26 Jul 2012

Three members' bills progress to select committee

8:12 am on 26 July 2012

Opposition parties succeeded in passing three members' bills through their first readings in Parliament on Wednesday night.

Legislation giving workers Monday off when Waitangi Day or Anzac Day falls on a weekend has passed its first reading.

The bill is sponsored by Labour MP David Clark and passed 61-60 with the deciding vote of United Future leader Peter Dunne.

Mr Clark says he is confident that support will stay constant through to the bill's third and final reading and it will eventually become law.

Tourism Industry Association chief executive Martin Snedden says he's also confident the bill will succeed.

He told Morning Report the bill is well supported by the public, as well as tourism operators who gave it the thumbs up at a serios of tourism roadshows held by the association recently.

He says now the bill has passed its first hurdle the facts about the costs and implications of such a move can now be fully considered.

However, Justice Minister Judith Collins says Anzac Day is sacred and should not be made into a three-day weekend, just so people can have a day off.

Parental leave and lobbying bills move forward

Legislation from Mr Clark's colleague Sue Moroney to extend paid parental leave from 14 to 26 weeks by 2014 also passed its first reading.

The Government has already said it will veto the bill because it is unaffordable.

Finance Minister Bill English says the extra $150 million a year the policy would cost is too expensive.

However, Ms Moroney says the true cost won't be known until officials provide that information to the select committee considering the bill.

She says she is open to changes, including slowing the rate of implementation.

The third bill was in the name of Green MP Holly Walker, establishing a disclosure regime for political lobbying.

It would cover anyone who seeks to influence MPs, their staff or public servants.