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Source: New Zealand Parliament – Hansard

BUSINESS STATEMENT

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Leader of the House): Thank you, Mr Speaker. Next week, the House will continue to meet in a manner that’s appropriate to the alert levels we are in at the time. On Thursday, 7 September, the Estimates debate will resume. Ministers to appear have yet to be finalised, but are likely to include the Ministers of Finance, COVID-19 Response, and Immigration. Further discussion is taking place over whether any other Ministers should appear. As agreed by the Business Committee, the Appropriation (2021/22 Estimates) Bill will then be set down for third reading. As happens every year, the third reading will be taken with the second Imprest Supply Bill of the current financial year. There will be oral questions each day and a general debate on Wednesday.

Of course, in these rapidly evolving times, if there are any further changes to that in the coming days, I will be sure to inform the other parties.

Hon MICHAEL WOODHOUSE (National): I thank the Leader of the House for that update and also for the constructive discussions that are going on about the programme for next week. A couple of matters: firstly, recognising that there has been quite a bit of lost time, can I encourage him, as I’m sure he will, to signal early to the Business Committee if it will be necessary for the House to take urgency or extended hours in the fourth quarter of this year.

Secondly, Mr Speaker, I seek a point of order. I seek leave for the Speaker to chair the committee of the whole House on the Appropriation (2021/22 Estimates) Bill and that while the Speaker chairs the committee, no motion to report to obtain the Speaker’s ruling on a matter of procedure can be accepted, despite Standing Orders 173 and 179.

SPEAKER: Is there any objection to that course of action? There appears to be none.

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Leader of the House): In answer to the member’s question regarding extended sitting and urgency, certainly I think it would be wise to expect that there’ll be at least some extended sittings in the latter part of the year, depending on where we’re at with various alert levels and when we can get back to a point where Parliament can transact business more normally. I think we will absolutely be looking to make up for lost time, given that there’ll be quite a lot of business being built up over this period. I will endeavour to provide as much notice of that as we possibly can. I’d also note that it’s not just Government business that will have been accumulating during that time; we won’t have had members’ days—we’ve already lost one and potentially could lose more. Therefore, I look forward to some constructive discussions about how all of the business before the House that needs to be given attention to before Christmas can be progressed.

MIL OSI