Daily Review 22/08/2018

Written By: - Date published: 5:30 pm, August 22nd, 2018 - 35 comments
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Daily review is also your post.

This provides Standardistas the opportunity to review events of the day.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Don’t forget to be kind to each other …

35 comments on “Daily Review 22/08/2018”

  1. veutoviper 1

    Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill (aka Waka Jumping Bill)

    There has been a lot of discussion here and elsewhere re the Green Party now supporting the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill (aka the waka jumping Bill) put up by NZF supported by Labour, particularly in light of the views expressed by Jeanette Fitzsimmons at the Green Party AGM last weekend.

    What has surprised me is that some (many?) people seem to think that this Bill is something in the future rather than in the very ‘here and now‘. For example, Dennis Frank on OM 20 Aug in his comment at 1.7 said:

    I’m still waiting to see if amendments to Winston’s bill have emerged in the select committee process to balance the rights of party and electors against the right of an MP to dissent and then jump the waka.”

    This Bill is well passed the select committee process and way down the tracks in its passage through the House. It passed its Second Reading on 2 August, and is already at least halfway through the Committee stages, with only the Third Reading remaining after that. In fact it took up some 10 hours of the House’s time (almost 120 videos!) on 2, 7, 8 and 9 August.

    During that time there were many votes – all of which split with Labour, NZF and the GP voting together (63), and National either voting alone (56) or with an extra ACT vote.

    But to backtrack slightly re Dennis Frank’s question as to what amendments emerged from the Select Committee process? The answer is none. With the make-up of the Justice Select Committee being 4 Labour members, and 4 National Mps*, the select committee reached an impasse. As a result, the day before they were due to report back to the House (31 July 2018) the Bill was discharged from consideration by the Justice Committee under Standing Order 295(3):

    SELECT COMMITTEE REPORTS – 295 Time for report

    (1) A select committee must finally report to the House on a bill within six months of the bill being referred to it or by such other time as fixed by the House or the Business Committee.
    (2) The Business Committee may extend the time for report for any bill.
    (3) If the committee has not reported within the time for report, the bill is discharged from further consideration by the committee and set down for its next stage in the House on the third sitting day following.

    * Dennis Frank has subsequently asked why the make-up of the Committee does not include GP or NZF members. I will do a separate short comment on this – if not tonight, hopefully in the next day.

    So then what happened?

    On Thursday 2 August, the Bill appeared at No 2 on the Order Paper for 2nd Reading that day. The House debated the Bill for two hours with speeches from all Parties except ACT, including 8 National speeches, 4 Labour, 1 NZF (Darrock Ball) 1 GP (Golriz Ghahraman). The Bill passed its 2nd Reading with 63 Ayes (L/NZF/GP) and 57 Noes (Nat/ACT).

    On Tues afternoon, 7 August, the House then commenced the clause by clause Committee stages of the Bill. Over the next three sitting days (7,8 and 9 August including under urgency/extended hours on Thurs morning, 9 August) the Committee of the House considered and passed Clauses 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Bill with the Ayes 63 (L/G/NZF) and the Noes 56 (N) or 57(N/ACT). This leaves only Clauses 5 and 6 remaining for Committee stage consideration, followed by the Third Reading of the Bill. (More on these below.)

    During these debates, the Committee of the House also considered about 20 SOPs raised by the National Party Mps which included attempts to include new clauses (eg new Clause 3A) and to delete Clause 4 in its entirety. None of these SOPs were agreed.

    When the House commenced the 2nd Hearing, Nick Smith raised an ‘Instruction to the Committee’ motion calling for the Bill “to be discharged and referred back to the Justice Committee to enable the many amendments proposed by officials and submitters to be considered.” Following debate, this motion was not agreed to with the Ayes 56 (Nat only) and the Noes 63 (L/NZF/GP).

    During the Committee stages debates, Smith raised a further two motions, the first to get an Instruction to the Committee to make it explicit that the Bill be considered in terms of the overriding provisions of the Parliamentary Privileges Act. This failed, as did the third Motion “.. that it [the Committee of the Whole House] consider and, if it thinks appropriate, adopt the amendments suggested by many submitters that constituency members of Parliament be exempted from the new power of party leaders to dismiss MPs.” . This motion was raised as earlier attempt to limit the Bill to constituency (electorate) members only had been ruled out of order (procedurally). This third Motion attempt was chaired by Mallard himself, with short speeches by Smith and Brownlee but the motion was not agreed to on a party vote of Ayes 56; Noes 63.

