A busy and productive year in the House
Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee says this afternoon’s adjournment of Parliament brings to an end an extremely busy legislative year.
“Parliament sat for 88 days this year, the same number of days as in 2015, passing 107 bills – 98 Government bills, four Members’ bills, three private bills and two local bills,” Mr Brownlee says.
“Important Government bills passed into law included the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Bill, the Smoke Free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill, and the Social Security (Extension of Young Persons Services and Remedial Matters) Amendment Bill.
“I was especially pleased that the number of times the House sat under Extended Hours this year increased from six in 2015 to nine in 2016.
“Using Extended Hours to progress non-controversial legislation such as Treaty of Waitangi settlements and some other bills has been a positive development over the last two Parliaments.
“I thank all members of the Business Committee for the constructive way they’ve worked to allow Extended Hours to be used more often.
“Five Treaty settlement bills passed this year and a further six received first reading and were sent to select committee.
“Another notable feature of 2016 was the number of times parties across Parliament worked positively together to ensure the development of special legislation to address extraordinary circumstances.
“Most recently this has seen three bills passed unanimously to allow a range of agencies and organisations to respond more quickly than would otherwise have been the case to the November 14 earthquake. This was also the case in March when all parties helped ensure the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Bill was fit for purpose and received unanimous support at third reading.
“With 88 sitting days in the past year the Opposition has been given ample opportunity to hold the government to account in Parliament.
“There have been 1055 oral questions across 86 Question Times – 1033 to Ministers and 22 to Members.
“As well as oral questions, Ministers received 15,445 written questions and 1204 papers were presented.
“I want to thank all Members for their contributions to a busy and robust year in the House, and wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas break,” Mr Brownlee says.
Parliament will resume on 7 February 2017.