web analytics

Smarmy Brownlee on urgency

Written By: - Date published: 7:10 pm, July 2nd, 2013 - 24 comments
Categories: Gerry Brownlee, national, Parliament - Tags: , ,

This press release from Brownlee is a truly nauseating effort:

Urgency moved with regret

Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee says the Government regrets the need to put Parliament into urgency this afternoon, saying his preference was for legislation that will be covered under urgency to be debated using extended hours. …

“We have always used extended hours responsibly and rarely, and that would have remained the case had we used them on this occasion.” …

“This Government is conscious to not abuse urgency, and only rarely and with good reason opts to pass bills through all stages under urgency.

Oh please. In the real world this is how the Nats actually operate:

Bulldozed rush of legislation makes mockery of democracy

It [National] has adopted a bulldozing approach that is disturbingly at odds with democratic Government. Gerry Brownlee would not even name the bills to be passed under urgency, but only the subject areas that they canvassed. Worse, he refused to give Opposition parties advance copies of any of the bills, until just before they were to be debated in Parliament.

The fact that the matters were being dealt with under urgency already meant that there would be no chance for public submission; there is no room in the action plan for tedious details such as the select committee process, by which interested parties get to express their view about proposed legislation. … It is a state of affairs seriously at odds with the notion of a Parliamentary democracy. …

It is entirely possible that National is in the grip of a first flush of legislative enthusiasm. If so, it will adopt a more measured pace in the new year. If not, there is cause for concern. The Clark administration was often described as taking a “nanny state” approach – but it did consult widely; the Nats, by contrast, are looking remarkably like bullies.

And from there the misuse of urgency continued. Brownlee’s latest press release is pure smarm.


24 comments on “Smarmy Brownlee on urgency”

  1. This is the week when the GCSB submissions are occurring.

    How better to divert attention than to fill the media with news about different laws being passed.

    • tc 1.1

      And this MSM generated frenzy about MP/mana non merger and Owen Glenn’s dodgy past he never disclosed…..both not worth the column inches and airtime but fills the space rather than GCSB, bridges lying, show us the money on akl, Dodgy banks, selling out education etc etc

  2. Lanthanide 2

    My bf and I came up with a neat little constitutional limitation on urgency: that any legislation passed under urgency would have an automatic and irrevocable 18 month expiration. The only way to extend the legislation after that would be through normal parliamentary process, or through another round of urgency.

    That would allow for urgent issues – what urgency is actually for – to be passed, and follow-up process to deal with the legislation properly.

    This would likely require Parliament’s standard sitting days to be extended to ensure everything could be gotten through in a timely manner, but IMO they’re too short as it is.

    • felix 2.1

      I like that, but I’d put some further limitation on reintroducing a bill under urgency again.

      Not keen on the idea of having laws recycled indefinitely. I can imagine after a few years the house would be in a perpetual state of urgency.

      Let them extend the urgently passed laws via normal process or not at all.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        Or how about a limit of only 1 recycle? It is conceivable there could be instances where it simply is required; better not to outrule it from the get-go – leave some flexibility in there.

        Also I don’t think it’s likely that a government would recycle a law via urgency indefinitely anyway – the public simply wouldn’t stand for it.

        • felix

          But what can the public do about it if both major parties support a dodgy law passed under urgency?

          Why give them the option? Just make them get it right, you’ve already given them two chances.

    • Follow-the-money 2.2

      We already have a “…neat little constitutional limitation on urgency…”.

      Every 36 months (or so) voters get to have their say.

      • Lanthanide 2.2.1

        That has been shown to have very little impact on the recent Clark or current Key governments.

  3. That Herald editorial is from 2008. While National has an appalling record of abusing urgency, I don’t think this is quite up there.

    All but one of the bills being debated today were already on the Order Paper (the other was introduced by the normal process today). They are all being given one reading. There is no all-stages urgency, nothing is bypassing select committee, nothing is being rammed through its final stages in a rush and to suppress debate. Instead, it really is extra time.

    That said: calling it today eats a member’s day tomorrow. It may also mean the cancellation of the Intelligence & Security Committee’s hearing on the spy bill tomorrow (I am still waiting for confirmation, but Standing Orders say so). So, its abusive in timing, but not in content. But if they’d done it on Thursday, and taken the extra time out of their own weeknds rather than Member’s Day, I wouldn’t have minded at all.

    • fender 3.1

      Sounds as if Key is trying to avoid Dotcom, wonder why…

      • Follow-the-money 3.1.1

        Dotcom should stand as an independent in Hellensville. That’d be worth staying up for on election night.

  4. AmaKiwi 4

    My suggestion is urgency requires 75% of the MP’s approval.

    Dictionary definition. “Urgent: calling for immediate attention,” like a natural disaster.

    These people are so crooked I wouldn’t go near them with a barge pole. Yet THEY are sovereign over US! The least trusted people (politicians) hold sway over all of us.

