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Source: New Zealand Parliament – Hansard


Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Leader of the House): Thursday, 20 May will be Budget day. The Minister of Finance will deliver the Budget speech, followed by speeches from party leaders. I have given notice to the Business Committee that I then intend to move urgency. Earlier in the week, legislation to be considered will include the first readings of the Drug and Substance Checking Legislation Bill (No 2) and the Plant Variety Rights Bill; the second reading of the Fair Trading Amendment Bill; the committee stage of the Building (Building Products and Methods, Modular Components, and Other Matters) Amendment Bill; and the remaining stages of the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill (No 3) and the Holidays (Increasing Sick Leave) Amendment Bill.

CHRIS BISHOP (National): Thank you to the Leader of the House. I was wondering if he could go away and perhaps give some thought to the scrutiny that could be exercised by the House’s select committees in relation to COVID-19, particularly in light of the Speaker’s remarks in the last sitting period of the Parliament and in light of the Health Committee’s determinations yesterday in relation to scrutiny of officials and also Ministers.

SPEAKER: That’s not something that is a matter of the responsibility of the Government or the Leader of the House.

Hon Chris Hipkins: Can I speak to it, though?

SPEAKER: As long as the member assures me he’s not going to cause trouble.

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Leader of the House): No, no, Mr Speaker. It is a matter that I consider regularly as the Minister for COVID-19 Response, and I can say I sat in the House for an hour last week waiting to get a single question on COVID-19 as part of the annual review debate and didn’t get one.

SPEAKER: And at that point, I won’t comment. Question No. 1 is in the name of Shanan Halbert—oh, sorry. We have general business.