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Paid parental leave bill progresses – towards veto

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, September 17th, 2015 - 30 comments
Categories: babies, child welfare, families, national - Tags: , ,

Let’s hear it for MMP! Last night in Parliament Labour MP Sue Moroney’s bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks passed its first reading by one vote (let’s hear it for the voters of Northland!). Only National and ACT opposed. Good news:

Paid Parental leave legislation passes first hurdle over Government opposition

Parliament voted to send the bill to a select committee after Labour gained the support of United Future, the Maori Party, the Greens and NZ First, with only National and Act opposed.

Moroney said her bill recognised that supporting parents to be at home in the first six months of a baby’s life was a wise investment in New Zealand’s future. Moroney’s bill extends paid parental leave by eight weeks to 26 weeks.

However, “wise investment in in New Zealand’s future” is not something that National understands or cares about:

The Government has confirmed it will use its power of financial veto to stop a bill extending paid parental leave after it failed to stop the bill passing its first hurdle in Parliament.

The Nats can find $26 million for a flutter on the flags, or $1.7 billion to bailout South Canterbury Finance, but they can’t find the money ($100 – 150 million a year) to invest in giving children a better start in life. So they are going to veto a policy that helps young families and has been passed by the democratic process in Parliament. Year 7 of the Brighter Future and counting…

30 comments on “Paid parental leave bill progresses – towards veto ”

  1. Tracey 1

    I heard Seymour a few weeks ago saying he agreed with it but wouldn’t be voting for it because those pushing it “want more than 26 weeks”. And yes, that IS what he said. Go to the RNZ website and find out for yourself.

    He said he would back the Governments Bill instead. Funny though, these concerns that people will get pregnant to get PPL. First of all you have to have a job for that to be beneficial. Second you have to have a well paying job for that to be beneficial…

    • Treetop 1.1

      I heard Seymour to. He mentiontion that he had a prem baby and that he thought that those with a prem baby required more than 16 weeks, also multiple births.

      What about other babies with a physical and/or an intellectual disability or mothers with birth complications or both mother and baby being affected?


      Twin prem babies one with a physical disability and the other with an intellectual disability and the mother having a C – section and the incision becoming infected and haemorrhaging at the delivery?

      So much can happen medically in the first few months e.g. breast infections, post natal depression, lack of sleep, digestion upsets with the baby. Making a decision under duress can often be regretted down the track.

      When it comes to anomalies they are costly to administer, this is also why 26 weeks is required.

      • Tracey 1.1.1

        Agreed, and I also think that half a year to be a new parent or repeating parent, to get a child off to a good start is not much to ask. Of course, if you live ina world where you think it’s everyone for themselves, I can see why certain people and politicians wouldn’t understand the notion.

        • Treetop

          “Of course, if you live in a world where you think it’s everyone for them selves, I can see why certain people and politicians wouldn’t understand the notion.”

          Your comment is so wise, this is what is wrong with the government when it comes to being so pig headed and greedy by ripping off the resources of a core sevice e.g. state housing.

          Fonterra, privatisation of electricity and housing are MAJOR fails of the Key government.

  2. mickysavage 2

    Political nerd that I am I watched the debate last night. Sue Moroney, Iain Lees Galloway, Denise Roche and Tracey Martin all gave impassioned speeches.

    The nats put a bunch of nondescripts up to speak.

    First up was the Invercargill MP Sarah Dowie who gave a confused rambling speech most of which was taken up talking about the importance of early mother child bonding. She basically validated the reasons for the bill although she never said that she did and voted against it.

    Then there was Brett Hudson whose contribution was one of the most forgettable that I have seen.

    Then Cam’s mate Simon O’Connor who obviously knows how to count cents but the value of nothing.

    And to top things off Parmjeet Parmer spoke.

    The selection of speakers was unusual. National clearly have conceded the argument and are going to veto the bill and then jump up and down and claim that their meagre new spends are somehow comparable.

    Videos are at http://www.inthehouse.co.nz/video/39609

  3. Enough is Enough 3

    Sue Maroney is a champion.

    But lets not forget the original promoters of this bill. It was the Alliance that pushed for this but got pushed back by its larger coalition partner. This could have been law 15 years ago.

    Like so many good things in New Zealand society we have the real lefties to thank.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Like so many good things in New Zealand society we have the real lefties to thank.


      That could be said throughout the world.

    • Tracey 3.2

      Laila Harre was one such champion.

      • Enough is Enough 3.2.1


        Laila is someone demonised by the media yet her principled positions eventually win the day.

        If it wasn’t for Laila and the others in the Alliance, that government would have looked a lot meaner and more like the previous Labour government.

        We need a strong Green party now to stop Labour trending right.

        • Tracey

          i agree. laila harre was the bright light in the IP… some must be thrilled she is not in parliament. another conscience gone from the place

  4. Treetop 4

    Destabilising the relationship between a primary carer and a young baby (less than six months old) has no benefit to either the baby or the parent/carer. I feel that 6 months is the minimum requirement for both to settle in and the rest of the family unit.

    The government are so stingy and seem to be oblivious to the pressure they are placing on young babies and there full time (24 hour) carer. There are many little and some not so little things which can occur with parenting a young baby.

    A lot happens in the first 6 months of a babies life and the government needs to wise up. Oh if children could only vote!

