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Divide Between National And Labour In Focus

The ideological and policy divide between National and Labour was highlighted as two bills progressed through Parliament today.

The Crown Minerals (Permitting and Crown Land) Bill completed its second reading by 68 to 53 with National, NZ First, ACT and United Future in favour.

Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges said the bill would create a safe work environment for miners and encourage more mining in a way that was sensitive to the environment.

Labour’s Ruth Dyson said National and Labour had tried to reach a compromise on the legislation, but important differences remained and Labour could not support it.

Disagreements included creating joint decision making on permits between the Ministers of Energy and Conservation over application on DOC land.


There was a similar divide over the Minimum Wage (Starting-out Wage) Amendment Bill, which reintroduces a form of minimum youth wage.

Labour Minister Simon Bridges said the starting out wage would give unemployed youths a better chance of getting their first jobs.

Labour Party MP Darien Fenton said the bill would deliver no jobs, just pay cuts.

The bill passed its third reading by 61 to 60 with National, ACT and United Future in support.

Earlier there was more agreement on the Local Electoral Amendment Bill (No 2) which completed its second reading on a voice vote.

Parliament rose at 6pm interrupting debate on the second reading of the Families Commission Amendment Bill.

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