Speaker David Carter has invited the public to have a say in the way parliament works.
He’s in charge of the annual review of standing orders – the rules covering debating chamber procedure.
There are no terms of reference for the review by the cross-party Standing Orders Committee, which Mr Carter chairs.
“The committee welcomes any suggestions about how to improve parliament, which exists to represent New Zealanders,” he said.
“Public submissions are now open for you to propose ideas for enhancing the effectiveness of parliament.”
Submissions can be made until November 25, details are on parliament’s website.
Changes made by previous reviews include:
- Allowing foreign leaders to address parliament
- TV coverage of the debating chamber Read more »
Speaker David Carter has slapped down speculation he wants a top diplomatic posting – after New Zealand First leader Winston Peters intimated he would block such an appointment if in power.
After Mr Peters’ comments yesterday, Mr Carter has taken the unusual step of delivering a press statement to press gallery reporters, denying he wanted a change of job. Read more »
Winston Peters has launched a thinly veiled attack on the Speaker of Parliament, calling his expected appointment to a diplomatic post “white bro-rocracy”.
Speaker David Carter is thought to be the number one pick to be the next High Commissioner to London when Sir Lockwood Smith — the previous Speaker — ends his term early next year.
But Mr Peters says the practice of appointing ex-politicians has to stop — and he’s even making that official New Zealand First policy.
“Meritocracy has been abandoned in favour of a mainly white ‘bro-rocracy’,” Mr Peters told students at a Victoria University lecture.
He says if New Zealand First end up holding the balance of political power, any future appointments he doesn’t think are worthy would be dragged back and replaced by what he calls a “capable” candidate.
“We’re not going to tolerate that sort of abuse of Foreign Affairs or the overriding of talented experienced people for political junkies,” he said.
Mr Peters says there were too many friends appointed to high international posts — calling them “beneficiaries of some golden handshake”.
He’s mad, and he’s warning them they are on notice. Once he’s in government, he’ll take his share of revenge, especially against David Carter who, it must be said, lost his rag with NZ First all too easily recently. Read more »
The Greens reckon David Carter is sexist.
This will be news to one of National’s most well known connoisseurs of the female form.
Green Party MP Julie Anne Genter says Carter cuts women off when speaking in Parliament’s debating chamber.
She says she encounters “unconscious sexism” regularly from other MPs. And that female MPs catty behaviour to each other puts ordinary women off politics. Read more »
Bit of an asymmetric war here. Who do you think was in the right?
The practice of downgrading airline tickets to take another passenger along – as used by a trio of MPs on a trip to Europe – is off the table for public servants.
Three MPs travelling with Parliament Speaker David Carter’s delegation in Europe are believed to have traded their single business class flight tickets for two economy class tickets, allowing them to take spouses along on the trip.
So here is the circular argument:
Hey, you’re spending too much of our tax money!
– yes, nearly $100,000 of the total $138,000 cost is for business fares
– no, we need to be fresh when we get off the plane. this is justified in this case
But you allowed the MPs to travel economy and spread the cost so they could take their wife, husband, spouse, significant other or favourite farm animal. So now they won’t arrive fresh?
The Taxpayers’ Union has said it raises questions over whether the trip is work or a junket.
The State Services Commission (SSC) says the practice would not be acceptable in the public service.
Sandi Beatie, the deputy commissioner, said the commission’s expectation was that when public servants had to travel, only their individual travel should be covered. The only exclusion was that the cost of relocating family was covered if a public servant was moving.
“Any ‘downgrading’ of flights in the manner you mention by public servants would not be appropriate. SSC has no record of ‘downgrading flights’ being considered acceptable or any directive on the issue,” Beatie said.
The commission’s standards on integrity and conduct stated that officials “use our organisation’s resources carefully and only for intended purposes”.
By definition, if an MP can travel to do business on economy fares, then we should send them with economy fares.
Or, they have to admit that it’s really just a joyride at the taxpayer’s expense.
One, or the other. Pick.
– Hamish Rutherford, Stuff
It’s hard to fundraise when you spend all your time and money on your mates Jim, Jack and Johnnie. That’s something Winston Peters must know all too well.