    Remaining Clauses of the Bill still to be debated

    As stated above, only Clauses 5 and 6 of the Bill still remain to be debated in the Committee stages (plus the final 3rd reading). Clause 6 is a mere editorial amendment to the principal Act (the Electoral Act 1993) consequent upon the outcome on Clause 5.

    However, Clause 5 is likely to continue to attract considerable debate and filibustering as it continues to propose amendments to Clause 55 of the principal Act (as did Clause 4) of a quite ‘meaty’ nature as can be seen from the Clause by Clause section of the Explanatory Note to the Bill itself here (too long to quote).
    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2017/0006/latest/whole.html#DLM7514004
    Here is the principal Electoral Act 1993 – http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0087/latest/whole.html?search=y_act_2018_1993_ac%40ainf%40anif_an%40bn%40rn_25_a&p=1#DLM307519

    It should be noted that the Clause 5 proposals appear to seek to reinstate provisions that were introduced by the previous 2001 Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Act but expired on 18 September 2005 under the provisions of that Act. I have not had time to compare the two – and National have been busy over the last week writing new SOPs which may affect clause 5. There are currently 34 SOPs listed against the Bill, with 16 of these filed on 15 August.

    Nature of the Debates to date

    The debates have been long and heated, with National basically filibustering every inch of the way, mainly through diversions such as Points of Order, off topic and long historical speeches, raising new SOPs – and from time to time berating and heckling the Greens for their support of the Bill and calling on them to change their minds. One memorable attempt was also made by David Bennett to seek the recall of the Speaker, Trevor Mallard, for allegedly remarking to Bennett when the Speaker was leaving the House that “He said that my head would fall off if I shook it at him”. (LOL! See the fourth para below for video.)

    During the Committee stages, to date Labour and NZF have put up very few speakers other than Andrew Little and Darroch Ball – except for one amusing instance when Ron Mark heard a call from Mark Mitchell in the debate challenging him, went to the Chamber and took a call where he turned the books on Mitchell and implied he would be leaving National to set up a new party.

    At least one Green MP appeared to be in the House at all times during the Committee Stage debates – eg Shaw, Davidson and Hughes. The Green MPs have not sought any calls to speak, although Shaw twice objected to National remarks re the Greens. Many votes were called for with the Greens consistently voting with Labour and NZF.

    The various Deputy Speakers chairing the debates (Anne Tolley, Poto Williams and Adrian Ruawhe) have been very clearly frustrated by the filibustering and overall distractions, and have raised concerns at some National MPs (eg Brownlee and Bennett plus others) making comments that brought the impartiality and integrity of the Chairs (= Deputy Speakers) into question. During the morning extended hours debate on 9 August, this resulted in Speaker Mallard being recalled to the House to deal with this issue. Here is the Hansard for that small section:
    https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/combined/HansDeb_20180808_20180809_12

    This video starting about 11.30 puts this small section into context, and also contains David Bennett complaining about the Speaker immediately afterwards! Then Brownlee immediately questions Williams ruling on that; then Smith, followed by Bennett and so on … Unbelievable. The Hansard on this is the first part of this one.
    https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/combined/HansDeb_20180808_20180809_16

    Where to from Here?

    On 9 August, Chris Hopkins (Leader of the House) advised that several Bills would be introduced the following week (14 – 16 Aug) and the NAIT Amendment Bill would be considered under urgency, but that the Electoral (Integrity) Bill was expected to complete its Third Reading.

    Come Tues 14 August, the Bill had been moved down to No 10 on the Order Paper, and did not see light of day last week . The House is now in two weeks’ recess until Tues, 4 September.

    Whether that was ‘just life’ or intentional is unknown. In light of the upcoming Green AGM it was probably good to have a breather; likewise in view of the heated situation in many of the debates on the Bill. It would not surprise me if there are things going on behind the scenes on procedural matters – particularly in regard to the lack of regard etc being displayed to the role, rights etc of the Speakers/Chairs. The real question is whether any concessions, changes etc to the actual provisions of the Bill will be considered on either side.

