In The House
So this is the last week of the 52nd Parliament! The three years has come around quickly.
It is normally a time for valedictories from departing members and an adjournment debate, curtailed to attend the annual Press Gallery party. There are a couple of departing Labour valedictories and 3 National ones that I am aware of, and the Press Gallery Party is a victim of Covid.
Despite that, the Government has indicated it will go into Urgency again to rapidly pass more legislation before the election. We’ve rattled through countless pieces of legislation over this last month, curtailing the normal process by weeks and months in some cases, and there is no doubt mistakes will have been made in the haste. We know one bill was tabled and passed that was a different one from that which the Minister intended!
So we will start at 9 am on Wednesday and go through to midnight, and start again at 9 am on Thursday morning and go until we finish! If we moan the Government says we go for as long as the Opposition makes it – the Government puts up either no speakers, or 30 second speeches. Not a good way to run a country and make good law.
So first up will be the Covid-19 Response (Further Management Measures) Legislation Bill which keeps in place all the regulations set by the Government to manage the response until after a new Government is in place – through all stages, no select committee process at all.
Next up is the controversial Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill which makes significant changes in favour of tenants’ rights to occupy – that will have a 2nd reading, Committee stage and final reading, the Fuel Industry Bill through those same stages and a motion to extend the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020.
The Border Charges legislation announced last week will be taken through all stages with no ability for anyone to make comments as there will be no Select Committee stage at all. Shameful!
There may well be other legislation if the Government decides to progress, we will find out tomorrow.
In the Electorate
I have just met with my last school group from the Electorate, Gisborne Girls High School. I have lost count of the classes I have met and shown around.
This will be my last Tolley Talk. As the House lifts for the General Election it seems timely to bring it to an end. Thank you to everyone who has read, commented, disagreed, and contributed over the years. I have been so grateful for a full and successful 15 years as the MP for East Coast.
In my valedictory I spoke of the people whose stories I remember from my time as a politician. The famous ‘He Tangata, He Tangata, He Tangata’ rang true for my farewell to politics. My heart is full of all the wonderful people I have met, influenced, assisted and supported over the years. They are what politics is all about, and they are what has made my time so worthwhile.
Kia Ora Tātou.