Lockwood ‘small hands’ Smith is digging himself deeper into a hole that is going to destroy his legacy as Speaker over the Mojo Mathers’ right to participate in Parliamentary debate. The Minister for Disabilities, Tariana Turia, is missing in action (probably off granting more of your money to her mates). Key wants nothing to do with it. So, I/S at NoRightTurn has proposed the ‘nuclear option’.
So, what to do if Lockwood Smith continues to sit on his arse and refuse to allow an elected MP to perform their constitutional duties? This:
Clerk of the House of Representatives (Non-discrimination) Amendment Bill
The Parliament of New Zealand enacts as follows:
This Act is the Clerk of the House of Representatives (Non-discrimination) Amendment Act 2012.
This Act comes into force on the day after the date on which it received the Royal Assent.
The purpose of this Act is to amend the Clerk of the House of Representatives Act to ensure that all Members of Parliament are fully enabled to carry out their constitutional duties.
4. Principal Act Amended
This Act amends the Clerk of the House of Representatives Act 1988.
5. Section 3 Amended
Section 3 is amended by inserting the following paragraph after paragraph (a):
“(aa) to ensure that all Members of Parliament are enabled to carry out their constitutional duties, regardless of any disability:”
Arguably the Clerk already has to do this, as it is a duty required by law (specifically the Human Rights Act) under section 3(b). But if Smith continues to deny this, then I think MPs should seek leave to introduce and pass this bill and make it very clear that it is the Clerk’s responsibility. Seeking leave to do so each and every time Smith takes the chair would be a good way of getting the message across.