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House: Slow Progress, Language, RMA And Cows


There was slow progress on the Government’s legislative programme as the House continued under urgency last night.

It wasn’t so much a clash of cultures as the politics of language that caused the delays.

The Scoop looked at the earlier incidents in “House: Te Reo, Tempers and Tantrums” in the headlines wire and the rows flared up again during the completion of the Education (Te Aho Matua) Amendment Bill with the Speaker being called down to the House in Committee, to restore order as once again an MP was accused of ‘misusing’ the Maori language to breach standing orders as the Chair could not understand what was said.

The day of ‘United Nations’ style translations between multiple languages is coming to the House. Though it will be a talented translator who captures the peaks and valleys of emotive rhetoric as this Bill engendered

It wasn’t so much that there was widespread opposition to the concept of the the Bill, the vote was 108 to 12, but the fight for the high ground is intense in Maori politics. This is partly a function of the fact that there has been so few gains in Maori status indicators, that the gains in seeing that Maori survives as a spoken language is worth fighting over.

The Bill itself puts into the Education Act, the protection of intellectual property and the branding of Kura Kaupapa Mäori. (For the Minister’s explanation of the Bill see When Dreams Become Reality ttp://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA9907/S00252)

The Resource Management Amendment Act that followed saw the dry application of intellect and process to resource management coming up against those who think environmental planning special. The Bill was sent to select committee for consideration, the Minister’s explanation of the changes can be seen at RMA. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA9907/S00206.htm. Christine Fletcher voted against the National whip, but it did not stop the bill passing.

The House rose debating the introduction of the Dairy Industry Restructuring Bill or as the Speaker called it the dairy board restructuring bill, and this will resume at 10am.

The Bill, described by John Luxton as one the largest financial transactions in NZ’s history, will be considered by an ad hoc select committee under a tight time frame, both of which Opposition members were upset at.

At first reading it appears to be a demutualisation of the Dary Board, further coverage will follow.

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