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SCP HOUSE: Let The Talkfest Begin!

Parliament resumes today at 2pm with the first Questions for Oral Answer by Ministers session for the new year.

Scoop will post the list of questions in the Parliament wire as soon as they are received and a summary of the answers in the Headlines wire shortly after 3pm.

This will be followed by a combination of MP's maiden speeches and the Address and Reply debate which is scheduled to run for 19 hours. This debate is expected to run through the rest of this week and into next.

The subject matter for the Address and Reply debate comes from the Speech From The Throne, delivered by the Governor General before Christmas.

This speech outlined in broad terms the agenda for the new government. As it was a very long and detailed Speech From The Throne, there appears to be plenty to speak about.

See.. FULL TEXT: Speech From the Throne (http://www.scoop.co.nz/archive/scoop/stories/3c/64/199912211155.5df35f9f.html) for background.

The debate will be lead off by the leader of the Opposition Jenny Shipley at 3.30pm who will likely propose a motion of no-confidence in the government - as is the tradition.

Party leaders speeches in this debate are half an hour. Shipley's speech will be followed by a reply from the Prime Minister at around 4pm. Alliance Leader Jim Anderton is scheduled to follow at 4.30pm followed by ACT Leader Richard Prebble at 5pm and one (or possibly both) Green leaders at 5.30pm.

After the dinner break New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters is due to speak at 7.30pm followed by United Leader Peter Dunne at 8pm.

Maiden speeches - the first speeches by new MPs - are being interspersed through the Address and Reply debate. The first two speeches follow immediately after question time at 3pm from Mita Ririnui (Labour - Wairiki) and Willie Jackson (Alliance - Hauraki).

After dinner National's Phil Heatley will get his opportunity to speak for the first time followed by the Green's Sue Bradford.

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