20 Mar 2018

Parliament's to do list: PACER Plus, taxes, and Parihaka

From The House, 6:55 pm on 20 March 2018

MPs are back in the House after a two week recess and for those who are curious, here’s what they plan to get through this week (March 20 - 22).

The 52nd Parliament in session.

The 52nd Parliament in session. Photo: VNP / Phil Smith

An agenda known as the Order Paper is published online each sitting day outlining what business the House will try to get through.

Debate on the PACER Plus agreement. (Twelve 10 min speeches).

What:

  • A trade and economic agreement that also deals with migration and labour mobility in the Pacific region. The full name is the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus.

  • Intended benefits include a more predictable trading environment, and increased investment in the region particularly from NZ and AUS investors.

Who:

  • Eleven countries are signatories to the agreement: Australia, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Why:

Taxes: (Committee Stage)

What:

Why:

  • It’s more important than the name reveals. This bill legitimises collection of income tax so, if they don’t pass it in time the income tax collected over the current financial year would have to be given back. It’s billions of dollars so they’ll want to make sure this one gets ticked off.

National Cervical Screening Programme (First Reading)

What:

Why:

  • To create more transparency and access to cervical screening data so people who use that information for research and treatment can get it more easily.

Tertiary Education (Third Reading)

What:

  • The Education (Tertiary Education and Other Matters) Amendment Bill will do a few things including revoking a proposal that private tertiary providers should receive the same funding rate as public providers and allow for wānanga to apply to use what are called ‘protected terms’, such as university or polytechnic.

Member’s Day

Every alternate Wednesday in the House, time is devoted to bills by members who are not ministers. They’re called member’s bills and a bunch of them will likely have their first readings this week:

Parihaka Reconciliation Bill (First Reading)

What:

  • Puts into law a reconciliation package that was agreed with the people of Parihaka.

Why:

  • In June last year the Crown apologised for atrocities committed in 1888 to the people of the Taranaki settlement of Parihaka which included the wrongful arrest and imprisonment of men and the rape and molestation of women and girls left behind.

You can see how much the House gets done each sitting day by going here: Daily progress in the House

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