it.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: If it is, as he says, “Pepsi or Coke”, can he confirm that over the last two parliaments New Zealand First has asked more questions on immigration than all the other political parties put together?

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! No, there is no prime ministerial responsibility for that.

    Hon Gerry Brownlee: One-dimension party.

    Andrew Little: You will want to hear this, Gerry. Why is he issuing ever more low-skill work visas, rather than focusing on getting Kiwis into work?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: There are a great many more Kiwis in work. For a start, over the last 3 years alone, 200,000 jobs have been created, and we forecast that there will be another 170,000 over the next 3 or 4 years. There are a considerable number of Kiwis going through a variety of different programmes, as I mentioned earlier. The unemployment rate under this Government is now falling, after the global financial crisis. So there is no question that there are Kiwis going into work. What there is is a genuine mismatch in some parts of the country to the other and, actually, it would be great if some people where there are high levels of unemployment or where there are not so many opportunities would move to parts of the country where there are—but it is not as easy, always, for them to do that.

    Andrew Little: Why, when the ANZ, Harcourts, the Reserve Bank, Treasury, and now the Auckland Chamber of Commerce are all questioning his Government’s immigration settings, is he so out of touch that he will not even admit there is a problem?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: What I have said is that migration is an important part of a growing economy, and it is actually a sign of success that people want to come to New Zealand either on working holiday programmes or because they are coming here to fill the skilled migrant demand. The Government constantly looks at—

    Andrew Little: Putting Kiwis out of work and driving down the wages.

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Well, wages are going up faster than inflation. I know it does not suit the member’s argument, and I know the unions put him in his job, but he is going to have to go back and tell them: “Mate, the facts don’t add up.”—the Little rhetoric that got you your job.

  • Housing, Auckland—Unitary Plan

    3. KANWALJIT SINGH BAKSHI (National) to the Minister for the Environment: How will the new unitary plan adopted yesterday support the Government’s work to address Auckland’s housing problems?

    Hon Dr NICK SMITH (Minister for the Environment): The existing Auckland plans without special housing areas have capacity for only 7,000 additional homes. The plan initially proposed by the Auckland Council provided for 213,000 homes. The final plan adopted by the council provides for an additional 400,000 homes. This is a huge step forward. The Productivity Commission, in its 500-page report and after 12 months of work, identified the old Auckland councils’ controls on housing as the principal reason for the lack of supply and affordability of Auckland housing. The successful completion of this unitary plan under a special process facilitated by the Government’s legislation has walked a balance between giving people a fair say and getting to a conclusion. This approach has proved successful.

    Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi: What are the specific problems with the existing planning rules in Auckland on housing development, and why were they so deficient?

    Hon Dr NICK SMITH: The existing rules in Auckland consist of 11 different plans developed in the early 1990s by the previous nine councils, and complicated since by over 80 plan changes. These plans provided for over 90 lots of different rules for doing residential development. That made it complex, slow, and expensive. The current plans also contradicted each other because the old regional council wanted growth to be infill, whereas the old territorial councils preferred greenfields. The new councillors had to resolve this tension over to what degree Auckland is to grow up and to grow out. The strength of the new unitary plan is that it allows for both, and this matches up with projected population growth for the first time ever.

    Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi: How will the Government ensure a smooth transition from the special housing areas to the new Auckland Unitary Plan?

    Hon Dr NICK SMITH: The special housing areas, of which there are 154 in Auckland—

    Phil Twyford: How many houses have they actually built, Nick?

    Hon Dr NICK SMITH: —were intended as an interim measure to facilitate the planning for new housing development, while the unitary plan was being developed and consulted on. The bulk of the special housing areas have been zoned residential under the unitary plan, and so, for these, the mechanism will become redundant when the new unitary plan becomes operative. There are some that have not been picked up in the unitary plan. I will be working with the Auckland Council to ensure a smooth transition. I do note the interjections from the member opposite, who opposed having the single Auckland Council, who opposed the special housing areas, and who opposed the special process for the unitary plan, which just facilitates the idea that he is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

  • Budget 2016—GDP per Capita

    4. GRANT ROBERTSON (Labour—Wellington Central) to the Minister of Finance: Does he stand by the statement in Budget 2016 that GDP per capita “is what matters for achieving higher material living standards”, and was growth in per capita GDP last year “about half a percent” as stated by the Minister of Economic Development?

    Hon BILL ENGLISH (Minister of Finance): In the long run, yes, and yes.

    Grant Robertson: Can he confirm that Budget 2016 says that GDP per capita growth stays under 1 percent for 2017?

    Hon BILL ENGLISH: No, I cannot confirm that. Treasury advised me that it forecasts a lift in per capita GDP to 1.3 percent over the next few years. So that may have been referring to 2016-17.

    Grant Robertson: Can he further confirm that GDP per capita growth only rises above 1 percent in 2018 and 2019, according to this year’s Budget, and that that is on the basis of net immigration levels lowering from the current 70,000 to fewer than 20,000?

