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Courts Reform Passes, Education Bill Progresses

Parliament passed into law a bill which modernises and streamlines court processes on Thursday afternoon.

Just after 4.30 the Government adjourned the budget debate with more than five hours remaining in the set piece debate on the Appropriation (2013/14 Estimates) Bill.

Following this the third reading of the Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill was completed on a voice vote.

The committee stage of the Education Amendment Bill was also completed and the bill was reported without amendment by 62 to 57 with National, ACT, United Future and the Maori Party in favour.

The House rose just before 6pm interrupting the committee stage of the Immigration Amendment Bill which sets up a regime for dealing with the mass arrival of asylum seekers.

Its progress was deferred last August while Ministers negotiated with Peter Dunne for his support.

Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman indicated in the second reading debate the bill would be amended in the committee stage to make an arrival of 30 or more refugee seekers to be considered a mass arrival, instead of the 10 as drafted with Dunne’s support.

It completed its second reading by 71 to 50 with National, NZ First, Maori Party, ACT and United Future in favour.

NZ First Leader Winston Peters indicated in the second reading debate his party would withdraw support unless the Government included in legislation that it would create a secure detention centre for refugees.

NZ First supported the bill during initial votes in the committee stage.

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