Polly Higbee (Research Associate, Public


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Polly Higbee (Research Associate, Public

  1. 1. The Use of Urgency<br />in the New Zealand House of Representatives<br />
  2. 2. The Project<br />Sponsored by the Law Foundation<br />New Zealand Centre for Public Law/New Zealand Rule of Law Committee <br />Key focus: 1984-2009<br />
  3. 3. Key Questions<br />What are the different ways that governments can speed up the legislative process? Has the use of these changed?<br />How do other legislatures compare?<br />Has MMP had an effect on the use of urgency?<br />Is there a difference between the rules and how the parties actually behave in the House?<br />Do different parties have different attitudes to urgency?<br />How do governments justify the use of urgency?<br />
  4. 4. Evaluative Questions<br />When is the use of urgency justified?<br />What sort of uses of urgency are troubling from a constitutional or democratic legitimacy perspective?<br />How robust is the regulatory framework in which this occurs? How might it be amended?<br />
  5. 5. Urgency<br />“Where a motion for urgency is passed, the House may proceed upon and debate the bill until the debate is concluded. A motion for urgency overrides the standard procedures for when the House must adjourn or move to other business.”<br />Philip Joseph Constitutional and Administrative Law in New Zealand (3rd ed, Brookers, Wellington, 2007) at 307.<br />
  6. 6. Normal Process of a Bill<br />
  7. 7. Normal Sitting Days and Times<br />
  8. 8. Process Under Urgency<br />Motion for urgency for all stages of a bill moved on Tuesday 1 June:<br />Introduction-First Reading-Second Reading-Committee of the Whole House-Third reading<br />
  9. 9. Key Differences<br />Extended sitting times<br />No select committee <br />No weekend adjournment<br />Other parliamentary business stops<br />All ‘one day’ for the record<br />
  10. 10. Reason for Urgency<br />Minister moving urgency must give a reason for the motion to be formally moved<br />
  11. 11. Extraordinary Urgency<br />Extended sitting hours – sit through the night<br />Minister must satisfy the speaker that the business requires extraordinary urgency<br />Particularly designed for legislation that will come into immediate effect<br />
  12. 12. An Example of urgency… Tuesday 30 March<br />Hon SIMON POWER (Acting Leader of the House): <br />“I move, That urgency be accorded the introduction and passing of the Environment Canterbury (Temporary Commissioners and Improved Water Management) Bill…<br />And:<br />The Immigration Act Amendment Bill; <br />The passing through their remaining stages of the Dairy Industry Restructuring (Raw Milk Pricing Methods) Bill; and<br />The Regulatory Improvement Bill, and any bills into which any of those bills may be divided; <br />The third reading of the Unit Titles Bill; and <br />The first readings of the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill and the Commerce Commission (International Co-operation, and Fees) Bill<br />Motion agreed to.<br />
  13. 13. First Reading Environment Canterbury Bill<br />Ayes 68<br />New Zealand National 58; ACT New Zealand 5; Māori Party 4; United Future 1.<br />Noes 53<br />New Zealand Labour 43; Green Party 9; Progressive 1.<br />
  14. 14. Third Reading Environment Canterbury Bill<br />Ayes 64<br />New Zealand National 58; ACT New Zealand 5; United Future 1.<br />Noes 58<br />New Zealand Labour 43; Green Party 9; Māori Party 5; Progressive 1.<br />
  15. 15. The Other Urgent Business<br />Business completed up to the third reading of the Unit Titles Bill<br />House adjourned at 4.08pm on Thursday (1 April)<br />
  16. 16. Key Outcomes of the Project<br />Occasional Paper for the NZ Centre of Public Law<br />Public lecture<br />Presentation to parliamentary staff and interested MPs<br />Publish in journals (domestic and international)<br />Submissions to any committee which reviews the Standing Orders<br />