Thursday, 4 April 2019

Firearms submissions won't be read, more time needed

ACT Leader David Seymour is calling on the Government to provide more than just two days for the select committee considering gun law changes to consider the views of New Zealanders on the issue.

The Finance and Expenditure Committee is working through several thousand formal submissions and thousands of “comments” which were made on the Parliament website prior to the legislation’s introduction.

“There is absolutely no chance members of the committee will be able to read New Zealanders’ views prior to reporting this law back to Parliament this evening.

“How, then, can it say there has been proper public consultation and parliamentary scrutiny?

“Thousands of Kiwis made comments on the Parliament website prior to the legislation’s introduction. These comments will not be considered as formal submissions, but the people who made them will not know this and will believe they have already submitted on the bill.

“This just shows the pitfalls of legislating with such haste.

“If the Government doesn’t want to be accused of having complete and utter contempt for democracy, it will provide further time for the committee to read the submissions and comments.

“By forcing gun reform through in just a few days, the Government will ensure there is no meaningful opportunity for New Zealanders to have their say, or for Parliament to scrutinise and improve the bill.”