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Solid year of legislative reform

Hon Gerry Brownlee
Leader of the House
17 December 2009
Media Statement

Solid year of legislative reform – Leader of the House

Parliament has lifted for the summer recess and Leader of the House, Gerry Brownlee, says the Government would look back with satisfaction on a busy and successful legislative programme in 2009.

“This year, 70 government Bills passed their third reading and into law. Sixty-five government Bills passed their first reading and were sent to a select committee, and 58 government Bills were reported back from select committee,” says Mr Brownlee.

A particular focus of the Government’s legislative agenda in 2009 was law and order. A suite of Bills were passed to make life safer for New Zealanders, including:

• The Criminal Investigations (Bodily Samples) Amendment Bill requiring DNA testing for every person arrested for an imprisonable offence;

• The Domestic Violence (Enhancing Safety) Bill, giving police the power to issue on-the-spot protection orders to help protect victims of domestic violence;

• The Sentencing (Offender Levy) Amendment Bill, to compensate victims through a levy paid by criminals;

• The Gangs and Organised Crime Amendment Bill, to clamp down on criminal gangs and their drug trade; and

• The Land Transport (Enforcement Powers) Amendment Bill and Vehicle Confiscation and Seizure Bill, to crack down on boy racers.

Legislation to tackle violent youth crime by bolstering the Youth Court with a range of new interventions and sentences is expected to be passed early in 2010.

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Mr Brownlee says the government had taken urgency frequently this year in order to gain more time to debate Bills.

“As a busy and active government, it’s been necessary for the House to sit a few more hours than normal.

“The use of urgency this year is comparable to the time spent in urgency under the previous Labour government in its first year in office during 2000.”

Other significant Bills passed this year include changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme, reforms to simplify and streamline the Resource Management Act, changes to customs laws to facilitate the introduction of “SmartGate” and wide-ranging changes to immigration law.

Mr Brownlee says Parliament sat for 30 weeks in 2009. There were 86 question times, with Ministers answering 1038 oral questions and thousands more supplementary questions. Up until Monday 14 December, Ministers had answered 18,566 written questions, an average of 687 per Minister.

Notes to editors:

Facts about the 2009 legislative year

Parliament sat for 30 weeks this year, first sitting on Tuesday 10 February and rising for the year on 16 December.

Oral Questions

There were 86 question times.

This compares with:

• 57 in 2008
• 87 in 2007
• 81 in 2006
• 56 in 2005

Ministers answered 1038 oral questions (not including supplementary questions).

This compares with:

• 696 in 2008
• 1061 in 2007
• 972 in 2006
• 671 in 2005

Written Questions (to Monday 14 December)

Ministers answered 18,566 written questions (an average of 687 per Minister).

This compares with:

• 8,801 in 2008
• 20,649 in 2007
• 19,911 in 2006
• 11,698 in 2005

3rd Readings

• 70 Government Bills passed their 3rd reading and into law

• 3 Private Bills passed their 3rd reading and into law

• 1 Local Bill passed its 3rd reading and into law

1st Readings

• 65 Government Bills passed their 1st reading and were sent to a select committee

• 5 Members’ Bills passed their 1st reading and were sent to a select committee

• 1 Local Bill passed its 1st reading and was sent to a select committee

• 2 Private Bills passed their 1st reading and were sent to a select committee

Report-backs

• 58 Government Bills were reported back from select committee.

• 1 Member’s Bill was reported back from select committee.

• 1 Private Bill was reported back from select committee.
ENDS

© Scoop Media

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