web analytics

Ridiculous Urgency

Written By: - Date published: 11:50 pm, December 11th, 2010 - 31 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, Gerry Brownlee, national/act government - Tags: ,

National – and Gerry Brownlee in particular – are disorganised to the point of making bad law.  He was quite rightly accused in the House of:

pious hypocrisy, bad faith, an utter inability to manage Parliament and a ghastly approach to cross-party co-operation.

They tried to ram through 12 bills on Thursday – the last day of parliament for the year – resulting in the house sitting until Saturday night.

  • the first reading of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Amendment Bill
  • the third reading of the Ngāti Apa (North Island) Claims Settlement Bill
  • the first reading of the Weathertight Homes Resolution Services (Financial Assistance Package) Amendment Bill,
  • the first reading of the Building Amendment Bill (No 3)
  • the first reading of the Telecommunications (TSO, Broadband and Other Matters) Amendment Bill
  • the passing through its remaining stages of the Taxation (GST and Remedial Matters) Bill
  • the first reading of the Biosecurity Law Reform Bill
  • the first reading of the Smoke-free Environments (Controls and Enforcement) Amendment Bill
  • the second reading of the Customs and Excise (Joint Border Management Information Sharing and Other Matters) Amendment Bill
  • the passing through the remaining stages of the State Sector Management Bill
  • the passing through the remaining stages of the Education Amendment Bill (No 2)
  • the passing through the remaining stages of the New Zealand Productivity Commission Bill
  • and of any bills into which any of those bills may be divided.

There are a lot of problems with a lot of those bills, but the biggest problem with most of them is that they’re not that urgent.

If the Taxation (GST and Remedial Matters) Bill is so urgent, why is it only coming to parliament now – it’s a budget bill, and Peter Dunne has had months to get on with it.  In a flagrant abuse of parliamentary process, he also introduced fully 70 pages of amendments after the Select Committee stage, meaning they won’t have proper oversight.

The SIS bill obviously has its problems with John Key’s secrecy.

Biosecurity Law and Smokefree environment – great, agreed by pretty much all, but urgent?  Once again, if so, there’s been time to get them in before.

Broadband has got urgent – Stephen Joyce has left the government’s biggest $$$ promise until now, so they need to cover their embarrassment.  He’s still too secretive to actually say anything about it now.

The legislation to merge Achives NZ and the National Library into Internal Affairs descended into farce at one point – Nathan Guy is now known as Minister Twinky, for trying to remove information from a tabled document.  It was a good example of why you don’t want the government in charge of our Archives and Records though.  Apart from the fact that it was tried in the 90s and failed, and that it stands to save far less money than the cost of the merger, it’s just a bad philosophical principle to let the government be in charge of history.  Independence please. (Nine To Noon had a great piece on this in October when wind of the change was first smelt…)

Eventually, National saw reason on at least one point, and ditched Tolley’s paedophile protection racket.  Police checks on short term early childcare employees will stay, in the interests of National MPs getting home for Christmas.  Small mercies, but at least something was exacted from them in recompense for their bad procedure…

31 comments on “Ridiculous Urgency ”

  1. Amazingly, Peter Dunne put in a Supplementary Order Paper (a late amendment) into the Taxation (GST and Remedial Matters) Bill that was 70 pages long!

    Longer than any other tax bill passed this year, these new clauses did not exist when the bill went through first and second readings and the public didn’t have a chance to submit on them at select committee. Dunne just dropped 70 pages of law on the country at the last moment with no due procedure.


    btw, I think you mean racket, not racquet

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    It’s obvious now that the NACTs have done this on purpose – it gets their authoritarian legislating through under the radar and without negotiation. Muldoon was bad but I’m starting to think this lot are worse as far as their anti-democratic bias and psychopathy goes.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. Labour was accused of exactly the same when they were in power. Rather than blame specific parties, the focus should be on changing the rules so that the urgency provision can’t be abused.

