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Greens Back Inquiries Bill

The Inquiries Bill completed its committee stage tonight and is set to pass into law tomorrow.

The bill had been stalled on the Order Paper since 2009, but has now been given a high priority as the Government wish to hold a quick, but full inquiry into the Fonterra botulism scare.

Yesterday the Greens abstained citing concerns the bill might have more sweeping powers than they could accept.

Tonight Green MP Holly Walker said her party’s concerns the bill would force journalists to reveal sources to ministerial driven inquiries had been relieved as in civil cases under the Evidence Act (which would apply to this bill) this could not happen.

Similar concerns about the protection of an MPs communications had also been allayed and as a result the Greens would back the bill.

The bill was reported with amendment on a voice vote.

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