Crouch… Engage! The review of Standing Orders

Every three years the committee looks at the rules of the House and how Parliament can work more effectively. This process is called the review of Standing Orders. The review doesn’t just look at the written rules though-it also considers practice, or how things are done at Parliament.

The committee’s report recommends changes to rules and practice in a number of key areas, including a reorganisation of the House’s subject select committees, a change to the way the House debates international treaties, and a number of suggestions for improving the law-making process.

The Rt Hon David Carter, Speaker of the House, chairs the Standing Orders Committee. He said the New Zealand Parliament is internationally respected for its regular review of the rules, in which changes are only agreed if they have overwhelming support across the parties in Parliament.

A lot of overseas Parliaments don’t review their rules regularly. Sometimes a specific issue will lead to a review, or Governments will change the rules on their own. But when they see how we do our reviews, they can see the value in frequently making improvements based on cross-party consensus.

The Speaker said that with changes in law and social expectations, technological advances, and evolving political culture, regular reviews of Parliament’s effectiveness are essential to keeping Parliament relevant and well-functioning.

The House will debate the committee’s report and vote on the recommended changes before it adjourns for the election on 17 August 2017. If the House adopts the committee’s recommendations, the new rules will be in place for the start of the next Parliament.

It’s a bit like the players getting to choose the rules around the scrum for the next competition.  The document outlining the report on the changes to Standing Orders can be read here.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.