So when you’re tits at fundraising and your party faithful couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery, it’s little time before schemes are hatched to run a campaign on the cheap on the taxpayer.
It looks as though the wily old fox has been forced to show his hand after a bit of sniffing about by the Taxpayers Union. Winston’s baggage boy, Api Dawson, has been based up in Northland for some time, but only on Wednesday did you and I taxpayer, stop paying for him.
“NZ First leader Winston Peters has rejected claims a member of his Northland campaign team is being funded by the taxpayer.
Questions were raised by the Taxpayers’ Union that parliamentary staffer Api Dawson was carrying out campaign work on Peters’ “Force for the North” bus tour of Northland.
Peters is standing in the Northland by-election – a seat left vacant by the sudden resignation of former National MP Mike Sabin, due to personal reasons.
Peters has confirmed Dawson is managing his campaign, but has taken annual leave from his Parliamentary Service role to do so. After questioning yesterday, Peters confirmed Dawson’s leave kicked in from midday on Wednesday. If Dawson was carrying out any campaign functions in Northland before that date, the party would have breached rules that stipulate Parliamentary Service staff should not engage in party campaigning, membership or fund raising activities.
A photo of Dawson and NZ First MP Pita Paraone standing outside Peters’ campaign bus was posted to Paraone’s page, the Taxpayers’ Union said. A search late yesterday appeared to suggest the picture had been removed. It is not clear when it was originally posted. Read more »
MPs were reminded that today was about ceremony. John Key got criticised for cracking a joke at the expense of the Labour Party, but somehow (not surprisingly), Russel Norman once again failed to observe the occasion and got stuck in
David Carter was re-elected Speaker in a vote prompted by the fact returning NZ First MP Ron Mark was put forward by his Leader Winston Peters.
Mr Mark later indicated his nomination came as something of a surprise.
Mr Carter’s re-election was welcomed by Prime Minister John Key but Acting Labour Leader David Parker and Greens Co-leader Russel Norman had some requests for him.
“There will be contentious moments in this House”, Mr Parker said in his address to Mr Carter.
“The business of Opposition and the business of Government are both very important roles we are reliant on you giving us a fair go.” Read more »
It appears that Winston Peters is running NZ First out of their parliamentary office.
This is similar to what Act was busted for back in the Prebble days.
Brendan Horan claims he has been inundated by people wanting to share information about NZ First as he makes new allegations that his former party had breached Parliament’s rules.
Horan’s office today released a memo written by Apirana Dawson, NZ First’s director of operations, to party leader Winston Peters addressing “poor party financial structure and inadequate funds to support the party and to run a campaign”.
Horan alleged last week that Dawson and other NZ First staff were engaged in party work when they were meant to be focused on parliamentary activities. Speaker David Carter has confirmed he is investigating.
In today’s document, from July 2012, Dawson called for the establishment of a system where party members had their fees increased to at least $3 a month, to be paid by direct debit.
The document said the existing system did not raise enough money and there was a lack of accountability mechanisms. Read more »
Labour are staring down the barrel of a bad electoral defeat, one that is likely to crib their ability to have list MPs. Their poll results are all hovering around or below 30%…most start with a two.
This is caused by a couple of events. The first is the sinking vote of Labour…if they drop below the 2011 result then there will less List MPs.
They are also likely to pick up several other seats, that they currently don’t have and thereby reducing the list top up.
Consequently Labour MPs are deciding that they don;t really want the embarrassment of a low list ranking or losing the prospect of getting in on the list so are doing one of two things…bolting and getting first mover advantage on the limited prospects of outside jobs for ex-Labour MPs (Prasad, Jones, Fenton) or if they have an electorate seat declaring they don’t want to be on the list…Stuart Nash is one of those, and Ruth Dyson has announced the same.
Ruth Dyson, Labour’s longest-serving Christchurch MP, has decided not to take a place on the party’s list.
Labour general-secretary Tim Barnett confirmed Dyson, who holds the Port Hills electorate, had told the party she was withdrawing from the list selection process. Read more »