The House has resumed after a five week lock down and while the usual features like Question Time remain there are a couple of changes including limited numbers of MPs in the chamber and some shortened debate times.
For more than a month the debating chamber has been empty of the usual quips and zingers that come with Question Time and debate on legislation as MPs joined the rest of the country in a Covid-19 induced lock down.
Now the alert level is at 3 for at least two weeks and a smaller number of MPs have returned to the House to process legislation and question the Government's ability to lead the country.
In charge of organising the order in which they do this is the Leader of the House Chris Hipkins.
Hipkins said the usual features like Question Time, the parliamentary prayer, introduction of bills and presentation of reports, and petitions will still be there but it's not all "life as normal."
The differences include:
- about 15 MPs per side
- about half of the Ministers will be available for Question Time
- more time for party leaders to speak on a Ministerial Statement
- the Annual Review debate will be shortened from 10 hours to five. This has to be completed before the Budget can be passed
- specific Covid-19 related bills including tax changes around how IRD operates, immigration, and filing deadlines or requirements to do certain things in person