    My opinion on the Bill? I am divided and currently too close to the procedural aspects to make a considered decision. I think there is some need for some controls on waka jumping – absolutely in regard to list Members. On electorate Members there is the old dilemma of Party vs Electorate voters.

    Is this a good Bill? IMHO not really. A cobbled together rerun with warts and all, but possibly better than nothing. Who knows whether it is really needed at this time. but with some of the alleged movements by National to ‘talk to people’, perhaps it is.

    Has the process been good? Ummm. Again, IMHO not really. I will leave it at that, but will be watching with interest as to whether any changes happen before the next round.

    Back to the Green Party Dilemma

    Quite frankly, if the Greens were to pull the plug now, what do you think the consequences would be?

    IMHO for the Greens to change tack this far down the track would bring the viability of the current government into serious question; and probably lead to the confidence and supply agreement falling over. No other party would trust them enough to consider any form of coalition in the future; and many soft or split voters would probably feel the same. Again I will leave it at that right now, although it would be interesting to see what the legal position would be vis a vis the Bill and the status of the votes taken on the various Clauses already agreed.

    NOTE – I have not included many links as there are masses – 120 videos (c.10 hours) of Parliament debates for instance! If there are any particular bits of video or Hansard you would like links to, I could probably oblige as I have waded my way through most as the above is a condensation of a more detailed analysis done for other purposes.

    • veutoviper 1.1

      Damn – Blockquote should have ended at the end of the Standing Order 295 quote.

      That is, before the * note. From there down should be further left-aligned .

      [Fixed for ya. This is a tough issue. There needs to be a comprehensive post on it but no one has put their hand up yet … MS]

    • Dennis Frank 1.2

      Thanks, you’ve done an excellent job there. I hope other readers will give it serious consideration. Quite an eye-opener for me – I’ve never bothered to examine parliamentary process, having only ever been interested in results. I have to say that the select committee process appears to be a total travesty.

      Unless you know more than me, we still have no idea why there were no NZF or GP parliamentarians on the justice committee, and a quick scan of your report didn’t show me any evidence that they were able to contribute to the process. How anyone could think this is a suitable result from MMP, I can’t imagine. In no way can this be seen as a genuine consensus-seeking process.

      So it looks like Labour is driving the process on behalf of NZF to get the result Winston wants, and the Nats are trying to get sensible improvements incorporated, but with no luck so far. Do you agree?

  2. R.P Mcmurphy 3

    Brickbats for the MSM.
    Prime tv’s trailer said Winston was angry at his press conference with Julie Bishop today and the Herald claimed he snapped.
    Nothing could be further from the truth.
    Winston was relaxed and in good humour and it seems like the press corpse is using a totally different dictionary from the rest of us.

  3. Ed 4

    Rachel Stewart is a breath of fresh air.
    If only there were 20 commentators with the same courage.

    I’ll let both you, and BigAg, in on a secret. Way more revelations are coming. Wait until you hear about winter cropping, and what’s going on there regarding animal welfare.

    Not really any different from feedlots, and arguably even more mud and shit everywhere. Fodder beets are commonly used for high carbs and quick fattening, and also with no shelter from the elements. And, environmentally? It’s all bad news.

    If you’re shocked now, wait until you hear about foetal blood taken from pregnant cows at slaughter. Wait until you find out how that’s done, and the irony of what it’s used for. The stuff about to come down the pipe will make feedlots look like a walk in the park. Your hair’s gonna curl.

    Before you blame animal rights groups for what’s coming, think again. Sure, they’re in the mix. But industry insiders are starting to open up about what they’re seeing too. I applaud them.

    If BigAg had any sense, they’d have changed their ways well before upcoming public pressure forces them too.

    Rachel Stewart: Animal cruelty – a storm is coming

    And just a reminder about those feedlots.

    • Ed 4.1

      Maybe this is the sort of stuff she’s alluding to.
      As soon as people understand what happens behind the walls of the gigantic gulag of factory farming, people will stop eating meat in droves.