    • bbfloyd 3.1

      accusations based on party politics are irrelevant.. the truth is that this government is the worst in living memory when it comes to denying sensible oversight on legislation. we will be finding out the hard way for years which new laws they have been passing.

      so a “labour may have done it too” argument is justification for this administration to continually pass laws that we aren’t allowed to know about until we inadvertently break them? bullshit!!

      and it’s bullshit to say that labour were anywhere near as bad as this lot… they were never going to go down the road to fascism that this government is sprinting along.

      • Daveo 3.1.1

        Parliament was under urgency for fewer hours in Labour’s three terms than it has been under National’s first two years.

    • RedLogix 3.2

      Yeah, yeah, yeah. Labour was accused of exactly the same when they were in power.

      If you cannot tell the difference between the relative handful of occasions that the previous govt unjustifiably resorted to Urgency, and the now routine abuse of it by this one…. then you really shouldn’t be attempting to engage in political debate.

      Urgency has it’s place, and from time to time all govts probably resort to using it when it was probably not strictly necessary. But you know perfectly well that there is absolutely no defending this govt’s constant resort to using it ….bypassing the Select Committee process and short-circuiting public consulation.

      Why do you think NACT are doing this so often ts? Any defense for it? Or are you just proud that “your” Party is getting away with it?

      Rather than blame specific parties, the focus should be on changing the rules so that the urgency provision can’t be abused.

      Or you might hope that NACT had enough ethical backbone not to…without the need for ‘rules’.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.3



      ‘Labour was accused’ by Whom?

      And wy not blame the actors, rather than the system? I thought you were all about responsibility.

      I think people should be responsible for their actions. Circumstances can be mitigating factors, but the existence of the dole for example, doesn’t mitigate ripping off the welfare system. In that case you blame the ripper-offer.

      In this case, blame the people that abuse the system, to the extent that they abuse it. the fact that national may have criticised labour about this same thing in the past doesn’t mean that therefore the system is broken. It just means that National are a bunch of hypocritical fuckwits. It’s interesting that that Labour in the eighties also used a lot of urgency. It’s almost like right wingers are find urgency to be more necessary.

      • Bunji 3.3.1

        Just a point of note – the rules on Parliamentary hours / urgency were changed during the second term of the 80s Labour govt, so any comparison pre-Bolger govt isn’t on a strictly like-for-like basis. I’m not sure how big the changes were, so your/Danyl’s point may still be valid…

  4. Gotham 4

    I was flabbergasted when I saw Brownlee make a statement in the media that he justified urgency two weeks before Christmas, and on a Saturday, by saying ‘MPs can do hard yakka for once’ or something along those lines.

    Um, that’s not the freaking point – the point is you are doing this to stop public consulation, to stop proper debate and to stop due process. Because you are a useless House Leader, Mr Brownlee, and your Government has contempt for democracy (at least the bits you find, rather inconvenient).

    • pollywog 4.1

      ‘MPs can do hard yakka for once’

      as i thought…

      …the rest of the time they’re sitting round on ther fat chuffs swilling their snouts in the trough only coming up for air when they start gagging

      nice work if you can get it…i bet

      captcha : freedoms

      • Bunji 4.1.1

        I should probably do a post on this sometime, but MPs work a lot harder than they’re generally given credit for. The media seem to only think that what happens in parliament matters, but it’s really only 1/3 of the job of an MP. Another 1/3 is working with constituents – which is mostly more closely defined for an electorate MP, for a list MP their constituents are the entire country. The last 1/3 is party work – developing/consulting on policy and maintaining a working structure that makes our party-based democracy work.

        MPs regularly work 60 hour weeks, ministers 80. Pretty much all year round, not just whilst parliament is sitting – parliamentary recess isn’t a holiday (although Christmas is…).

        Maybe Gerry and some of his National mates don’t work that hard, which is why he didn’t realise that others do hard yakka normally…

  5. Treetop 5

    “URGENT” the next election!