    Hon BILL ENGLISH: There will be a lot of factors involved in rising per capita GDP, just as there have been a lot of factors—and, in both cases, some of them global—that have influenced lower per capita GDP, but in an economy that is growing at 3 to 3.5 percent, with moderate and consistent increases in real incomes, per capita GDP is likely to rise.

    Grant Robertson: Is he confident that net immigration will return to the levels predicted in the Budget of fewer than 20,000; if not, will he concede that this is highly unlikely unless his Government heeds the call of everyone from the Reserve Bank Governor to Michael Barnett, to Treasury, and to the chief executive of ANZ Bank and reviews current immigration settings?

    Hon BILL ENGLISH: Immigration settings are always under review. In fact, we come across many businesses that want looser immigration settings because their prospects are good, they are investing in their businesses, they are creating more jobs, and they are having trouble getting the skilled people whom they need. I hope that they do succeed, one way or another, because that will help lift per capita GDP.

    Grant Robertson: Is he not getting more and more out of touch on what constitutes meaningful lifts in living standards in New Zealand, when commentators are saying that New Zealand’s economic growth is driven almost exclusively by rising population and Dieter Adam from the Manufacturers and Exporters Association says that we are importing growth rather than creating it?

    Hon BILL ENGLISH: Whoever that commentator was should get out and about. There is quite a wide range—[Interruption] In fact, the feature of growth now is that it is driven by growth in exports, by strong growth in the construction sector, by growth in consumption, where we have seen just in the last week that the confidence of households is up a bit and they are spending more. So it is fair to say that if you take away all the sources of growth then there will be no growth, but, in fact, there are a number of sources of growth. A couple of years ago it was too much dairy. Before that, it was all Christchurch. Now it is too many people wanting to live in New Zealand.

    Grant Robertson: When we have the lowest wage growth in 6 years, a housing crisis pushing people to live in cars, and personal household debt at its highest level since before the global financial crisis, does he not think it is time to focus on building wealth in New Zealand, rather than relying on immigration, speculation, and private debt to prop up the economy?

    Hon BILL ENGLISH: The member is simply wrong in his understanding of what is happening in the economy. We are seeing, for instance, the non-dairy exports sector grow at quite rapid—and what do appear to be, nevertheless, sustainable—rates, creating new jobs and new growth. But the fact that more people—more New Zealanders—are staying home and more of them are returning home is a pretty clear indication that when people have the chance to vote with their feet, they are not voting for that member’s view of the economy, because if they thought that, they would not come here. They are voting for a positive view of the economy.

    Metiria Turei: When the Government talks about “achieving higher material living standards”, does the Minister think that New Zealanders would consider warm, dry, and affordable housing critical to achieving those standards?

    Hon BILL ENGLISH: I am sure they would, and that is why it is such good news that the Auckland Council has passed a plan that takes what were eight or nine different plans, some of which are up to 25 years old, and turns them into one plan for Auckland, which enables twice as many houses to be built. That is great news for low and middle income families because the model that the council has been operating punishes them by making housing more expensive, and over the next 5 to 10 years that will change.

    Metiria Turei: Are the record levels of homelessness and families being forced to live in cars and garages a sign that the Government is achieving higher material living standards for families?

    Hon BILL ENGLISH: No. It is a sign that the housing market is dealing with a perfect storm of demand: the lowest interest rates in 50 years; much steadier migration than anyone expected—that is, migration has gone up and stayed up, instead of dropping down; a record number of New Zealanders who are staying home, and, therefore, not packing up their furniture and leaving the house empty. The Government is taking every reasonable measure it can to reduce the pressure on those who are at the bottom of the housing market, and need support.

    Metiria Turei: Would the Minister not agree that if his Government was succeeding in achieving higher material living standards for families, the numbers of Auckland children with rheumatic fever would be decreasing, not increasing by 36 percent?

    Hon BILL ENGLISH: It has taken the member a while to catch up with what is happening with rheumatic fever. Three years ago, along with the Māori Party, we put $60 million into a programme to reduce rheumatic fever. It takes a complex range of solutions, and I must credit the relevant Ministers and public servants who until quite recently were succeeding in dropping the rates of rheumatic fever faster than we might have expected. It does look as if that has flattened out, and efforts will be increased to keep ahead, if possible, of that increase.

    Metiria Turei: Is it not clear that his Government’s policies have failed, because at this rate of increase we will be back to 2014 levels—record-high levels—of rheumatic fever for children by the end of this year?

    Hon BILL ENGLISH: I would not want to speculate on that, but I think the member would want the House to understand that rates have been dropping significantly over the last year or two. But even if that is the case, there are still other factors that indicate children are in poor housing, and the Government has committed $36 million in the most recent Budget to a broader effort to deal with a wider range of children showing up at our hospitals with diseases that could be connected to the state of their housing, and galvanising public agencies to take direct action to deal with those cases.

    Metiria Turei: Are not his Government’s current failures and plans for the future cold comfort for the families of 45,000 children who are now in poverty under this Government, according to the Children’s Commissioner? When will he implement a comprehensive poverty reduction plan to run alongside an economic growth plan to make sure that families will get their fair share?

    Hon BILL ENGLISH: The member is covering a wide range of issues there, but one step in that direction was that on 1 April, for the first time in 42 years, those families received a significant increase in their welfare benefit, over and above the Consumers Price Index—in fact, up to $25 a week. I must say, there is any number of families who have told me that although that has not dramatically altered their lives, it has helped them deal with the pressure of hardship they were under. The next best thing we can do is follow through on getting more houses built so we can ultimately get their housing costs down.

  • Passenger Endorsement Holders—Convictions

    5. DAVID SEYMOUR (Leader–Act) to the Minister of Transport: Do any current passenger endorsement holders have convictions for drink-driving or careless driving causing injury or death?

    Hon SIMON BRIDGES (Minister of Transport): Yes, because under the Land Transport Act these offences are not specified as being serious offences such as the most serious ones in our country—murder, rape, aggravated robbery—and so do not automatically disqualify someone. In relation to such offences as the member is referring to, like drink-driving or careless driving causing injury or death, obviously they are very context specific. If, for example, someone received a conviction at 18, and then at 50 was applying for the passenger endorsement (P endorsement), went through the rigorous risk-assessment process and showed no issues, that conviction would probably have minimal weight. If it was a much more recent conviction and was alongside other very serious matters thrown up by the rigorous risk-assessment process that the P endorsement entails, then the person would obviously be much less likely to receive endorsement.

    David Seymour: Is the Minister seriously telling the House that his reassurances given in the past that a P endorsement made passengers safe should be qualified by the fact that that driver may well be someone who has caused injury or death through offences such as drink-driving?

    Hon SIMON BRIDGES: I do not think that a P endorsement is a safety panacea. I think there are many other things, such as cameras, which are the lawful position at the moment, and also new technologies and innovations like apps and the like. The Government has decided—I think absolutely rightly—that a P endorsement is an important form of safety assurance that the vast majority of New Zealanders expect of a commercial service.

    David Seymour: Does the Minister think it good value to charge those who would like to share rides for money $2,000 to go through the process of getting an endorsement that he admits does not guarantee the safety of passengers?

    Hon SIMON BRIDGES: It is not as high as that, but I can certainly say to the member that I do not think the current cost, and indeed the time taken for a P endorsement through the process, is good enough. I am going to make sure that they are much cheaper and that they also take much less time. Indeed, in terms of creating a world-class, incredibly enabling regime that I know the member wants, I will be introducing a bill to this House a little later this year that will create just that.

    David Seymour: If indeed the P licensing regime is good value, then will he apply it to those offering rides voluntarily for district health boards, local authorities, charitable organisations, and parents taking kids on school camps—if it is such good value, surely anybody sharing a ride with someone they may not know well should have to have a P licence, or at least the driver should?

    Hon SIMON BRIDGES: I think the Government is primarily concerned with commercial service. I make it very clear to the member—indeed, I give him an undertaking—that I want to and will see both the cost and time of the P endorsement come significantly down, because we do want to enable technology and innovation. We do want a much lower-compliance, level playing field in which taxis, ride-share, and dial-a-driver systems—the whole gamut—can compete for consumers’ value.

  • Education Infrastructure, Investment—Announcements

    6. ALFRED NGARO (National) to the Associate Minister of Education: What recent announcements has the Government made about investment in education infrastructure?

    Hon NIKKI KAYE (Associate Minister of Education): Over the last month Minister Parata and I have announced over $72 million in projects to build new schools, kura, and classrooms. This spending is part of the huge $882 million investment in education infrastructure secured as part of Budget 2016. This Budget more than doubled the education infrastructure spend of last year’s Budget. I am pleased to advise the House that this Government has committed around $5 billion to school properties—significantly more than any other Government.

    Alfred Ngaro: What investment in schooling infrastructure is under way in Auckland?

    Hon NIKKI KAYE: Earlier this month Minister Parata and I announced that the Government would invest over $40 million for the rebuild and upgrade of Te Huruhi Primary School and Waiheke High School. At Te Huruhi Primary School there will be $23 million for 22 new flexible learning spaces and a new library and administration area. At Waiheke High School there will be $17 million for extensive rebuild works. This comes on top of other recent investments, which include $5.7 million for Northcote Primary School, $8.7 million for Newmarket Primary School, $14.5 million for Clayton Park Primary School, and, today, $3.7 million for Te Atatū Intermediate School. I can also confirm that since 2014, as a result of the Auckland roll growth programme, school redevelopments, new schools, and the projects greenlighted so far under Budget 2016, the Government will deliver more than 17,000 new student places across Auckland by 2019.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Answers should be terse and to the point, succinct, and brief. That was just a ramble—

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] Order! It was a point of order, but I remind the member that I am the sole judge of the length of answers. I have told him that on many occasions in this House, and, of course, when he continues to interject through an answer that will sometimes give the Associate Minister more opportunity to respond.

    Alfred Ngaro: What investment is being made in education infrastructure in Northland? [Interruption]

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. [Interruption]

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] Order! Points of order will be heard in silence.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: I seek leave for the Associate Minister to have an extension of time. I cannot wait to hear this.