    This system of parliamentary absolute sovereignty over the people is about four centuries out of date.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      This system of parliamentary absolute sovereignty over the people is about four centuries out of date.


      Need to move to a more democratic system.

  5. tracey 5

    Is this the first time key has sat on a committee which faces people from the great unwashed???

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1

      I thought that Ministers werent meant to sit on Committees and definitely not as a Chairman

  6. tracey 6

    Interestingvthat ianz has pulled chchch consenting authority because it was granting consents without evidence of safety. Requesting that evidence… owners gathering it and then council assessing it will add time to the consenting process. Misguided ss it was perhaps chch council was trying to keep to the 20 working days and speed things through. A message they could be forgiven for thinking was coming from Mr Urgency himself for over a year?

  7. burt 7


    I recall you defending urgency when it was used to pass retrospective validations outside of the budget cycle killing off the Darnton v Clarke court case – because it was expediend and allowed the government to get on with the things they needed to do. Is it different when Labour do it ?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 7.1

      “But but but Lllllaaaaabbbbbbooooouuuuurrrrrr!”

      Were you ok with urgency when Labour used it? Fucking hypocrite.

      • felix 7.1.1

        Aww go easy on the poor wee fella. The Cooks and Stewards ruined his holiday once in the ’70s.

      • JK 7.1.2

        Going into urgency means no Question Time – so no-one can ask what’s really going on with Christchurch building consents, nor GCSB, or other matters of importance.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Yep, and we’ve been telling you why ever since – you just don’t listen.

      There is a place for urgency but National has a tendency to abuse it which the previous government didn’t do.

      • burt 7.2.1

        Yep, and we’ve been telling you why ever since – you just don’t listen.

        All you say boils down to: It’s OK when dear leader does it in her own best interests because being dear leader her best interests are also our best interests.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts


