20 Sep 2022

MPs get back into the rhythm

From The House , 6:55 pm on 20 September 2022

It has been a funny few weeks at Parliament, with the regular schedule interrupted by a couple of shifts in New Zealand’s constitutional line-up. There’s no way you haven’t noticed; the news coverage of one of those shifts has been all but unavoidable, the other one you might just have missed.

The change in monarch got the wall to wall news coverage. Oddly enough the change of Speaker in the House of Representatives has much more ability to influence things in New Zealand than the change in the entirely titular head of our realm. (Unless that change finds an echo in other constitutional change.)

But inside the House this week MPs are back on deck and attempting to find their old rhythm after two stop-start weeks. There is an extra morning sitting this week and likely more extra sittings thrown in to try to catch up on time.

Chris Hipkins speaks in an urgent debate on the travel bubble

Chris Hipkins speaks in an urgent debate on the travel bubble Photo: ©VNP / Phil Smith

Of note in the House 

The Minister in charge of the Government’s legislative agenda is Chris Hipkins, the Leader of the House. He picked out some notable events this week in the House, you can hear his summary of the week in the audio above. 

  • The 2022 budget gets final approval on Tuesday afternoon. The original deadline for sign-off was last week, but MPs gave themselves an extension. Tuesday is the third reading.
  • Under urgency (so that all stages can be debated on the same day), MPs will consider a bill to allow the on-off public holiday next Monday for the QEII Memorial Day. 
  • A bill that adds Maternal Birth Injury to what ACC can cover reaches its committee stage on Tuesday. This may also get added in later in the week if it isn’t completed.
  • On Thursday morning there is an extra sitting. The main topic is the Maniapoto Claims Settlement Bill (committee stage and third reading). This was also delayed from last week, but a large contingent from the iwi is expected for this culmination of their negotiated Treaty of Waitangi claims. 

Wednesday is a members day with its own line-up of interest. More on what is going on then can be found here.