    Mr SPEAKER: Again, that is not a point of order. You cannot seek leave on behalf of another member. I told your colleague that on Thursday. Would the Hon Nikki Kaye please answer the question.

    Hon NIKKI KAYE: Last week Minister Parata and I announced that $6.9 million would be invested to redevelop Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Taumārere in Northland. This redevelopment will see the conversion of existing buildings to create new facilities for senior students, a new gymnasium, and the construction of four brand new learning spaces. I am pleased to advise the House that over $50 million has been committed to upgrade schools and add capacity in Northland between 2008 and 2015. This includes $19 million to provide a new site in buildings for Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o te Tonga o Hokianga, 16 new classrooms at Whangarei Girls’ High School, Pārua Bay School, and Bay of Islands International Academy, $14 million for the redevelopment of Northland College, and $6 million to increase capacity at Hora Hora Primary School.

    Tracey Martin: Can the Associate Minister confirm that the investment in Northland schools has been made since the Northland by-election?

    Hon NIKKI KAYE: What I can confirm is that we started making investments well before the Northland by-election, and that since 2008 we have spent $50 million in Northland. [Interruption]

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] Order! Mr Bennett.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: Could I ask why it took so long for all those outstanding projects to at last get some action, or is the answer obvious? [Interruption]

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! The question has been asked; we will now listen to the answer.

    Hon NIKKI KAYE: The reason that we have had to spend $5 billion is that the last Government left us rotting, cold schools.

  • Housing, Auckland—Unitary Plan

    7. PHIL TWYFORD (Labour—Te Atatū) to the Minister for Building and Housing: Does he agree with the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel that the number of houses Auckland needs in the next 7 years is 131,000, or nearly 19,000 per year; if so, does he think it acceptable that only 9,651 homes were consented in Auckland in the last year?

    Hon Dr NICK SMITH (Minister for Building and Housing): The 9,651 new homes consented in Auckland in the last year is the highest number in 10 years, is good progress, and is more than treble the rate of the 3,212 bequeathed to us when this Government came into office. The house build rate has grown by over 25 percent per year since April 2013, when we entered into the Auckland Housing Accord. This strong growth of over a billion dollars a year of extra investment, year on year, is about as fast as you can grow a sector like building. The specific house build rate referred to in the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel is 13,000 per year, and we are on track to deliver that by 2017-18.

    Phil Twyford: Is he aware that his construction pipeline forecasts that nearly 40,000 fewer homes than are needed will be built in Auckland over the next 7 years, according to the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel?

    Hon Dr NICK SMITH: No, I do not accept that. What I do know is that the panel report says that we will get to 13,000 homes per year next year. We have never built 13,000 homes in Auckland in a single year. I remind the member that in Labour’s last year in office it did 3,000 homes per year. Those 13,000 homes per year mean that we will be building a city the size of Whangarei in Auckland in this term of Parliament and again in the next term of Parliament, and on anybody’s terms, that is a phenomenal number of houses.

    Jami-Lee Ross: What was the rate of house building in Auckland prior to the Auckland Housing Accord being agreed in April 2013, and what reports has he read on future growth?

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! Would the member please repeat the question. It could not be heard, because of the level of interjection. [Interruption] Order!

    Jami-Lee Ross: What was the rate of house building in Auckland prior to the Auckland Housing Accord being agreed in April 2013, and what reports has he read on future growth?

    Hon Dr NICK SMITH: The build rate prior to the accord being signed was 4,800 per year, and it has grown more strongly and more quickly than at any time in Auckland’s history over the 3 subsequent years. The pipeline report says that it will reach 13,000 in 2017 and stay above that record level every year until 2020.

    Phil Twyford: Why does he think that building 9,000 houses a year in Auckland is a record building boom when more than 12,000 a year were being built a decade ago?

    Hon Dr NICK SMITH: The average number of houses built in Auckland per year, over the last 25 years, is about 7,000. The average that was achieved under the previous Government, for 1 year, in 2003—[Interruption]

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! There is little point in answering the question. The members are not interested. [Interruption] Order! No, I am not putting up with that.

    Hon Dr NICK SMITH: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. If you are to adopt the approach that screaming and yelling from the Opposition benches means that a Minister is not able to answer the question, it only encourages screaming and yelling from the Opposition benches.

    Mr SPEAKER: No. I do not agree at all.

    Hon David Parker: Speaking to the point of order—

    Mr SPEAKER: No, I do not need any assistance.

    Hon David Parker: I think you do.

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member will stand and withdraw that remark immediately.

    Hon David Parker: I withdraw and apologise, Mr Speaker.

    Mr SPEAKER: If the question is asked by an Opposition member and then that level of barrage occurs, I will, on occasion, cease the answer of a Minister. If the members want to listen to the answer to the question that their own party has asked, I expect them to deliver some sort of decorum and cooperation to the answer while it is being delivered.

    Hon David Parker: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

    Mr SPEAKER: I hope it is not on this matter, but I will hear it.

    Hon David Parker: Well, it is.

