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Rattling Through First Readings

Two bills were sent to select committee with general approval on Tuesday evening covering electoral law and credit law, with debate interrupted on a bill proposing the detention of dangerous people after they have completed their prison sentences in limited circumstances.

Justice Minister Judith Collins said the Electoral Amendment Bill followed on from the select committee review of the last election.

Some of its recommendation had been implemented through regulation, the bill would implement another 11 recommendations.

It would clarify parts of electoral law and also allowed for on-line enrollment.

Labour’s Andrew Little said the bill was the absolute least the Government could do to improve electoral law including the MMP system, however the minister had been “too lazy” to try and build consensus around changes.

The bill was sent to the Justice and Electoral Committee on a voice vote.

MPs also completed the first reading debate on the Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill.

Justice Minister Judith Collins said amongst other things bill gave the High Court powers to issue a public protection order to detain a person in a secure facility at the end of a finite prison sentence.

She expected the powers to be rarely used and there were protections to ensure they were only used in cases where the public were at extreme risk.

Andrew Little said Labour would support the bill as far as select committee despite having concerns about some aspects of the law.

Debate on the bill was interrupted when the House rose at 10pm.

Earlier the Credit Contracts and Financial Services Law Reform Bill completed its first reading on a voice vote and was sent to the Commerce Committee.

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