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Members’ Night Sees Some Progress

Four bills were debated tonight as MPs dealt with private and member’s bill.

The South Taranaki District Council (Cold Creek Rural Water Supply) Bill passed its first reading by 117 to 3 with all parties except the Maori Party and Mana supporting it be considered by the Local Government and Environment Committee.

MPs returned to the committee stage of the Employment Relations (Secret Ballot for Strikes) Amendment Bill and gave leave to return to consider clause 2 of the bill.

Amendments were made and then the House returned to clause 4.

Labour MPs continued their opposition to the bill saying it was unnecessary as unions already held secret ballots.

Andrew Little said all major and serious unions held secret ballots on strike action and if it was going to be a matter of law than employers should have similar obligations placed on them when they locked workers out.

In the past Labour MPs have said they also fear the bill will allow employers to interfere with the operations of unions and their volunteer membership.

The bill’s sponsor Tau Henare said it was about the freedom of workers not to be intimidated into strike action.

The bill was reported with amendment with National, ACT and United Future supporting.

MPs held the second reading debate on the Military Manoeuvres Act Repeal Bill.

The bill repeals the Military Manoeuvres Act which allows the Government to declare any land available for military manoeuvres. It has not been used for many decades.

It passed on a voice vote with Labour saying it supported the bill but it was a waste of time and should have been dealt with in a general statutes amendment bill.

Maryan Street accused National of trying to clog up members’ night with pointless bills.

Debate on the second reading of the Fair Trading (Soliciting on Behalf of Charities) Amendment Bill was interrupted when the House rose at 10pm

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