7:30 AM.Finance Minister Bill English's eight budget dominates the week in the House, culminating in Thursday's Budget Debate and a battle of wits between Labour leader Andrew Little and the Prime Minister John Key; House accords urgency for the passing of two budget related bills: the Climate Change Response (Removal of Transitional Measure) Amendment Bill and the Customs and the Excise (Tobacco Products - Budget Measures) Amendment Bill; KiwiRail representatives tell Local Government & Environment that the Government's Resource Legislation Amendment Bill could lead to more level-crossing accidents; Ministry of Health officials make submission to Health Committee on a petition calling for a ban on smoking in cars; Law and Order Committee receives petition calling on the Minister and Commissioner of Police to ensure a Police Officer be resident in the town of Ross on the South Island's West Coast.
5:50 AM.Finance Minister Bill English delivers his 8th budget, and outlines its content in the Budget Statement - followed by replies from party leaders including John Key, Andrew Little, James Shaw, Te Ururoa Flavell, David Seymour, Peter Dunne and Winston Peters; KiwiRail representatives voice concern over the Government's Resource Legislation Amendment Bill, saying it could lead to more level-crossing accidents.
6:50 PM.Finance Minister, Bill English, delivers his eighth Budget. Opposition leader, Andrew Little, launches the 11-hour Budget debate with the now-traditional amendment calling on the House to support a no-confidence vote in John Key's National-led minority government. Mister Key responds with a personal attack on the Opposition leader. Budget Debate adjourned after a couple of hours for the Government to take urgency to pass two bills flowing from the Budget - phasing out the transitional one-for-two surrender obligation measure from the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme and amending the Customs and Excise Act 1996 to make four cumulative 10% increases to the duties on all tobacco products.
5:50 AM.Todays budget dominates questions to ministers; Prime Minister continues to face questions about housing from Labour leader Andrew Little; Health Committee hears evidence on petition calling for a ban on smoking in cars; Law and Order Committee receives petition calling on the Minister and Commissioner of Police to ensure a Police Officer be resident in the town of Ross on the South Island's West Coast.
6:52 PM.Tomorrow's budget dominates questions to ministers; Prime Minister continues to face questions about housing from Labour leader Andrew Little; Health Committee hears evidence on petition calling for a ban on smoking in cars; Law and Order Committee receives petition calling on the Minister and Commissioner of Police to ensure a Police Officer be resident in the town of Ross on the South Island's West Coast.
5:45 AM.Government's Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes committee stage, while Greens co-leader Metiria Turei's proposed amendment to the bill via supplementary order paper is voted down by 61 votes to 60 with Labour, the Greens, New Zealand First and the Maori Party in favour and National ACT and United Future opposed; Speaker declines Rino Tirikatene's request for an urgent debate on a recent Ministry of Primary Industries report on illegal fish dumping; Government faces questions on housing and Super Gold Cards.
4:50 AM.Budget Day and Bill English's eighth overshadows proceedings, from questions to ministers to the General Debate. The Speaker, David Carter, warns members that reading their speeches in the General Debate will be tolerated no longer. Sue Moroney's bill extending paid parental from eighteen to twenty-six weeks passes its second reading for the second time, by the same margin of sixty-one to sixty as the Maori Party and United Future's Peter Dunne add their three votes to the fifty-eight of the three main opposition parties, Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First, to defeat the sixty of National and ACT. The Health Committee hears evidence on a petition calling for a ban on smoking in cars; Law and Order Committee receives petition calling on the Minister and Commissioner of Police to ensure a Police Officer be resident in the town of Ross on the South Island's West Coast.
6:50 PM.Budget Week begins with a Question Time dominated by the housing shortage as the Opposition tries unsuccessfully to get the prime minister to admit that it has reached crisis point. Building and Housing Minister, Nick Smith, attempts to get back at Labour with the help of patsy questions but overcooks his answer and is stopped by the Speaker, David Carter. New Zealand First leader, Winston Peters, tackles the prime minister about Auckland pensioners being forced to buy a Hop Card to travel on city buses but gets nowhere. Focus on housing continues with debate on the committee stage of the Government's Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill.
7:30 AM.Parliament resumes at 2pm on Tuesday. Deputy leader of the House, Simon Bridges, previews the week ahead, culminating in Bill English's presentation on Thursday of his eighth Budget. Members day on Wednesday is likely to feature close votes on two Bills from Labour MPs. Another member's bill, in the name of National's list MP, Jian Yang, preventing sex offenders from registering a name change, has come back from the Social Services Committee with a recommendation that it go no further. Maori Development Minister, Te Ururoa Flavell, sees his Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill sent off to the Maori Affairs Select Committee on the tail of a petition with more than 5000 signatures opposing it. Reesh Lyon reports on the only select committee meeting during the adjournment - the Local Government Committee which travelled to Auckland on Monday to hear public submissions on the Government's Resource Legislation Amendment Bill.
7:30 AM.Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Bill passes first reading and is sent off to the Foreign Affairs, Defence & Trade Committee; Three bill pass final readings: one extending the time that the Southern DHB is governed by a commissioner, the second amends the Building Act in relation to earthquake-prone buildings, and the third amends exiting tax laws; Nick Smith fields patsy questions on Housing; Government MPs demand apologies from Labour over "Chinese sounding names" register; Prime Minister John Key ejected from Chamber for disobeying the Speaker; Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler presents his latest Financial Stability report to the Finance and Expenditure Committee; Eric Knight speaks on his petition calling for an extension to the Criminal Records Clean Slate Act 2004; Primary Production Committee receives a briefing on New Zealand's Hemp Industry; Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill passes first reading and is sent to the Maori Affairs Select Committee; Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill passes first reading and is sent to the Social Services Committee.