    • Tracey 4.1

      I agree. Strange that a government so focused on producing good little lifetime tax payers doesn’t see the financial benefit 😉

      • Treetop 4.1.1

        Key is only concerned with how he looks now.

        What will Key’s legacy be?

        How he ruined state housing. Social housing is the catalyst he used.

        Do you hear Key saying that the state housing dividend will be used for social housing?

        Some social housing is required due to some people having high needs which need to be managed properly and Key procrastinates while people with an immediate need suffer.

  5. Al66 5

    The reality is that the Tories have the numbers in the house. Only when the voting population start to support the centre left more can such progressive policies see the light of day in legislation. This is, of course, a difficult prospect given the way the mainstream media are so biased in favour of Tory ideology and lack the ability or will to cirtically evaluate this governments policy or direction

    • Treetop 5.1

      The worm will turn when the pain gets bad enough for the centre right.

      • Nessalt 5.1.1

        When will that be?

        Why can’t labour achieve cross party consensus on anything?

        • Treetop

          When will that be?

          The next election.

          Why can’t labour achieve cross party consensus on anything.

          By cross party do you mean with the Greens and NZ First?

          Child welfare, housing, growing the regions there is cross party consenses.

        • Treetop

          Have you seen the latest Roy Morgan poll?

  6. Ed 6

    I am intrigued (and a bit concerned) by this “veto”. No Right Turn has talked about it in various posts including here:

    It seems to me that Standing Orders are effectively an set of rules agreed by Parliament – they seems no reason to regard them as being sufficient to override other decisions of Parliament. By giving the Cabinet power to veto decisions of parliament, we appear to be blithely accepting that we have government by Cabinet, not parliament – whether that is enough to identify an ATTACK ON DEMOCRACY may well depend on greater expertise in the law than I have. Virtually everything decided by Parliament can be deemed to have “more than a minor impact on the Government’s fiscal aggregates if it became law” – that appears to be a decision the executive can make for itself. We have seen in Australia how decisions can be thwarted by just not appointing people to implement them, but I feel it would be a good idea to at least have the appearance of the primacy of parliament . . .

    Should all private member bills include a clause to specifically say that the decisions shall not be subject to the provisions of Standing Orders relating to a veto?

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    So they are going to veto a policy that helps young families and has been passed by the democratic process in Parliament. Year 7 of the Brighter Future and counting

    Obviously, the first thing that needs to be done in 2017 when the Left get back in power is to remove this financial veto so that policies that have been democratically put in place can’t be ignored by a single party.

  8. Heather Grimwood 8

    The power of veto is dictatorship, not even disguised.

  9. The Fairy Godmother 9

    I think the problem is that the nats have confidence and supply agreements with dunne Seymour and Maori. So although they supported the bill they are allowing nat to stay in power. If they truly supported it they would stop supporting the got or say they would only continue supporting them if it goes through. So my take is that dunne is playing silly games so he doesn’t look too bad.

    • Treetop 9.1

      Dunne always supports the government, no matter if he disagrees. Same with Seymour. Until there is a better alternative to the Maori Party the government will survive.

      Key runs a numbers racket between United Future, Act and the Maori Party.

      • Nick K 9.1.1

        Except when Seymour votes against the government, like he did on the harmful Digital Communications Bill.

  10. save NZ 10

    Most research support a parent staying at home with kids for at least a year. What is a year when the average life of a person is around 80 years? Can a parent not spare 1 full year to care for their kids out of 79 years of life? I’d like to see parents being supported until the child is 5. Maybe not financially but in terms of legislation for work, public perception etc.

    In in Neoliberal Fairyland, research shows that for every $1 put into a young child you get some enormous return against waiting until the child is older. Getting a kid to have empathy, love, decent standard of living, health care, nutrition, support, etc prepares the child for life. By depriving children it can become a problem for health, social services, police etc.

    Raising a healthy child requires community support – anyone who has a child will realise what a hard job it is.

    The Natz solution is the same for everything. Immigration. Don’t bother spending on kids when you can get rich migrants in. Don’t educate doctors, import them! Give that social services money to Serco – they need it! Why waste money on kids when they don’t vote or donate money to the Natz?

    Natz do not support parents financially – that is social welfare and the Natz way is corporate welfare for foreign Nationals and CEO’s.

    The scary thing is that they are controlling the message to suck people into their depraved world of corporate consumerism instead of compassion.

    • BG 10.1

      There is an easy Solution.

      Start your own business, employ whomever you like, pay whatever you like (over the minimum wage of course) and when they go on maternity leave pay them yourself for 5 years.

      How hard is that?

      • save NZ 10.1.1

        Since employers in this country are struggling with actually giving real hours to employees under the zero hour contracts – I don’t think they are up to voluntarily giving 26 weeks paid parental leave. I note that the Sky City casino resource consent has been approved – the government quite happy to give some taxpayer cash to a gambling business and change the law to boot to encourage more gambling, but unsure about actually giving paid parental leave for hard working tax paying parents. It’s their brighter future.

        As a compromise maybe the law could be if you are a large employeer maybe you have to give 26 weeks – unlike the small business with 2 employees for example.

        I just think the law should be supporting parents and children more and actually valuing children in this country instead of thinking they are an irrelevant tax burden that should not be born.

        Lets face it the Natz can’t close state schools fast enough – they hate kids unless they have a ponytail or for a photo op. No surprises they don’t support new parents spending time with their babies.

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