MANA in Parliament, update 26-28 June 2012Posted on June 28, 2012 by admin in Mana in Parliament
This week the Mixed Ownership Model (MOM) Bill passed its third and final reading in Parliament, so that it’s now possible for the government to sell up to 49% of the shares in our four power companies and Air New Zealand – despite continued opposition by the majority of New Zealanders and pretty much every Māori. Hone was unable to secure a speaking slot in this debate but released a media statement expressing his disappointment and anger. In it he said he’s glad that so many are still fighting this – Ngāti Tūwharetoa is considering taking the government to court over water rights, the NZ Māori Council are seeking a ruling from the Waitangi Tribunal to stop asset sales until Māori interests in water are settled, and a number of groups and political parties (including MANA) are collecting signatures to kick-start a citizens-initiated referendum on stopping asset sales.
See the MANA website for his media release “Nothing for Mom and Pop in the MOM Bill”. Less than 24 hours after the Bill was passed, we got word from MANA President, Annette Sykes, that the Supreme Court had ruled the Crown doesn’t own the Waikato River bed and can’t claim title to the river. It puts the government’s plan to sell the shares of power companies, which of course depend on fresh water flow in rivers, into question and is a huge win for Māori and indeed the entire country. See the MANA website for Hone’s release “MOM’s Already in Trouble”.
Wednesday in Parliament was a Member’s Day, where Bills put up by MPs rather than the government are debated. These Bills are drawn from a ballot which is held when gaps appear on the agenda after some Bills get voted off and others get passed into law. MANA gladly supported a range of kaupapa such as making sure we still get a day off work if Waitangi Day or Anzac Day fall on a weekend. And we were equally glad to oppose a Bill to allow Easter trading in Waitaki (the region between Canterbury and Otago) because we think workers need time off to spend with whānau in our only four day weekend of the year. MANA is looking forward to putting our “Feed the Kids (Breakfast and Lunch in Schools) Bill” into the ballot soon. And finally, along with all other parties in Parliament, MANA supported a motion for the negotiation of an Arms Trade Treaty to ban the illicit trading of arms that will commence at a UN meeting next month.