  4. Ed 5

    Inspiring.
    ‘Your Democracy Has Been Stolen; It’s Time For Revolution’

  5. Pat 6

    “I cannot tell how long this open water patch will remain open, but even if it closes in few days from now, the harm will be done: the thick old sea ice will have been pushed away from the coast, to an area where it will melt more easily,” he added.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/21/arctics-strongest-sea-ice-breaks-up-for-first-time-on-record

    Climate change?….no worries

  6. AsleepWhileWalking 7

    NZ (aka Terror Central) is getting body scanners at airports.

    Ffs.

    Hope no exemptions are permitted for the MPs who supported spending millions to put these fuckers in place. Hey, with terror you never know.

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/travel/106469801/expect-delays-full-body-xray-scanners-coming-to-new-zealand-airports

    • Exkiwiforces 7.1

      A wee bit of an overkill in my books and I would’ve thought they would’ve have used for the USA bound flights knowing how paranoid the yanks are with terrorists, but really using them for NZ domestic flights come on.

      No doubt some muppet from the last Government signed off on this waste of money.

    • marty mars 7.2

      fucken hell – this is shit.

      “Devices that produce an unclothed image of a person breach New Zealand’s Aviation Crimes Act, so the scanners will be configured to reveal only a genderless stick figure image that highlights the areas of a passenger’s body that require investigation by security staff.

      Suspicious or foreign objects will also not be displayed – they will instead be indicated with a coloured marker.

      The scanners use non-ionizing radiation, which has no proven adverse health effects.

      Passing through the scanners won’t be mandatory, but those who refuse will have to undergo a “pat-down” search.

      There has been no increase in New Zealand’s terror threat level. But documents released by the Aviation Security Service (Avsec) under the Official Information Act note the scanners “are becoming the norm” in international airports.”

    • Cinny 7.3

      Crikey that’s an overkill.

      Maybe they should just take some advice/direction from one of Sacha Baron Cohens characters from “Who is America?”.

      Erran Morad…. he’s a genius on terrorism and how to spot a terrorist and what to do. Here he is with Jason Spencer, who was an elected official, until the show aired… 🙂 5 minute clip below 🙂 enjoy 🙂

    • McFlock 7.4

      Firstly, of course they take nudey pictures. They have to collate the raw data and then match it to the icon listing, and techs would need to see raw images to calibrate the machines, especially if new threats are identified. Do I trust them not to have a c\ache of the raw reference pictures that might be accessible by a technician? Fuck no.

      Secondly, it’s a bit unclear: if I don’t want a nudey picture taken of me, do I only get touched up on international flights, or local ones, too? It’s a bit unclear.

      Thirdly, did that article say that Soimon Bridgeless okayed this shit just because other people do it (sorry, because ‘it’s increasingly the norm overseas’)?

    • One Two 7.5

      Leaving aside the signals and intention of this technology rollout…

      There will of course need to be nude scans taken…will they be stored/sent etc?

      Exactly which scanners are being deployed in NZ?

      http://healthland.time.com/2011/06/30/did-airport-scanners-give-boston-tsa-agents-cancer/

      http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/11/17/europe-bans-airport-x-ray-scanners-that-u-s-still-uses/

      The ‘non ionizing radiation’ ‘is safe’ position, does not stand up to the shallowest of investigations…

      Airport ‘security’ is of course a perpetual charade…one which the article acknowledges…

      The next steps:

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/15/us/los-angeles-metro-body-scanners.html

      It’s ‘the norm’ internationally…best we follow along…

      The low level of the explanation is staggering…

  7. Hooch 8

    Just when you thought it was over, the aussies are at it again and Turnbull could be ousted tonight!

  8. Pat 9

    “The models can’t handle those landscape-scale changes, all of the processes that could lead to rapid change,” says David Lawrence, a permafrost modeler with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. “And it’s going to be a long time before they can.”

    By the time some changes are detected, a significant transition may be underway, he says. That means the public and policymakers may not grasp the real risks.

    “Most models don’t project major carbon releases until beyond 2100,” Walter Anthony says. That may be the case. But it’s also possible, she says, that they “could actually happen in my children’s lifetime—or my own.”

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/08/news-arctic-permafrost-may-thaw-faster-than-expected/

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