Government puts Parliament into urgency to kick off 100-day plan

by Chris Bramwell / 09 November, 2017

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in Parliament on the day the new MPs were sworn in. Photo / Richard Tindiller

The new government made a swift start on its 100-day plan, putting the house into urgency within hours of Parliament's state opening.

That led to accusations of hypocrisy from the Opposition, arguing Labour had castigated the National-led goverment for using urgency.

The first bill to be debated under the new government enacts the extension to paid parental leave announced by the Prime Minister on Monday.

The legislation was being pushed through without being sent to a select committee, as the government argued it had already been through that process twice under the previous National government.

The first time it was voted down at third reading and the second time it got there it was vetoed by National.

Minister for Workplace Relations Iain Lees-Galloway told Parliament the bill was a straight-forward one.

"It provides for an increase in the duration of paid parental leave from the current 18 weeks to 26 weeks.

"This is achieved in two stages, first an increase to 22 weeks on 1 July 2018, with a further increase to 26 weeks on 1 July 2020."

Senior National MP Amy Adams told the House she was witnessing an incredible turnaround of principles by the parties now on the government benches.

"From parties who until now have derided, castigated, abused, got outraged over the use of urgency.

"When the National-led government took urgency it was very clear as the need and the reasons for doing so."

Ms Adams said the rushed, hurried, seat-of-the-pants process by the Labour-led coalition meant the bill was very light on detail.

"There are no fiscals at all, there were certainly none included in Labour's pre-election information and the Treasury, who have a very important job in assessing these things, have already noted that the assessment contains only very minimal - and I'm quoting - analysis of the likely impacts."

New Zealand First's Tracey Martin, the Minister for Children, said the bill had twice been through select committee with more than 6000 submissions, 99 percent of which were in support.

She said the bill was going through under urgency, because it was urgent.

"Because our families need it, our babies need it, our mothers and fathers need it - they need the security to know that as soon as possible they can plan for this.

"While I hear the Honourable Amy Adams stood and said again and again and again, there's been no Regulatory Impact Statement, well there has been two."

Despite National's objections to the bill, it voted in support - saying it was, in fact, its policy as well to extend paid parental leave.

ACT voted against it.

The bill has to pass further readings before becoming law.

This article was originally published by RNZ.

Latest

Top investigator urges police to speak up about wrongful convictions
108539 2019-07-19 00:00:00Z Crime

Top investigator urges police to speak up about wr…

by Mike White

Mike White talks to investigator Tim McKinnel, who says police often turn a blind eye to possible corruption out of a misplaced sense of loyalty.

Read more
Jacinda Ardern to focus on Australia deportations in talks with Scott Morrison
108570 2019-07-19 00:00:00Z Politics

Jacinda Ardern to focus on Australia deportations…

by Craig McCulloch

PM Jacinda Ardern has doubled down on her criticism of Australia's deportation policy as "corrosive", ahead of her meeting with Scott Morrison.

Read more
How closed adoption robbed Māori children of their identity
108572 2019-07-19 00:00:00Z Social issues

How closed adoption robbed Māori children of their…

by Te Aniwa Hurihanganui

Te Aniwa Hurihanganui looks at the outdated Adoption Act and its impact on Māori who grew up desperate to reconnect.

Read more
The new robotic surgery aiding vaginal mesh removal
108377 2019-07-19 00:00:00Z Health

The new robotic surgery aiding vaginal mesh remova…

by Ruth Nichol

Women with complications caused by deeply embedded vaginal mesh are being helped by a pioneering surgical technique.

Read more
A beautiful mind: What people with Alzheimer's can teach us
108544 2019-07-19 00:00:00Z Health

A beautiful mind: What people with Alzheimer's can…

by Fergus Riley

North Auckland farmer Fergus Riley has uncovered many important lessons in caring for his father Peter, who has Alzheimer’s.

Read more
Instagram's trial to hide the number of 'likes' could save users' self-esteem
108617 2019-07-19 00:00:00Z Psychology

Instagram's trial to hide the number of 'likes' co…

by Joanne Orlando

Instagram is running a social media experiment to see what happens when it hides the number of likes on photos and other posts.

Read more
The Hawke's Bay farm producing meat of uncommon quality
108594 2019-07-19 00:00:00Z Food

The Hawke's Bay farm producing meat of uncommon qu…

by Simon Farrell-Green

Duncan Smith and Annabel Tapley-Smith weren’t satisfied with producing meat of uncommon quality. So they bought a butchery.

Read more
When biodegradable plastic is not actually biodegradable
108562 2019-07-19 00:00:00Z Planet

When biodegradable plastic is not actually biodegr…

by Isabel Thomlinson

A study on biodegradable plastic bags found they were still intact after three years spent either at sea or buried underground.

Read more