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Members’ Day Eaten Away By Other Debates

There wasn’t much time for Members Bills on the last Members’ Day of the year when a number of debates and other business ate into the available time.

After Question Time, Speaker David Carter granted and urgent debate on an report comparing education standards in New Zealand with other countries. Then came the usual General Debate, which was turn followed by a debate on the Privileges Committee Interim report on Question of privilege regarding use of intrusive powers within the parliamentary precinct.

Committee Chair Chris Finlayson said there had been work done on the need for different parts of the Government treating each other with care and respect when it came to powers, such as those held by the police and security services when it came to MPs and Parliament.

This inquiry had looked at a ministerial inquiry’s gaining of information from an MP and journalist held by the Parliamentary Service and to look at later drawing up guidelines about this in the future, it was not about guilt or a breach of privilege.

Information had been handed over because the inquiry had acted in over vigorous manner and the staff at Parliamentary Service had acted in a way in which they should not.

Labour’s Grant Robertson said the ministerial inquiry set up by John Key was a shambles from beginning to end.

The report was accepted on a voice vote and just after 8.30pm MPs began the committee stage debate on the Kaipara District Council (Validation of Rates and Other Matters) Bill.

MPs agreed to take all parts as one debate and hold no debate before taking the third reading vote.

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