  • Freedom on the Seas – A gift from your friendly Government
    When the Government announced it would need to uphold public safety during the upcoming International Naval Review, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was talking about wearing life jackets. But actually, the Government is applying restrictions that stop people boating ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    10 hours ago
  • Time for Paula Bennett to front up on HNZ P Fiasco
      Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett needs to rein in Housing NZ and sort out the mess that’s been created by the organisation’s misuse of methamphetamine testing procedures, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.   ...
    19 hours ago
  • A charge on plastic bags – debunking some myths
    The launch of my Members’ Bill last week, which would introduce a 15 cent charge on single-use plastic bags at the check-out, has generated a lot of comment on mainstream and social media. From The Paul Henry Show at the ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • National’s $1trillion property sandcastle
    The National government's failure to fix the housing crisis has seen the ballooning and unsustainable property market touch the $1 trillion mark, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. "Labour wants an economy that creates high wage work that is based ...
    2 days ago
  • Government failure on housing crisis drives Reserve Bank to add tools
    If the Government was delivering a comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis, it is unlikely that the Reserve Bank would be continuing to pursue debt to income limits for lending for housing, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    3 days ago
  • International embarrassment for NZ likely over National’s failure to protect Maui dolphin
    New Zealanders who care about Maui dolphin should prepare to feel embarrassed: the Government is about to be put to shame on the international stage for its lack of action to protect Maui’s dolphin. The International Whaling Commissions’ 66th Biennial ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    6 days ago
  • Why don’t we spend $1b to keep people out of jail, rather than spending it on keeping them in?
    Earlier this week, Corrections Minister Judith Collins announced the government’s ‘solution’ to our burgeoning prison population. It seems that most, if not all, of Bill English’s hard-won surplus is going to disappear into another round of prison-building.  That must be ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    1 week ago
  • PKE Ship Sent Packing – Not Too Soon
    It is appropriate that the palm kernel expeller (PKE) ship off Tauranga has been sent packing. For weeks I have been saying this ship needed to be sent away, but it seems as if MPI has been trying to find ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    1 week ago
  • Do you #LoveSnow?
    I was a lucky kid. When I was about five or six my mum and auntie took me up to Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu and taught me to ski. As a young kid I thought there was no bigger ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Awa Kairangi/Hutt River – Swimmable?
    On Thursday night I hosted a great swimmable rivers meeting organised by the local Greens in Heretaunga (Hutt Valley). It was great to see about 70 people attend and engage in the topic. We were welcomed by Te Atiawa representative ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • September benefit figures disappointing
    The Government is out of touch with the reality that fewer people are going off the benefit and into employment or study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The quarterly benefit numbers for September are concerning. They show that ...
    1 week ago
  • MFAT officials refuse to back Prime Minister on Saudi sheep claims
    An Ombudsman’s interim decision released about the existence or otherwise of legal advice on the multimillion dollar Saudi sheep deal shows MFAT has failed to back up the Prime Minister’s claims on the matter, says Labour MP David Parker. “The ...
    1 week ago
  • Barry Coates on his first weeks in Parliament
    Week one in Parliament has been quite an occasion. I would like to share the experience. I had given up on the prospect of getting into Parliament before the election and had been enjoying the diverse work I was doing ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Nats still planning to take Housing NZ dividend
    Housing New Zealand’s Statement of Performance Expectations shows that the National Government intends to pocket $237m from Housing New Zealand this year including a $54m “surplus distribution”, despite promises that dividends would stop, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “After ...
    1 week ago
  • Parliament must restore democracy for Ecan
    Parliament has a chance to return full democracy to Canterbury with the drawing of a member’s bill that would replace the Government’s appointed commissioners with democratically elected councillors, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods. “In 2010, the Government stripped Cantabrians ...
    1 week ago
  • Police struggle to hold the line in Northland
    Labour’s promise of a thousand extra police will go a long way to calming the fears of people in the North, says the MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis.  “Police are talking about the Northland towns of Kaitaia and ...
    1 week ago
  • Vote Sooty Shearwater/Tītī for Bird of the Year
    Sooty shearwater (Puffinus griseus) are amazing and deserve your vote in Forest and Bird’s Bird of the Year competition.  They make one of the longest known bird migrations, flying an annual round trip of 64,000 kms across the entire Pacific ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Urgent action on agriculture emissions needed
    Immediate action is required to curb agricultural emissions is the loud and clear message from Climate change & agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan ...
    1 week ago
  • Super Fund climate change approach a good start
    Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson and Climate Change Spokesperson Dr Megan Woods have welcomed the adoption of a climate change investment strategy by the New Zealand Super Fund. “This is a good start. It is a welcome development that the Super ...
    1 week ago
  • Energy use going in the wrong direction
    New data out this week from Statistics NZ paints a concerning picture of energy use across the economy under this National Government. You won’t be surprised to hear that there is some seriously worrying information here about how dirty our ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Raising the age the right thing to do
    The announcement today that the Government will leave the door open for young people leaving state care still means there is a lot of work to do, says Labour's Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern "The Government indicated some time ago ...
    1 week ago
  • Junior Doctors go on Strike
    Thousands of junior doctors took strike action for 24 hours this week for better working conditions and safer working hours.  The Green Party supports their cause, and particularly their claims to reduce the number of days worked from up to ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors
    Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of ...
    1 week ago
  • Inflation piles pressure on National and Reserve Bank
    While many households will welcome the low inflation figures announced today, they highlight serious questions for both the National government and the Reserve Bank, Labour’s  Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.  "While low inflation will be welcomed by many, the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Officials warned Nat’s $1b infrastructure fund ineffective and rushed
    Treasury papers show the Government rushed out an infrastructure announcement officials told them risked making no significant difference to housing supply, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Like so much of National’s housing policy, this was another poll-driven PR initiative ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More cops needed to tackle P
    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Strengthening our relationship with the Rātana movement
    It was a privilege to visit Rātana Pā last week with fellow Greens’ Co-leader James Shaw, our Māori Caucus and senior staff to meet with the leaders of te iwi mōrehu, to strengthen the ties between the Green Party and ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    2 weeks ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disconnected thinking dirties the water
    Iain Rabbitts’ belief that drinking water quality, charging for water use and the land use that leads to water quality degradation should be treated separately is part of the problem we have right now in this country. The connection is ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Report back from Hands Off Our Tamariki hui
    This week I attended a hui in Otaki organised by Hands Off Our Tamariki about the proposed reforms to the Child Young Persons and their Families Act. Moana Jackson and Paora Moyle spoke.  They expressed deep, profound concern about the proposed ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s visionless immigration policy
    National’s recent immigration announcement is a continuation of the visionless approach to government that it has displayed in the last three terms. Rather than using the levers of government to implement a sustainable immigration policy that benefits new and current ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seclusion rooms in schools
    Schools are undoubtedly stretched and underfunded to cope with students with high learning support needs. But this cannot justify the use of rooms (or cupboards) as spaces to forcibly isolate children. It has emerged via media that this practice continues ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Public should get a say on new Waikato power station
    I had an opinion piece published in the Waikato Times about a controversial proposal to build a new gas-fired power station. It’s not on their website yet, so here it is: If you think the public would get a say ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • MSD and their investment approach
    The Government talks about investment but there is no investment. It is not investment if it isn’t over the whole of life and if there is no new money  — Shamubeel Eaqub   Investment sounds like adequate resourcing but this ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Certainty needed for community services
    A couple of months ago I was at a seminar where three community organisations were presenting. Two of the three presenters were waiting to find out if their organisation would get a contract renewed with MSD. Not knowing if their ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 weeks ago
  • Domestic Violence – some advice for the media
    For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to use Domestic Violence (DV) as a proxy for intimate partner violence. DV is not isolated to physical abuse in a relationship between people with the same power. DV is a pattern of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 weeks ago
  • Leroy’s New Paw Prints
    Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 weeks ago