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Source: New Zealand Parliament – Hansard

THURSDAY, 7 MAY 2020

The Speaker took the Chair at 2 p.m.

Prayers.

BUSINESS STATEMENT

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Leader of the House): Thursday, 14 May is Budget day. The Minister of Finance will deliver the Budget statement at 2 p.m., following which party leaders will speak to open the Budget debate.

I have indicated to the Business Committee that I intend to move urgency to progress a number of bills following that. I expect urgency to extend at least into Friday, 15 May. Should New Zealand remain at COVID alert level 3 or higher, those plans will be reviewed.

Next week, the House will also consider the remaining stages of the COVID-19 Response (Further Management Measures) Legislation Bill and the Immigration (COVID-19 Response) Amendment Bill. The Government is also likely to bring forward further legislation relating to New Zealand’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE (National—Ilam): Can the Leader of the House give us an indication if that further legislation is required to give effect to level 2 provisions as announced by the Prime Minister?

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Leader of the House): That is likely.

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE (National—Ilam): Does that mean that there would be some urgency taken to pass that legislation prior to an expected announcement of going to level 2 next week?

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Leader of the House): I imagine that any legislation required to move to a lower COVID alert level would be progressed through the House very quickly.

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE (National—Ilam): Do we take it, then, that if the decision is made on Monday to move to level 2 at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday evening it would be in the two days of House sitting Tuesday and Wednesday that we would see that legislation passed?

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Leader of the House): At that point, that’s a hypothetical question, but, of course, the passage of any legislation required to give effect to level 2 and the process for that will be the subject of further discussion.

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE (National—Ilam): Just to be clear, can we take it, then, that there will be no decision to go into level 2 without the legislation?

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Leader of the House): No, the member can’t take that from my comments.

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE (National—Ilam): Perhaps I could make it clearer. If the legislation supporting the moves that have been announced as level 2 conditions is not passed before level 2 is announced, or the start date of level 2, would that be the position? Or do we have to have that legislation passed before level 2 can commence?

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Leader of the House): Without necessarily getting into the hypothetical situation too much, I would envisage that the legislation is likely to be around the enforcement of conditions at level 2.

MIL OSI