    Mr SPEAKER: No. If it is—[Interruption] Order! The member will resume his seat. I have ruled. That is not up for debate. If the member has a fresh point of order, I am prepared to hear it. But if the member is simply going to relitigate where I have just been, that in itself leads to disorder, and I will deal with the matter very severely by asking the member to leave the Chamber.

    Hon David Parker: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I think the Minister makes a fair point. I agree that you have a duty to keep order. I agree that you, at times, have a duty to tell the Opposition to be quiet, or, indeed, to tell Government members to be quiet. But if any member on either side of this House can frustrate the purpose of this House by being disorderly, then that runs against the purpose of question time. So I think that the ruling that you have given—I accept it, in respect of this instance, but if you are trying to make a general ruling that answers should be truncated because of disorder, I think that is wrong in principle.

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! When it is a single member attempting to disrupt the proceedings by yelling and screaming from my left-hand side, that point may be absolutely valid. But when it was an orchestrated litany of barrage from a large number of front-bench members and second-row members, then that is disruptive. Either I can deal with it the way that I have, which I will choose to do on some occasions, or I can deal with it more severely by asking members to leave the Chamber. Those are the two options that I have, and they are the two options that I will not hesitate to use.

    Hon David Parker: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

    Mr SPEAKER: No, I have discussed this matter quite enough. [Interruption] Order! The member will resume his seat. [Interruption] Order! I gave the member the benefit of the doubt. I said that I was not prepared to have the matter relitigated; the member said he would not and then rose to his feet and did exactly that. If he wishes to raise a fresh point of order, I will hear it, but I warn the member that if he attempts to relitigate this matter again in this particular point of order, he will be immediately asked to leave the Chamber. I cannot be clearer.

    Hon David Parker: It is a fresh point of order. When Ministers answer questions, either from their own side or from the other side, they are addressing the House, not the person who asks the question.

    Mr SPEAKER: That is exactly relitigating the matter I have just dealt with. I ask the member now to leave the Chamber.

    Hon David Parker withdrew from the Chamber.

    Phil Twyford: Is he aware that, adjusted for population growth, Auckland building consents are 33 percent below the level we saw in the mid-2000s?

    Hon Dr NICK SMITH: No, I do not accept that analysis. What I would remind the member of is that in each of the last 4 years the rate of house construction has grown by 25 percent—compound on each other for 4 years. In real terms, the amount of residential construction in Auckland right now is an all-time record. It is time for that member to get out and see the houses that are being built.

    Phil Twyford: Is he aware that his Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) officials say that his housing boom will take until 2030 to eliminate the housing shortfall in Auckland that has built up under his watch?

    Hon Dr NICK SMITH: I meet with my officials many times a week, and never has that prediction been made in any paper report. It is just another example of that member making things up.

    Phil Twyford: I seek the leave of the House to table the advice from MBIE officials that it will take until 2030 to eliminate the shortfall. [Interruption]

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! This is a point of order. What is the source of that document?

    Phil Twyford: MBIE.

    Mr SPEAKER: Well, the House may have a chance to have a look at it. Leave is sought to table that particular information. Is there any objection? There is objection.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I want to put on record the feelings of New Zealand First with respect to the treatment of the Hon David Parker. This is a very senior, highly qualified, and academically highly respected member of Parliament—no, across the board. When I see someone of that background being treated that way, and my colleagues see it that way, we are not at all happy with it. To say to a member of that seniority—

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member has had the opportunity to put it on the record. It is not actually a point of order.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

    Mr SPEAKER: Now what is the point of order?

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: My point of order is that every member of Parliament has got cause and authority to say that what is happening here is likely to lead to serious disruption. That is a matter for a point of order, and I can say that if there is much more of this, the House will be seriously disrupted.

    Mr SPEAKER: I have allowed the member—[Interruption] Order! I have allowed the member to make his point. If he wants to take it further, he knows how to do it.

  • Financial Services, Access—Announcements

    8. ALASTAIR SCOTT (National—Wairarapa) to the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs: What announcements has he made that will make it easier for New Zealanders to access financial advice?

    Hon PAUL GOLDSMITH (Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs): Last month I was pleased to announce a package of proposed changes to the Financial Advisers Act after a comprehensive 18-month review. The changes are designed to increase access to personalised advice on specific matters such as “What KiwiSaver fund is right for me?”. The changes will also enable the provision of personalised financial advice via online platforms. Robo-advice is emerging abroad and has the ability to provide New Zealanders with an alternative and convenient way of accessing affordable financial advice. Financial advisers often provide the interface between consumers and financial markets, and these changes will ensure that New Zealanders can access quality financial advice to help them plan for, and achieve, their savings and investment goals.

    Alastair Scott: How else will New Zealanders benefit from the changes to the financial advice regime?

    Hon PAUL GOLDSMITH: Three of the key changes that will make it easier for New Zealanders to get good financial advice are: all those providing financial advice will be required to put the interests of the consumer first; all those providing advice will be required to meet competency standards; and all advisers will also need to be more transparent about limitations of their advice, including how many types of financial products and providers have been considered, and disclose information regarding potential conflicts of interest such as commissions.

