7:33 AM.The one week parliamentary adjournment sees just two select committees meeting - while another goes walk-about in Christchurch; On Monday, Associate Tourism Minister Paula appears before the Commerce Committee for its review of Vote Tourism; Social Services Committee travels to Christchurch for a handful of site visits; Transport and Industrial Relations Committee meets in Auckland for submissions on its inquiry into the future of New Zealand's mobility.
7:33 AM.Finance Minister Bill English lodges a certificate of financial veto to block Labour MP Sue Moroney's Parental Leave and Employment Protection (6 Months' Paid Leave) Amendment Bill; the Battle of Health Ministers past and present - between Annette King and Jonathan Coleman - continues in committee rooms and chamber; Greens co-leader James Shaw complains about Government responses to questions and their blocking the tabling of documents; Government faces questions on homelessness & the economy; Ministers including Amy Adams, Jonathan Coleman and Gerry Brownlee appear before select committees for scrutiny of this year's budget allocations for their ministries; MPs express sympathy for victims of the Orlando shooting; Speaker declines Andrew Little's request for a snap debate on New Zealand's refugee quota; The Coroners Amendment Bill passes final reading - as do the Riccarton Racecourse Development Enabling Bill and the Riccarton Racecourse Bill; and Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee gives a preview of the next week back after the one-week adjournment.
5:48 AM.Parliament adjourns for a week after passing the final reading of the Coroners Amendment Bill - which is opposed by Labour; Riccarton Racecourse Development Enabling Bill and the Riccarton Racecourse Bill read together and pass final readings unopposed; Government vetoes Sue Moroney's Paid Parental Leave Bill; Questions in the chamber and committee rooms about Government announcement regarding Teina Pora's compensation.
6:50 PM.Government uses financial veto to block Sue Moroney's paid parental leave bill - which raises protest from the Labour benches; Justice Minister Amy Adams faces questions about the Government's announcement regarding Teina Pora's compensation.
5:00 AM.Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Labour Health Spokeswoman Annette King square off in the committee rooms, as Dr Coleman fronts up for the Health Committee's scrutiny of his ministry's budget allocation; Social Development Minister Anne Tolley launches debate on the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Advocacy, Workforce, and Age Settings) Amendment Bill, which passes its first reading along with the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2016-17, Closely Held Companies, and Remedial Matters) Bill and the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2); Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett faces questions about an alleged leak from her office; Prime Minister questioned on homelessness; Questions also to the Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse about the country's annual refugee quota; Greens attempt to introduce a member's bill to double the quota; Education Minister Hekia Parata heralds NCEA successes.
6:55 PM.Social Housing Minister, Paula Bennett, refuses to identify staff member who leaked existence of police investigation into Te Puea Marae chairman, Hurimoana Dennis, to a journalist. She also denies that it reflects on the culture in her office. Greens co-leader, James Shaw, asks Prime Minister, John Key, if he's seen anyone sleeping in doorways recently. Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, defends decision to limit rise in annual refugee quota to 1000. Government blocks Greens attempt to introduce a member's bill to raise the quota to 1500. Education Minister, Hekia Parata, celebrates NCEA success in the General Debate.
5:50 AM.Prime Minister John Key moves a notice of motion expressing sympathy for victims of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida which left at least 50 people dead. The motion is supported by all parties, although some of their messages don't align; Andrew Little's request for an urgent debate on the Government's announcement of a increase in NZ's refugee quota is declined by the Speaker, who says there will be plenty more upcoming opportunities to debate the matter; The battle of the Health Ministers past and present heats up.
6:55 PM.Prime Minister leads MPs in expressing sympathy for the victims of Sunday’s massacre in a gay night club in Orlando, Florida. The debate raises issue of homophobia. gun control and immigration. Speaker declines a request for a snap debate on the Government’s decision to raise the annual refugee quota from 750 to 1000 in 2018. Health minister, Jonathan Coleman, and his Labour shadow, Annette King, go another round in their never-ending sparring match on health spending. She calls him “a nasty little man” and he accuses her of making things up.
7:30 AM.Budget Debate is completed, with the Government's spending estimates for the year ahead now up for scrutiny before select committees; While the Government manages a majority to pass the budget, it can't gather enough votes to halt progress on a members bill in the name of Sue Moroney seeking an extension to paid parental leave, with the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (6 Months' Paid Leave) Amendment Bill passing committee stage on Wednesday night; Adrian Rurawhe's Official Information (Parliamentary Under-Secretaries) Amendment Bill also passes its committee stage, but not without protest from David Seymour; Opposition complains about some of Mr Seymour's questions; Ministers Paula Bennett, Nick Smith and Simon Bridges appear before select committees to defend budget allocations; House wishes the Queen a happy 90th birthday; MPs pay tribute to Sir Graham Latimer who died Tuesday.
5:45 AM.Transport Minister Simon Bridges appears before the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee for a review of this year's budget allocation for his ministry; Human Rights Amendment Bill passes final reading unopposed; Evidence Amendment Bill passes second reading unopposed; Government faces questions about defence, housing, the arts and the economy; MPs warned about dodgy in-house email system; Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee provides a preview of the week ahead.
