Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Govt undermines democracy by pushing 15 bills in 17 hours

“The Government is undermining democracy by progressing 15 bills in the space of just 17 hours,” according to ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The Government has put Parliament into urgency this evening and asked it to consider 15 pieces of legislation tonight and tomorrow.

“That makes a mockery of our democracy.

“The Government is asking Parliament to debate legislation dealing with welfare, foreign investment, smoking in cars, building regulations, planning laws, the Bill of Rights Act, mental health, infrastructure, APEC, veterans support, privacy issues and a raft of other matters in less than a day.

“Most MPs will not be familiar with the detail of the legislation and no member of Parliament can in good conscience vote for 15 bills in less than 24 hours. There’s simply no way to properly read or understand the implications for New Zealanders.

“ACT believes rushed law-making is bad law-making.

“A few weeks ago, Parliament passed the wrong law as the Government rushed its economic response to Covid-19.

“The gun legislation passed by 119 parliamentarians in just nine days had a raft of unintended consequences, including fostering distrust for Police and forcing thousands of firearms underground.

“For context, Parliament would usually set aside at least double this amount of time to consider 15 bills.

“If it’s worth making these changes, it’s worth doing them well.

“Parliament must do the job New Zealanders elected us for and scrutinise the Government's legislation properly.”