Maori Language Week in the House began with the Speaker, David Carter, reading the daily prayer in te reo. The Government's Leader of the House, Gerry Brownlee, reveals the Government's agenda for the first week after MPs return from this four-week adjournment which ends on Tuesday 9 August. Only one bill passed as the Government uses chamber time remaining after questions and the general debate on Wednesday and Thursday to make progress on the annual 12-hour estimates debate, interrupted on Thursday with five hours remaining. Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and his Labour shadow, Annette King, clash in estimates debate and again in Question Time. Prime Minister, John Key, leads his MPs in insisting that his government has a comprehensive housing plan. The Speaker leads MPs in giving a standing ovation to 16 chamber staff who are retiring. The Social Services Committee hears submissions on the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill, including concerns about the targeting of solo parents and provisions for disability allowances; Finance & Expenditure Committee is briefed by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Jan Wright about risks from rising sea levels; Foreign Affairs, Defence & Trade Committee briefed by MFAT officials about a recently signed Space treaty with the USA; Auditor-General's office presents its report on the roll-out of ultra-fast broadband to the Commerce Committee.
10 Jul 2016