6:50 PM.Questions for Finance Minister, Bill English, are answered by his Cabinet colleagues including Defence Minister, Gerry Brownlee, who bats away one question by saying it would be better addressed to the Minister of Defence. Economic Development Minister, Steven Joyce, also answering on his finance minister's behalf, denies that there is a housing crisis in Auckland, preferring to describe it as a "challenge". Christchurch Central MP, Nicky Wagner, answers questions about cuts in arts funding for Arts Culture and Heritage Minister, Maggie Barry, who is away in Christchurch attending an arts funding forum. Speaker alerts MPs of an outage in their secure email and dairy system on the mobile phones and tablets. -- ParliamentToday.co.nz
5:48 AM.Members' Day sees Government MPs mount a filibuster in an attempt to slow down progress on Sue Moroney's Parental Leave and Employment Protection (6 Months' Paid Leave) Amendment Bill, which eventually passes its committee stage - as does Adrian Rurawhe's Official Information (Parliamentary Under-Secretaries) Amendment Bill; MPs pay tribute to Sir Graham Latimer; Ministers accuse the Greens of being asinine and Andrew Little of being a fool; Police Minister defends claim that men on cellphones are to blame for rising road toll.
6:50 PM.Tributes to Sir Graham Latimer led by Education Minister Hekia Parata. Transport Minister, Simon Bridges, rejects Greens co-leader, James Shaw's question on greenhouse gas emissions as being "assinine". Prime Minister, John Key, tells Opposition leader, Andrew Little, that's he's "starting to look like a fool". Police Minister, Judith Collins, tells Labour's Stuart Nash to stop sitting around and looking in the mirror and stands by her claim that men on phones are to blame for the rising road toll. -- ParliamentToday.co.nz
5:47 AM.Budget debate is completed, with Labour leader Andrew Little's motion of no confidence in the Government defeated by 63 votes to 58 - while the Appropriation (2016/17 Estimates) Bill (the budget) passes its second reading by the same margin; Tuesday begins with birthday wishes to the Queen; Government faces questions on homelessness, rising sea levels, global warming and support for the elderly; Request for snap debate on possible Silver Ferns Farm merger declined by Assistant Speaker Chester Borrows.
6:50 PM.Week begins with MPs (belatedly) wishing the Queen a Happy 90th Birthday before holding her ministers' feet to the fire in Question Time. Social Housing Minister, Paula Bennett, admits responsibility for misinforming her prime minister about the involvement of the Salvation Army in canvassing homeless people in Auckland but insists she has nothing to apologise for. Finance minister, Bill English, answering questions about rising sea levels and storm damage to coastal properties across the Tasman, says the government will publish a document about central and local government sharing the costs of risks from global warming. Associate health minister, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga, reveals the role of workshops in discussing government spending on home and community support for the elderly.
7:30 AM.Budget debate continues, as do questions about it - including over tobacco tax hikes, which are defended by Associate Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga and the Prime Minister; Questions also about defence spending & housing; Health Committee hears submissions on the Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Bill; Concerns are raised about the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill in submissions to the Local Government & Environment Committee; SPCA makes a submission to the Primary Production Committee on a petition signed by more than 62,000 people calling for a ban on rodeos; Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill and Taxation (Transformation: First Phase Simplification and Other Measures) Bill both pass final readings unopposed; Speaker admonishes noisy National backbenchers; Christopher Finlayson gives a preview of the week ahead.
5:50 AM.Maori fishing groups and Iwi representatives raise concerns about the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill in submissions to the Local Government & Environment Committee; Animal Welfare Groups SAFE & SPCA make submissions in support of a petition signed by more the 62,000 people calling for a ban on rodeos to the Primary Production Committee; House voices support for Turkish MPs; Finance Minister answers questions about his latest budget; National backbenchers get a telling off from the Speaker; Child Protection (Child Sex Offender Register) Bill passes second reading with only the Greens opposed; Canterbury Property Boundaries and Related Matters Bill passes final reading unopposed; Christopher Finlayson provides a preview of the week ahead.
6:50 PM.Day begins with motion of support for parliamentary colleagues in Turkey; Finance minister, Bill English, throws what "roughly adds up to a lot of money" at Defence; Speaker David Carter calls on National backbenchers to stop banging on their desktops; Local Government & Environment Committee hears submission on Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill; Attorney-General, Christopher Finlayson, again steps in as the "acting acting" Leader of the House to deliver the Government's business statement previewing next week's order paper.
5:45 AM.Budget Debate resumes for a third day, only to be interrupted again with 5 hours and 17 minutes remaining; Government ministers criticise Labour-Greens Memorandum of Understanding; Prime Minister defends tobacco policies; Questions to the PM also on housing; Social Security (Extension of Young Persons Services and Remedial Matters) Amendment Bill passes second reading with only the Greens opposed; Riccarton Racecourse Development Enabling Bill and Riccarton Racecourse Bill both pass second readings unopposed; Electronic Monitoring of Offenders Legislation Bill passes second reading with only New Zealand First opposed; Health Committee hears submissions on Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Bill.
6:50 PM.Prime Minister John Key defends his government's anti-smoking policies against further attacks from New Zealand First leader, Winston Peters. Mister Key is also required to defend housing policies and confirms under questioning from Opposition leader, Andrew Little, that the 40 new houses that he claimed were being built every day were actually planning consents. Labour's spokeswoman on Arts, Culture and Heritage, Jacinda Ardern, uses her Budget Debate speech to claim that she would do a better job than the minister, Maggie Barry.