31 Aug 2012

Four Members' bills drawn from ballot

12:06 pm on 31 August 2012

Four new Members' bills have been drawn from the ballot on Thursday.

Four bills were debated on Wednesday night in Parliament, leaving room on the order paper for new legislation to be given a first reading.

Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell's bill would ensure that a person taking any legal oath can elect to add to it that they will uphold the Treaty of Waitangi.

Mr Flavell says his bill is part of a wider debate about the recognition of the Treaty and he hopes it will set a platform for discussion about the constitution.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said the country has no future if it is going to head down what he calls a separatist path.

However Mana Party leader Hone Harawira said the Treaty was signed for all New Zealanders, and Mr Peters clearly only wants to swear allegiance to England.

Adoption bill

Labour MP Jacinda Ardern's bill would require the Law Commission to update its existing report and draft adoption laws which would allow all couples to adopt children, including de facto and civil unions couples.

Ms Ardern says her bill would removed some of the barriers that exist for certain people to adopt.

She says the current law is complex, does not make sense, and needs to be updated to better reflect modern New Zealand.

Labour MP Darien Fenton's bill would require all public libraries to make their services free, including for DVD hire, books, digital information and internet access.

National MP Scott Simpson's bill seeks to broaden the circumstances where a positive evidential breath test is admissible evidence in a prosecution.