  6. illuminatedtiger 6

    National have used (or abused?) urgency 27 percent of the time so far in their term. This is disgusting and an outright abuse of our Democracy.

  7. jbanks 7

    Good to see the boys getting shit done. Productivity FTW.

    • bbfloyd 7.1

      good to see you havn’t managed to learn a thing since the last time you made a prat of yourself on this site Bj, sorry, Jb (freudian slip)

    • Bunji 7.2

      The laws parliament makes last years, decades, centuries even some of them. I’d rather have them considered a little more as to whether they’re going to work, let the public have more say on them etc. Not have over-tired MPs put stupid slips in without thought for the consequences.

      When stuff’s important, it’s worth doing right. It’s why we have process. And we already have a lot less process than pretty much any democracy in the west…

  8. handle 8

    Idiot/Savant has also exposed this government regularly using urgency to avoid member’s days where business other than their own might get an airing. The horror!

  9. infused 9

    I agree with jbanks. Finally getting some shit done. Seen the TV3 poll? Might want to think about that.

  10. Deadly_NZ 10

    yep finally getting some shit done

    Unfortunatly it’s all the shit they want to sneak in with out the public consultation.. are you starting to feel the tightness around your butt where they have anethatised you for the real bad news ie: bend over and take it and shut up .

    Anti spam word is Mislead hahaha totally appropriate for JK and his cronies

  11. Jeremy Harris 11

    This kind of bullshit is why we need a Constitution with limits on this type of lawmaking entrenched…

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Or we could just replace Brownlee with someone more responsible.

    • Jeremy Harris 11.2

      Until the next power hungry idiot comes along… How long to you think it will take for a power hungry idiot to become Leader of the House, when the Leader of the House must, by definition, be a politician..?

      • Colonial Viper 11.2.1

        Dunno about all that stuff, but maybe the PM or the DPM could exert some control over Brownlee? Or…do you think that they’ve all agreed on this strategy, deliberately?

      • felix 11.2.2

        Yeah CV has a good point there Jeremy.

        You can’t blame Brownlee alone, he’s only Leader of the House at the grace of John Key.

      • Jeremy Harris 11.2.3

        Could be CV, I don’t think politicans of all stripes are going to hamper their ability to push their agenda on society quickly…

        National has been worse than Labour for sure and Brownlee has been an especially hopeless LoTH, from memory he stuffed up one of the first motions of Parliament and Mallard made him look like an idiot, I remember a motion to debate Joyce’s education, maybe in part National are forcing things to avoid embarassing repeats…

  12. bbfloyd 12

    felix… “grace of john key”, sounds like a fundamental contradiction in terms to me..

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Twenty highlights of 2020
    As we welcome in the new year, our focus is on continuing to keep New Zealanders safe and moving forward with our economic recovery. There’s a lot to get on with, but before we say a final goodbye to 2020, here’s a quick look back at some of the milestones ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM congratulates New Year Honour recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has added her warm congratulations to the New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to their communities and the country in the New Year 2021 Honours List. “The past year has been one that few of us could have imagined. In spite of all the things that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • David Parker congratulates New Year 2021 Honours recipients
    Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment David Parker has congratulated two retired judges who have had their contributions to the country and their communities recognised in the New Year 2021 Honours list. The Hon Tony Randerson QC has been appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Year’s Honours highlights outstanding Pacific leadership through challenging year
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the New Year’s Honours List 2021 highlights again the outstanding contribution made by Pacific people across Aotearoa. “We are acknowledging the work of 13 Pacific leaders in the New Year’s Honours, representing a number of sectors including health, education, community, sports, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Supporting seniors to embrace technology
    The Government’s investment in digital literacy training for seniors has led to more than 250 people participating so far, helping them stay connected. “COVID-19 has meant older New Zealanders are showing more interest in learning how to use technology like Zoom and Skype so they can to keep in touch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago