Mana in Parliament – update 19-21 June 2012Posted on June 21, 2012 by admin in Mana in Parliament
Much of the week was taken up with the “Committee of the Whole House” stage of the Mixed Ownership Model Bill, which will enable the government to sell off up to 49% of our power companies and Air New Zealand. At the committee stage, each part of a Bill is gone through clause by clause and MPs can speak on any and every clause – and table changes – if they wish. Hone spoke to the Treaty clause in the Bill, raising the point that none of the Māori MPs in National spoke in support of it and nor did the Māori Party. He made the point that the Bill weakens the power of the Treaty by not requiring new investors to recognise it. He concluded by saying the Bill was a betrayal of the Treaty and of Māori rights, and that MANA opposed the bill “today, tomorrow, and ever after”. In addition to this, Hone also tabled an amendment to halt the Bill unless the Waitangi Tribunal, as a result of its inquiry into Wai 2357 (fresh water claim lodged by the NZ Māori Council), agrees that selling power company shares is in the best interests of Māori and the fair and just resolution of all outstanding claims to do with fresh water.
Unfortunately the amendment was ruled “out of order” by the committee chair because it would mean there would be no set start date for the Bill to become law – so no vote was taken. It would have been very interesting to see which parties would have supported it. See the our website for Hone’s media statement on this: “Stop Asset Sales Unless Waitangi Tribunal Says Go”.
The other big issue this week was the illegal pokie venue operating in a takeaways in Otara, discovered by MANA vice-president John Minto. After John contacted the Department of Internal Affairs, the department cancelled the venue’s pokie licence but still allowed to them to operate while they appealed the decision – and in the meantime they continued to suck an extra half million dollars from the community of Otara. See the MANA website for the media statement Hone made on this: “Shut the Pokie Takeaways … Now!”. Hone asked a series of questions of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Chris Tremain, at question time in Parliament and he said that the law allowed pokie venues to continue to operate while they appealed decisions to close them down. Disgusted with this response, and by the Minister’s refusal to even acknowledge that this was a problem, Hone released another media statement calling for the Minister to change the law. See the our website for the statement “Shut Illegal Pokies or the People Will”.
MANA gets a question in Parliament once a month.