The New Zealand Taxpayers' Union is joining calls for the Government to extend submission deadlines for Select Committees during the immediate fallout of the COVID-19 crisis.
New Zealand Taxpayers' Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, "Old political priorities need to be re-evaluated as New Zealanders scramble to deal with the implications of COVID-19 and the national lockdown."
"Four pieces of legislation - including vaping regulations and the Screen Industry Workers Bill - have submission deadlines this week."
"If an organisation or individual asks for an extension, the Speaker demands practical reasons they can't meet the deadline. This makes a farce of democracy at a time when literally everyone is dealing with the effects of a global crisis."
"Individuals who would have otherwise made valuable submissions now find themselves with higher priorities. And organisations with valuable research and community ties will struggle to put together their submissions while in lockdown - not everyone has an MP's home office set-up."
"We're backing calls to defer select committee submission and reporting deadlines by at least four weeks, unless the legislation in question is relevant to the COVID-19 response or otherwise clearly time-sensitive."
NZ Initative statement: https://nzinitiative.org.nz/reports-and-media/reports/policy-point-time-to-proces/
Vaping sector statement: https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO2003/S00303/rushed-vaping-bill-during-covid-19-grossly-unfair.htm