Another day, another parliamentary cock up from Labour

Hansard reveals the whole embarrassing debacle:

TAXATION (NEUTRALISING BASE EROSION AND PROFIT SHIFTING) BILL

First Reading

Hon STUART NASH (Minister of Revenue): I move, That the Taxation (Neutralising Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Finance and Expenditure Committee to consider the bill.

Mr SPEAKER: The question is that the motion be agreed to.

Hon Stuart Nash: Mr Speaker—

Mr SPEAKER: No, the member sat down. That’s the end of his call. Is there anyone else who wants to speak on it?

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Leader of the House): I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER: A point of order—[Interruption] can I ask everyone to settle down, please.

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS: Mr Speaker, I think the member may have been confused because of the amount of noise and the number of members moving around the Chamber. I think you should give some leeway for the fact that there were members walking all around the Chamber while he was trying to move the motion.

Mr SPEAKER: I’m going to give some consideration to that. I’m trying very hard not to be influenced by the breaches by at least six members on my left, including the acting shadow Leader of the House, of the very clear rules that members do not interject during points of order. I am reluctant, but members have been in the House long enough, and Ministers should know that when they are moving motions and moving debates, they do not resume their seats, because the Speaker, quite properly, assumes that when a Minister sits, he or she has finished their speech.

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Leader of the House): I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I wonder, as they are two separate items of business—moving the motion and then delivering the speech—could you point to the Standing Order or the Speakers’ ruling that says a member may not sit between those two separate items of business?

Mr SPEAKER: Well, the problem that the Leader of the House has is that after the member sat—the member sat, and I looked at him to ensure that he wasn’t going to go on—I put the question, which then absolutely concludes the original speech. Now, I’m trying to look for a way out of it, and the Minister might want to seek leave—I don’t know what the mood of the House would be for that—but Ministers do have a responsibility for reading the drill sheet and for understanding it. And, as I say, I looked at the Minister and he did not stand up before I put the question.

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Leader of the House): I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. It may well be that the Minister did not stand because he could not hear you putting the question. There was such an amount of noise at the end of that; how would he have known?

Mr SPEAKER: Well, of course, Mr Hipkins, by the time that I had put the question, at that point it was too late—all right? It didn’t really matter whether he heard me or not, because we were beyond the point where he could continue.

Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Deputy Prime Minister): I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Now, the problem with that ruling is that I’m holding here an advice sheet from the Clerk of the House on this very matter, which suggests that the person puts the motion, then seeks your advice as to what happens after that. They can sit down while they’re waiting for you to deliberate on whether they should proceed or not, and then they start their speech. It’s all written out here.

Mr SPEAKER: I also have the drill sheet in front of me, and what it involves is some advice to the member that says not only that he moves the bill the first time and that he nominates a select committee, but that he speaks there, and then after that the Speaker says, “The question is that the motion be agreed to.” And we are now past that point.

CLAYTON MITCHELL (NZ First): I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER: No. Well, I will hear the Hon Clayton Mitchell, but I just want to—

Hon Gerry Brownlee: He’s not “Hon”.

Mr SPEAKER: —sorry. I will hear Clayton Mitchell. But I want to say that I have now ruled on the matter, and I think we are beyond going backwards. I will point out, of course, that any other member in the House—if the Minister thinks there’s vital information in his speech that needs to go on the record of the House, he can pass the speech to another member to give later in the debate.

CLAYTON MITCHELL: Respectfully, sir, I do understand your ruling, but in light of this being a new bill and there being people back home watching on TV that would like to know the context of this bill, we would seek that the Minister get to articulate this. It’s the one and only time that a Minister can actually read a speech in the House, to articulate all the fine points that are within it, and we ask for your leniency on this so that the Minister can actually read it.

Mr SPEAKER: No. I have ruled on the matter, and I have indicated that if there are matters within the speech that the Minister thinks are important, that need to be outlined, then the next speaker from the Government can, in fact, deliver that speech.

Hon STUART NASH (Minister of Revenue): I seek leave to give a first reading speech on the Taxation (Neutralising Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) Bill.

Mr SPEAKER: Is there any objection to that process? There is objection.

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Leader of the House): I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I wonder whether you could give some consideration, because it is not the first time that we have had a situation after question time where members speaking have been unable to hear themselves speak, to whether in fact you might adopt the practice that has been adopted by previous Speakers of encouraging members who are leaving the House not to have conversations in the House, so that issues like this will not happen again in the future. I think it’s rather unfair to single one member out, when in fact this has happened most days after question time over the last few weeks.

Mr SPEAKER: Yes, I will do that, but I will seek the assistance of the Leader of the House and the Government whips, because if there was any problem with the Minister understanding or being able to hear, it came from members around him.

Hon STUART NASH (Minister of Revenue): I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER: Stuart Nash—you are now beginning to try my patience a little bit.

Hon STUART NASH: I understand, Mr Speaker. In my defence, what happened is I could not hear myself think. You looked around—

Mr SPEAKER: No, the member will resume his seat. We’re finished with that matter.

That was promptly used by Steve Joyce to really ram home the advantage:

And then after Michael Wood had to read Nashy’s speech David Carter piled in too:

An all round shambolic performance from Labour. Sure Nashy made a mistake, but Chris Hipkins whinging just made it worse.

Then having Michael Wood read a speech when you aren’t allowed to read a speech in parliament was just icing on the cake.

Labour, especially, are looking forward to Thursday.

 

-Parliament

 


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