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Questions For Oral Answer - Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Questions For Oral Answer - Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Questions to Ministers

1. KEITH LOCKE to the Prime Minister: Will she ensure journalists travelling with her, as part of the delegation she is leading to China next week, will enjoy normal press freedoms as outlined in international human rights treaties; if not, why not?

2. Hon BILL ENGLISH to the Minister of Finance: What was Treasury’s best estimate of the cost of the announced, but later cancelled, inflation indexing of personal tax thresholds which were due to come into effect on 1 April 2008?

3. CHARLES CHAUVEL to the Minister of Finance: What significant economic initiatives come into force on 1 April 2008?

4. SIMON POWER to the Minister of Corrections: Does he stand by the statement by Department of Corrections chief executive Barry Matthews that “The question of how we can humanely transport prisoners while keeping the public, our staff and prisoners safe is a complex one, and the Ombudsman’s report into the transportation of prisoners was timely.”?

5. DARIEN FENTON to the Minister of Transport: What action is the Government taking to address carbon emissions from the transport sector?

6. Hon TONY RYALL to the Minister of Health: What led the Canterbury District Health Board to decide to curtail all leave for junior doctors until August, and how widespread are these problems elsewhere around the country?

7. RUSSELL FAIRBROTHER to the Minister for Social Development and Employment: What reports has she received on changes to rates for benefits and superannuation that took effect from 1 April?

8. Hon BILL ENGLISH to the Minister of Justice: Does she stand by her statement “The Parliament decided what would be in the Electoral Finance Act, and every party in this House needs to abide by it.”; if not, why not?

9. Hon TARIANA TURIA to the Minister for Biosecurity: Did he receive advice in 2005 that the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 “is currently interpreted as applying to all new organisms entering New Zealand, whether entering deliberately or unintentionally. Accordingly, once an organism has been identified as new, MAF (under both the Biosecurity Act and as the enforcement agency under the HSNO Act) is legally prevented from giving it biosecurity clearance until it has been approved under the HSNO Act. This approval can only be given by the Environmental Risk Management Authority”; and how does this fit with the provisions of the Biosecurity and Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Legislation Amendment Bill?

10. ANNE TOLLEY to the Minister of Education: Does he have confidence in the Ministry of Education; if so, why?

11. GORDON COPELAND to the Minister of Finance: When he said in the House on 13 February “I do not think the phrase chewing gum tax cuts came from New Zealand taxpayers at large. I remember where that particular phrase came from.”, was he telling the House that he went back in Budget 2007 on the tax cuts he announced in Budget 2005 just because a member from an opposition party labelled his plan the “chewing gum tax cuts”?

12. PHIL HEATLEY to the Minister of Housing: Does she have confidence in Housing New Zealand Corporation; if so, why?

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