    Alastair Scott: How is this Government making it easier for New Zealanders to take stock of their finances?

    Hon PAUL GOLDSMITH: Lower interest rates are creating challenges for savers worldwide. That is why it is timely that the Government is proposing changes to the financial advisers framework to free up the flow of advice. There are also plenty of online resources and financial advice available to help people make sensible financial decisions. The Sorted website, recently refreshed by the Commission for Financial Capability, has now been viewed more than 1.8 million times, and provides a range of online tools such as budgeting and mortgage calculators, which can help with a variety of everyday finance needs. The Financial Markets Authority website also provides information about the risks and benefits of different kinds of investment products. I would encourage interested New Zealanders to visit those sites.

  • Schools, Funding—Education Sector

    9. CATHERINE DELAHUNTY (Green) to the Minister of Education: When the Prime Minister said that the Government “wouldn’t really be progressing the issue unless they could get the other stakeholders on board” following a briefing by her on school funding, does she think that the education sector is now on board?

    Hon HEKIA PARATA (Minister of Education): The education sector and I agree that with this Government spending over $11 billion in education for the first time ever, we need a system that delivers the right amount of funding for the right child at the right time, to ensure that they achieve educational success. At the end of August we will complete the 3-month funding advisory group process that we are in, after which I must go back to Cabinet. I continue to look forward to its advice.

    Catherine Delahunty: When the Minister said last week “I hold principals in high regard. I trust them to use their professional judgment about what is necessary.”, does that include their judgment to reject her proposed global funding?

    Hon HEKIA PARATA: I look forward to hearing from all parts of the education sector.

    Catherine Delahunty: Given that the Secondary Principals’ Association and the Principals’ Federation have joined the Association of Intermediate and Middle Schools, the Post Primary Teachers’ Association, the New Zealand Educational Institute, and the Education Council in opposing the global funding model, will she now remove it from her proposed funding options?

    Hon HEKIA PAR145950ATA: I will refer the member to my primary answer, which is that we are in the funding advisory group process. I expect to hear from them by the end of August or early September, after which I will take that advice back to Cabinet. I do not intend to pre-empt that process.

    Catherine Delahunty: Was the New Zealand Principals’ Federation president, Iain Taylor, wrong when he said that global funding removed guarantees around the minimum number of teachers each school would have?

    Hon HEKIA PARATA: I am not privy to the particular press release that the member is clearly referring to. Again, I am going to maintain the integrity of the consultation process through the funding advisory group, of which Mr Taylor is a member.

    Catherine Delahunty: Which members of her advisory group have publicly supported global funding?

    Hon HEKIA PARATA: There is a funding advisory group process, which has been meeting for the last 3 months. I am going to pay the respect to that process that it deserves, and it is in that context that I will take advice.

  • RefugeesProcess

    10. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First) to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement in November last year that refugees “go through a proper vetting process, and a lot of work is done to establish that they are genuine refugees”; and if so, why?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): Yes; because I believe it to be true.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: Well if that is the case, why, under National, were almost 1,600 visa applications approved when officials knew the applicants would subsequently apply for refugee or protection status when they got into New Zealand?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I may be wrong—and I am sure if I am, the member will be able to correct me in his future supplementary questions—but I suspect that if he is not talking about people who came through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) programme, which is what the quote I gave was about, then he is talking about people who are coming in and seeking asylum at the airport.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: Bearing in mind that they are not seeking asylum at the airport but, rather, coming in on visas—like visitor or student visas, or on temporary visa waivers—if there is a proper vetting process, why did his Government approve almost 900 visitor visas for non-genuine applicants who claimed, after they got here and were in New Zealand, refugee or protection status?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: OK, let me help the member through this. He is obviously a bit confused. The UNHCR programme—

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Prime Minister cannot start off with an insult. I have got the documentation from the department, so it is not a matter of confusion. I am just asking him to explain, and in his first opening answer he pointed to people who were refugees on a UN-type list. I am talking about people who have come here with a temporary visa and who then, after they have been here for a week or 2 months, apply for status.

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: It is well known in this House that the supplementary questions follow the primary question. The primary question was solely about the UNHCR programme.

    Mr SPEAKER: There has been a subsequent supplementary question asked that is certainly in order. I do not think the Prime Minister was derogatory or insulting in any way at the start of the answer, but he got only a few words out before the member took his point of order. I think time has gone. I am going to invite the member to ask the question again to get some coherence, and then we will await the answer.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: If there is, in his words, “a proper vetting process”, why did his Government approve almost 900 visitor visas for non-genuine applicants who claimed refugee or protection status well after they got into New Zealand?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Firstly, under the refugee programmes that are run through the UNHCR there is, as I said in my quote, a very, very thorough process that we go through, and that includes assessment carried out by the UNHCR, assessments made onshore and offshore by Immigration New Zealand, and references to other intelligence from our “Five Eyes” partners. There are some people who come to New Zealand under another category and claim refugee or asylum status here in New Zealand. Those numbers are significantly less under this Government than when the member asking the question was a Minister. So this Government has done a better job in that category.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: If our vetting process is “proper” and ensures that “genuine” applicants are applying for refugee status, why has his Government approved—this is a third category—almost 160 applicants who arrived on a limited purpose or transit visa, and then, long after they got here, applied for that refugee status?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: The member will need to direct those sorts of questions to the Minister of Immigration, because the member asked me a question specifically about the UNHCR programme. If he wants to try to be a little bit silly, then he should go and ask a proper first question.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: Given, Prime Minister, that no mention was made about the UN refugee programme, if, under National, Immigration New Zealand knew that almost 1,600 visa applications were not genuine, not related to the UN—[Interruption] or to “Big Ears”—why did they grant those visas in the first place?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: The member will need to direct that question to the Minister of Immigration, who would have that fact. But what I do know, on the advice of the Minister of Immigration, is that the numbers are considerably less under this Government than when the member was a Minister.

