Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Govt abusing parliament to rush controversial law

Nick Smith - Electoral Law

9 August 2018

The use of extended sitting hours to ram through controversial electoral law is an abuse of parliamentary processes and will continue the downward spiral of free speech in New Zealand National’s electoral law spokesperson Nick Smith says.

“This morning the Government, without agreement of the Business Committee and without debate in Parliament, will attempt to shove through their draconian, free speech limiting waka-jumping bill.

“The use of extended sitting hours, normally reserved for Treaty and other technical bills that have full support of the Parliament, makes a mockery of their claim to be the most ‘open and transparent’ Government in history.

“The sham of the Parliamentary process is not just that it is being passed under extended hours, but that the Government is blocking debate to serious amendments.

“Many submitters and New Zealanders see a clear distinction between constituency MPs who are directly elected and do not want party leaders having the power to dismiss them from Parliament. The Government refused to allow this to be debated.

“The breadth and depth of opposition to this constitutionally significant bill is a worry to all New Zealanders who value free speech, tolerance of dissent and democracy.

“The Attorney General himself has described the law as having a ‘chilling effect’ on the free speech of MPs, and the attempt to push the law through using pseudo-urgency is shocking.

“Critics also include 21 electoral law experts from four of our universities, editorials from journalists in all of New Zealand’s main cities, the Legislative Advisory Committee, the youth wings of the Labour, Green, National and Act parties, past and present Green Party MPs, former Speakers and even the Clerk of the House.

“This continues a worrying recent pattern of attack on free speech in New Zealand.

“The National Party will fight this law every step of the way. I’m calling on just four Green MPs to show the courage of their convictions, reject this ‘dead rat’, and put an end to the law their very own leader calls ‘a threat to democracy’.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case...

Obviously, sick people shouldn’t be being treated by doctors and nurses who are themselves sick and potentially infectious. Similarly, Police emergency calls also need to be fielded by people who’re feeling alert, and on top of their game. More>>


MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>


Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: City Council Ends Its Support For Jackson’s Movie Museum

The Wellington City Council and the Movie Museum Limited have today announced a mutually-agreed parting of the ways for a joint project between the Council’s Convention Centre and TMML’s Movie Museum... Both parties remain optimistic for the future of their respective projects. More>>

Pay Equity: Historic Settlement For Education Support Workers

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Ministry of Education today signed Terms of Settlement to address a pay equity claim for 329 support workers who work with very young children in early childhood and primary schools. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Stereotypes About Jacinda Ardern

Routinely, female politicians get depicted as either show ponies or battle axes, with little room for anything else in between. .. More>>

Weekend Interviews: "Discriminatory And Racist" Aussie Deportations

The former president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says deportations have risen dramatically in Australia since 2014 when ministers and ministerial delegates were given the power to cancel visas - and half of those being deported are New Zealanders. "These are massive numbers, actually escalating dramatically."... More>>


Legal Challenge: Prisoner Has 9 Boxes Of Documents Seized

Human rights organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa says a prisoner they advocate for has had 9 boxes of legal documents seized from him just days before his case against the Department of Corrections was to be heard. More>>

Single-Use Plastic Bags: Govt To Phase Them Out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. More>>





Featured InfoPages