29 May 2024

A taste of something non-budget, with a hint of gooseberry

From The House , 8:00 pm on 29 May 2024

During budget week most arguments and debates in the House relate to the budget (or unusually this week, to some trouble caused by a failure to spot the difference between a karanga and a speech), but within that maelstrom Wednesday was a small eddy spinning its own path.

Wednesday evening’s debates were about neither tikanga nor budgets. This year’s budget week is also a Member’s Week, when the Wednesday sitting is devoted to debating bills put forward by backbench MPs from any party (member’s, local or private bills).

On Wednesday one private bill and three members bills were debated, two bills from Labour MPs and two from National MPs.

Before the sitting, The House talked with National backbench MP Stuart Smith, who has a members bill under consideration that would ease wineries' ability to charge customers for cellar-door wine tastings. Because it is about alcohol it is also a bill with that less common flavour, a conscience-issue (with a blackberry note).

National's Stuart Smith chairing the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee.

National's Stuart Smith chairing the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee. Photo: VNP / Phil Smith

For the record, the Bill was reported back from the Committee of the Whole House without amendment, although there was some kerfuffle over whether or not a final personal vote had been called for.

The Bill will be set down for a third reading debate next Members' Day (likely on July 24th).

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