27 Jan 2013

Political diary for week starting 28 January

6:31 pm on 27 January 2013

Radio New Zealand's political diary sets out the schedule of political events, speeches, debates, select committee hearing and other parliamentary business expected in the week beginning Monday, 28 January.


The Opposition parties - Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First - begin their inquiry into the state of manufacturing. They hold the first day of hearings at Parliament in the Matangireia Room from 10am until 4pm. A line-up of manufacturers are expected to raise serious concerns about the state of manufacturing and particularly about the impact the high value of the New Zealand dollar is having on their businesses. Government parties have refused to take part. Radio New Zealand's political editor reports it will be interesting to observe how Government ministers respond to submissions made to the committee.

The Government Administration select committee is meeting from 10.15am to 1.15pm in the Brevet Room, level one, of the Air Force Museum of New Zealand, 45 Harvard, Avenue, Wigram, Christchurch, to hear further submissions on the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Bill.


Part of Prime Minister, John Key's, Cabinet reshuffle takes effect. Dumped ministers Kate Wilkinson and Phil Heatley are out of a job and become mere backbench MPs on Tuesday. Minister for Primary Industries, David Carter, suffers the same fate but he has the prospect of later in the week becoming Parliament's new Speaker.

The first party caucus meetings of the year are held on Tuesday before Parliament sits for the first time.

When the House resumes in the afternoon Mr Key will deliver the Prime Minister's statement setting out the Government's agenda for this year.


The Government Administration select committee holds more hearings on the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Bill, this time in room four of Parliament from 9.50am until 12.45pm.

Parliament sits again at 2pm and following Question Time there will be a general debate. It's time to find out what our country's MPs have been thinking about over the summer break.

The Commerce select committee sits from 3.30pm and then again from 7pm to hear submissions on the Crown Minerals (Permitting and Crown Land) Bill in room one of Bowen House.


The Government's new ministers are sworn in on Thursday and take up their roles. It represents a big jump for Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye who goes straight into the Cabinet as Minister for Food Safety, of Civil Defence and of Youth Affairs. Michael Woodhouse becomes a Minister outside Cabinet in charge of immigration and veterans' affairs. Simon Bridges moves into the Cabinet as Minister of Labour and of Energy and Resources. As well, sitting minister Nathan Guy picks up responsibility for Primary Industries and his colleague Chris Tremain takes on Local Government.

Parliament sits at 2pm and MPs vote for a new Speaker to replace Lockwood Smith who is heading to London to become this country's next High Commissioner. The vote might not be as straightforward as it appears. Opposition parties are annoyed they have not been consulted about National's push to make David Carter Speaker. The done thing is normally to have a unanimous vote but this time the majority for the Speaker might be quite small. It will not mark a good start for Mr Carter with Labour MPs, in particular, already questioning his impartiality.

At 9.45am the Commerce select committee does the financial review of the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand Limited, the Takeovers Panel at 10.05am before hearing more submissions on the Crown Minerals (Permitting and Crown Land) Bill at 3.30pm. All of this takes place in room one of Bowen House.

The Foreign Affairs and Trade select committee looks at the Agreement between the Government of New Zealand and the Government of Niue on the Exchange of Information with Respect to Taxes in room six of Parliament at 10am.

The Justice and Electoral Select Committee hears submissions on the Local Electoral Amendment Bill at 9.50am in room four of Parliament.

The Local Government and Environment select committee hears submissions on the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Bill at 9am in room three at Parliament.


MPs are back in their electorates or at home after their first week back at Parliament. Most ministers are on the road speaking at a range of public functions.