  • Customs Workforce, Modernisation—Investment

    11. Dr PARMJEET PARMAR (National) to the Minister of Customs: How is the Government investing in the modernisation of the New Zealand Customs workforce?

    Hon NICKY WAGNER (Minister of Customs): Budget 2016 is investing $19 million over 4 years to modernise and transform the Customs Service workforce. It will be the most significant change in the last 20 years, and it supports a more flexible, efficient, and effective operating model. All Customs Service employees were consulted, and the members of the three relevant unions have ratified a new multi-union collective agreement.

    Dr Parmjeet Parmar: How will modernising the New Zealand Customs Service workforce improve customs effectiveness at the border?

    Hon NICKY WAGNER: More flexible and efficient operations will allow the Customs Service to manage future increasing volumes of both passengers and trade. New technical and transactional roles will make better use of the knowledge and skills of the workforce and enhance career development. Experienced officers supported by new technology will prioritise border risk and law enforcement.

  • Education Funding Review—Rates

    12. CHRIS HIPKINS (Labour—Rimutaka) to the Minister of Education: Why is she proposing to flatten out the current funding rates across different year levels to a standard per-child amount as part of the education funding review?

    Hon HEKIA PARATA (Minister of Education): I am not proposing to do that. If I could quote from the Cabinet minute that sets out what is to be tested, what has been agreed is that we look at the following proposal: a standard per-child funding amount that would vary across stages of learning, reflecting the teaching and learning challenge in the curricula and the needs for children and young people; an additional payment for those children and young people most at risk of educational underachievement; and retaining supplementary funding to maintain a network of provision where small, isolated services and schools are an issue.

    Chris Hipkins: Did she receive advice that the biggest driver of the different funding rates is currently the staffing ratios for each year level; if so, why is she putting forward a proposal to level out the base funding rates, given that it will inevitably lead to some students being in much bigger classes?

    Hon HEKIA PARATA: As I clearly explained, the proposal is not to flatten out the levels of funding.

    Chris Hipkins: Did the Cabinet paper that she took to Cabinet propose changing the funding ratios for each year level to a standard formula?

    Hon HEKIA PARATA: What I recommended was that we should base funding on the New Zealand curriculum, Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, which has complexities and difficulties occurring along the 13 years of its delivery, and that we should match funding to those difficulties. It is clearly not a proposal to flatten out student funding.

    Chris Hipkins: What changes to the current funding rates on a year-by-year basis did she propose in her Cabinet paper?

    Hon HEKIA PARATA: I proposed that they should be linked to the learning progressions of the New Zealand curriculum.

    Chris Hipkins: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I asked the Minister what changes she proposed to the funding rates on a year-by year basis.

    Mr SPEAKER: And the Minister answered that, as I heard, by saying that it would be linked to a curriculum.

    Chris Hipkins: Can she guarantee that no secondary school students or primary school students in new-entrant classes will end up in bigger classes, given that they currently have the highest funding rates in the staffing funding formula?

    Hon HEKIA PARATA: As I have already told the House, I do not propose to pre-empt the funding advisory group. I cannot guarantee that class sizes will not decrease.


    Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment Bill—Purpose

    1. CHRIS HIPKINS (Labour—Rimutaka) to the Member in charge of the Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment Bill: Why did he introduce the Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment Bill?

    Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment BillNUK KORAKO (Member in charge of the Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment Bill): I would like to thank the Opposition for giving me the opportunity to profile my bill. [Interruption]

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! Now I want the answer.

    NUK KORAKO: Through my background in the tourism industry, I have organised thousands of visitors coming into New Zealand. I know what an inconvenience it is when they lose their luggage, and trying to recover it is quite problematic. The current requirements for advertising lost property and sales are archaic, prescriptive, and not fit for purpose. This is what this bill will fix. There is a saying: “He iti, he pounamu”—”It is very small, but it is quality.” Kia ora.

    Chris Hipkins: Can he confirm that no passengers are any more or less likely to lose their luggage as a result of this bill, and is this not the type of carry-on that discredits Parliament?

    NUK KORAKO: Kia ora, Mr Speaker. I did not hear the question because of the noise.

    Mr SPEAKER: OK—[Interruption] Order! I am going to invite the member to ask the question again, and I want silence while the question is asked.

