- Date published:
7:01 am, October 16th, 2015 - 37 comments
Categories: accountability, class war, housing, law, national, Parliament, quality of life - Tags: david carter, healthy homes, members bills, shame, warrant of fitness
Yesterday there was another draw of member’s bills, and Labour (leaders!) had the best of it. Here’s I/S at No Right Turn:
A ballot for four member’s bills was held today and the following bills were drawn:
- Education (Restoration of Democracy to University Councils) Amendment Bill (David Cunliffe)
- Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration (Preventing Name Change by Child Sex Offenders) Amendment Bill (Jian Yang)
- Electricity Transparency Bill (David Shearer)
- Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill (No 2) (Andrew Little)
Of these, the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill (No 2) is the most interesting. Its essentially a re-run of the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill which failed to pass on a tied vote back in March. But there’s been a by-election since then, not to mention several dead kids due to poor housing, so there’s now a Parliamentary majority for its passage. And because it doesn’t require government spending, National can’t veto it.
While all three Labour bills are good news, I/S was right that the Healthy Homes (No 2) was particularly great, with National’s loss in Northland meaning there was probably a majority for getting it through. But it seems like the Nats really don’t want healthy homes for renters, after stooping this low (I/S again):
This morning Andrew Little’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill (No 2) was drawn from the member’s ballot. There is a majority for the bill, and I was wondering how National would try and stop it (since its non-financial they can’t use the veto). And now we know: at the beginning of Question Time Speaker David Carter invoked Standing Order 264(a) (which prohibits bills which are the “same in substance” as a bill already voted on being proposed in the same calendar year) and essentially threatened that he would rule the bill out of order unless it was delayed. The problem? The ruling is bullshit – the bill is not “the same in substance” as the earlier version, at least under the usual understanding of Standing Orders.
Member’s bills have long followed this guidance, both to avoid pre-ballots and to avoid being ruled out of order if they won. … Twyford’s bill allocated the power to set standards to EECA, while Little’s one gives it to MBIE. Both require landlords to follow those standards, but the different regulator makes them different bills.
Carter should have noticed this. The fact that he didn’t tells us that he didn’t bother to read the two bills before ruling and that he is an incompetent, partisan hack who is unfit to be Speaker. The sooner he gets shuffled off, the better.
Little and Labour are clearly not amused, see Labour accuses Speaker of ‘massive political interference’ over veto move. This press release doesn’t pull any punches:
Nats play politics while Kiwi kids die in homes
The Speaker’s decision to not read my Healthy Homes Bill smacks of political interference from a Government that is more concerned with playing politics than stopping children dying in cold damp homes, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.
“My Healthy Homes Bill offers solutions to this national disgrace now. “But instead of helping to push the legislation through quickly National has clearly had a word in the Speaker’s ear, leading him to make an unprecedented decision to stop the bill being read this year.
“Labour followed the correct process when lodging this Bill and consulted with the Clerk of the House to ensure the wording and aims were substantially different enough from Phil Twyford’s previous Healthy Homes Bill, which failed by one vote, to allow it to be in the ballot. “With National subsequently losing the Northland by-election they are down a vote and there is a good chance the bill will pass. It should not be delayed.
“The ruling raises serious questions about political interference. The Speaker must say whether this issue was raised with him by the Government after the Bill was drawn today or if he himself put pressure on the Clerk,” says Andrew Little.
Political rhetoric can sometimes get a little heated, but I think on this occasion the claim is correct – and bears repeating – Nats play politics while Kiwi kids die in homes.