5:45 AM.Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Bill passes first reading by 62 votes to 59, with Labour's Phil Goff crossing the floor to vote in favour of the bill; New Zealand Public Health and Disability (Southern DHB) Elections Bill passes final reading by 95 votes to 26 with the Greens and New Zealand First opposed; NZ Hemp Industries Association gives briefing to Primary Production Committee; Question time features Tax Havens & Housing; House adjourned until May the 24th.
6:50 PM.Only one question about tax havens and foreign trusts and Revenue Minister, Michael Woodhouse, claims to have answered it already - several times. Finance Minister, Bill English, faces Labour questions about housing and so does Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith. In the committee rooms, the Primary Production Committee is briefed on the hemp industry.
5:46 AM.One more Question Time at 2pm before Parliament adjourns for a week, back on Tuesday 24 May for a four-week stint including the Budget. John Key becomes the first prime minister to be thrown out of the debating chamber since Margaret Wilson ordered Helen Clark to leave in June 2005. His departure leaves a question from New Zealand First unanswered and the leader of the House, Gerry Brownlee, declines to put up another minister. The Speaker, David Carter, reminds him of the purpose of Question Time and says his actions will be judged by the public.Demands for apologies from all sides over things said about the Panama Papers and the number of national of foreign home buyers. Reserve Bank Governor, Graeme Wheeler, crosses Bowen Street to brief the Finance and Expenditure Committee on his latest financial stability report.
6:50 PM.John Key becomes the first prime minister to be thrown out of the debating chamber since Margaret Wilson ordered Helen Clark to leave in June 2005. Mister Key got carried away when answering questions about the Panama Papers after refusing to apologise for revealing that they contained the names of Greenpeace and Amnesty International. His departure leaves a question from New Zealand First unanswered and the leader of the House, Gerry Brownlee, declines to put up another minister. The Speaker, David Carter, reminds him of the purpose of Question Time and says his actions will be judged by the public. Deputy prime minister, Bill English, breaks ranks and rises to answer the question which, like the others, required the prime minister to stand by his answers to yesterday's questions about the Panama Papers.
5:45 AM.Taxation (Residential Land Withholding Tax, GST on Online Services, and Student Loans) Bill passes final reading by 109 votes to 12 with only New Zealand First opposed; Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill passes first reading with opposition from the Greens, and is sent to the Social Services Committee; Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill passes final reading by 120 votes to 1 with only ACT's David Seymour opposed; Prime Minister continues to face questions about the Panama Papers and foreign trusts; Questions also about unemployment; Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Bill is introduced to the House and set down for first reading.
6:50 PM.Prime Minister, John Key, comes to Question Time armed with fresh data from Panama Papers showing New Zealand's involvement with foreign trusts is much less than claimed by the Opposition. Among organisations identified by Mister Key as having foreign trusts are Greenpeace International, Amnesty International and the Red Cross. He also claims that Green list MP, Mojo Mathers, has a foreign trust but, in a personal statement, she maintains that she is only a beneficiary of a family trust based in the United Kingdom. In other questions, Labour's finance spokesman, Grant Robertson, continues his attempt to wring an admission from Finance Minister, Bill English, that unemployment has risen since National took office in 2008.
7:30 AM.Opposition parties combine to give Labour's Healthy Homes Guarantee bill a first reading by 61 votes to 60. Minor parties honour formal agreements to vote with John Key's National government on issues of confidence and money supply, ending the Annual Review Debate by passing the Appropriation 2014-15 Bill by 63 to 58. But United Future's Peter Dunne votes against the Environment Canterbury transitional governance bill while the Maori Party crosses back to rejoin National and ACT. Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee reports on the TPPA, opening the way for debate in the chamber. Opposition uses questions to try to link the prime minister and his lawyer to IRD's decision not to proceed with an inquiry into foreign-owned trusts. Speaker and opposition clash over the length of questions and answers, New Zealand First leader, Winston Peters, and his transport spokesman, Denis O'Rourke, ordered out of chamber. Former MPs Chris Laidlaw & Stephen Franks express opposing views on the Government's Resource Legislation Amendment Bill. Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright also makes a submission on that bill to the Local Government and Environment Committee.
5:47 AM.Local Government and Environment Committee hears submissions on the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill from Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Jan Wright as well as former MPs Chris Laidlaw and Stephen Franks; New Zealand Public Health and Disability (Southern DHB) Elections Bill passes second reading by 95 votes to 26; Environment Canterbury (Transitional Governance Arrangements) Bill passes final reading by 62 votes to 59 - a vote which had to be amended due to an error made during the casting of a proxy vote on behalf of Peter Dunne, which originally saw him in favour of the bill despite his opposition to it; David Parker complains about the length of ministers' answers; Phil Twyford raises questions about Housing Corp conflicts of interest; Hekia Parata defends Bill English.
6:50 PM.More complaints about the length of ministers' answers to questions. Labour's housing spokesman, Phil Twyford, follows up on the auditor-general's report on the inquiry that he requested into the Housing Corp's handling of of procurement and conflict of interest issues. Education Minister, Hekia Parata, required to defend Bill English's complaint that a lot of Kiwis are "pretty damned hopeless".
5:46 AM.Andrew Little's Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill (No 2) passes first reading by 61 votes to 60 - with the support of Labour, the Greens, New Zealand First, the Maori Party and United Future's Peter Dunne; Wellington Town Belt Bill and Local Government (Auckland Council) Amendment Bill (No 3) both pass final readings; Government heralds good news on jobs and Pharmac; Opposition tries to turn good news into bad news; Prime Minister's popularity defended by his ministers in the General Debate.