    Chris Hipkins: Returning to—I cannot remember what my supplementary question was.

    Mr SPEAKER: I am very close to moving on. I will help the member. The member’s question asked whether it would make any difference to the amount of luggage that might be lost.

    Chris Hipkins: Can he confirm that no passenger is any more or less likely to lose their luggage as a result of his bill, and is this not the type of carry-on that discredits Parliament?

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! The first part of the question can be answered.

    NUK KORAKO: I suggest the member actually look no further in terms of me answering this question, because his colleague Clayton Cosgrove, who is, perhaps, the unluckiest traveller alive, regularly lost his luggage. He lost his luggage and his suit, all of which may have been recovered had there been more appropriate means of drawing his attention to them once they had been found by the relevant airport authority.

    Mr SPEAKER: We will now—[Interruption] Order! We now will proceed to question No. 2, but it would be helpful if the answers relate to the question that is asked.

  • Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment Bill—Evidence

    2. CHRIS HIPKINS (Labour—Rimutaka) to the Member in charge of the Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment Bill: What recent evidence has he received, if any, that supports the need for the Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment Bill?

    NUK KORAKO (Member in charge of the Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment Bill): The evidence that I have actually received has been in the response from the many emails, and even the Auckland Airport authority has actually contacted me and said what a great idea this was. The other part is that when we looked, I also received an email, actually from a person in Wainuiōmata, and that email actually said—if I could quote: “I congratulate you on producing this bill because the fact is that there are so many of my friends and relations that have lost luggage and could never ever find it through the normal channels.”

    Chris Hipkins: Did he seek the support of MPs to include the contents of the bill in a statutes amendment bill; if not, why not?

    NUK KORAKO: I think one important point about this one is the fact is that we have a very collegial and collective caucus and we worked very hard on a number of bills, but particularly this one. I took this because of the fact of my tourism background, and so, yes, we did actually involve our caucus colleagues and MPs.

    Hon Annette King: Supplementary question—

    Mr SPEAKER: No, I have heard one supplementary question.

  • Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment Bill—Purpose

    3. KRIS FAAFOI (Labour—Mana) to the Member in charge of the Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment Bill: Why is it necessary for the Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment Bill to be advanced at this time?

    NUK KORAKO (Member in charge of the Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment Bill): I refer the member to my earlier answers as to why this bill is a positive change. The timing is not up to me. Like every other member of this House, I am at the mercy of the biscuit tin. [Interruption]

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! You will get your afternoon smoko shortly.

    Kris Faafoi: I think we should all stay away from the carbs. How many, and which, New Zealand airports did he consult—or approached him—before submitting his bill?

    NUK KORAKO: As I originally said, in my vast experience and over the time I was in the tourism industry, a number of my clients lost luggage, so I actually did speak a lot to the airport authorities. Over the beginnings of this bill, as I have just said, Auckland Airport is one of the ones that I have actually spoken to. Kia ora.

    Kris Faafoi: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I understand there was some noise, but I did ask the member what level of consultation, or who had approached him, before the bill, not after.

    Mr SPEAKER: And there was—[Interruption] Order! The question was ultimately addressed. It did take some time. Auckland Airport was the answer.

  • Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment Bill—Purpose

    4. Hon RUTH DYSON (Labour—Port Hills) to the Member in charge of the Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment Bill: What problem, if any, does the Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment Bill seek to address?

    NUK KORAKO (Member in charge of the Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment Bill): Travellers often do not live in the same area as the airport where they have lost property—that is the first thing—so advertising in the local newspaper is not the most effective way of communication. This bill gives airports the flexibility to better serve their customers, and, especially, the Port Hills constituents, who have contacted me about my bill and think it is a great idea. [Interruption]

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! The House will settle.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: I seek leave to table, dated 24/6/2016, information—

    Hon Steven Joyce: “24”?

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: —24/6/2016—information that says that the Prime Minister’s statement regarding collating information did not occur before 2009, and the Minister refused to have it gathered—if you want me to read the whole thing out, I will. So what the Prime Minister told the House by way of comparison between two Governments was a damn lie.

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! No, the member will stand and withdraw the last part of that comment.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: I withdraw and apologise, and I seek leave to table this document.

    Mr SPEAKER: I will now put the leave. Leave is sought to table that particular information, dated 24 June. Is there any objection? [Interruption] Order! There is no objection. It can be tabled.

    Document, by leave, laid on the Table of the House.

    Hon Gerry Brownlee: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

    Hon Ruth Dyson: Supplementary—

    Mr SPEAKER: I will have a point of order first.

    Hon Gerry Brownlee: I thought the question was over.

    Mr SPEAKER: No, there is one supplementary question to go.

    Hon Ruth Dyson: Does he think that the advertising rules around lost property are among the most pressing issues facing New Zealanders today?

    NUK KORAKO: The situation here is that—I do realise there are more pressing things, and they are picked up in Government bills. The other thing is that when we look at things like housing, where we are still working on a very comprehensive plan for all of that—[Interruption]

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! No, the question has been answered.


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