Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Short circuiting the legislative process; or why are we still writing about Nuk Korako?

8 Responses

  • David Haywood,

    How utterly depressing.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    What about SOPs? Don't quite major changes get made after the committee stage in SOPs on some Bills (I was thinking the Harmful Digital Communications Act).

    I'd assume these changes would have been discussed by the committee - but how far from the Bill as presented for submissions can/do they go?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    It feels like the MPs in general and the government in particular have become so arrogant that they believe they can make no mistakes ever.

    Everyone makes mistakes. But our MPs make a habit of never admitting mistakes and finding someone else to blame at all costs - generally those lies are obvious and unimportant so long as the mistake gets fixed. But this idea of passing laws without anyone getting the chance to check and find mistakes seems like they have begun to believe their own lies:

    They never admit mistakes - therefore they never make mistakes so why bother with any process to identify mistakes - which would be someone else's fault anyway.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    National's ballot stuffing became an embarrassment. Opposition parties wanted the private members bill time for more useful things, National wanted to be not continuing to embarrass itself.

    Could have been done better, yes, in the past. The alternative at this point seems to be continuing to waste parliament and select committee time on non-controversial statute amendments in a way that also bought parliament into disrepute.

    So hopefully we can get some useful non-government legislation before a select committee instead now. Because it's not just law changes that are a bit dodgy sometimes, but also the laws as they stand.

    Since Nov 2006 • 607 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Geddis,

    This is good. Selling some types of items at an online auction site is likely to increase the amount of money received for them, and when we’re talking about public assets (which unclaimed lost property is), giving those tasked with looking after those assets powers to best realise public benefit from them is good.

    What currently prevents an airport authority from making a bylaw under s.9 that allows for on-line auction sales? How is that not “providing for the sale by way of auction of any such property that is unclaimed”?

    This was a law change that National MP Chris Bishop was adamant was sufficiently controversial that inclusion in a statutes amendment bill was inappropriate …

    If he really believed that, I wonder why he didn’t object to Seymour’s SOP, which would have prevented the SOP being adopted?

    We will know that, next time the opposition complains that the government is passing laws without select committee scrutiny, what the standard is.

    The SOP that added Doocey’s Bill to the Statutes Amendment Bill was not an opposition measure.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    The SOP that added Doocey’s Bill to the Statutes Amendment Bill was not an opposition measure.

    No, but the opposition didn't object, and it would only have taken one.

    If he really believed that, I wonder why he didn’t object to Seymour’s SOP, which would have prevented the SOP being adopted?

    Caucus collective whatever it is, and absence from the House at the time it happened.

    What currently prevents an airport authority from making a bylaw under s.9 that allows for on-line auction sales? How is that not “providing for the sale by way of auction of any such property that is unclaimed”?

    Statutory interpretation in light of similar auction laws, and the amendments to the Policing legislation needing to be explicit?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Geddis,

    No, but the opposition didn't object, and it would only have taken one.

    So, the next time the opposition complains about select committee stages being skipped, we can compare the measure they are complaining about to Doocey's bill and if they are substantively the same simply point to this and tell them to go away. But if the measure isn't substantively the same, we can't. Also the next time Chris Bishop says "X isn't suitable for a Statutes Amendment Bill", we can simply point to this, and tell him to go away?

    Statutory interpretation in light of similar auction laws, and the amendments to the Policing legislation needing to be explicit?

    Did it really "need" to be explicit, or is it simply a case of Parliament taking the opportunity to avoid all doubt? The Police Act 1958 simply mandated that a "public auction" be used to sell lost property. The rewrite in 2008 then unpacks that mandated procedure in more detail to more specifically explain what it means in a modern context. That unpacking doesn't just say you can use the internet to sell stuff - it also states an auction may be "at premises open to the public". Do you think that this change means that, prior to it, the Police could auction property at premises NOT open to the public? If not, then why the "need" to be explicit about it?

    By contrast, the Airports Authority Act confers a broad power to make bylaws "providing for the establishing and maintaining of facilities at the airport for the reception and storage of lost property, and ... providing for the sale by way of auction of any such property that is unclaimed". So it is for the Authority to determine the form of auction it will use, provided that it does not exceed the four corners of the empowering provision. And given that, as you say:

    Selling some types of items at an online auction site is likely to increase the amount of money received for them, and when we’re talking about public assets (which unclaimed lost property is), giving those tasked with looking after those assets powers to best realise public benefit from them is good

    why would a bylaw saying "Queenstown airport may sell lost property by way of an auction on the Trade Me website" be ultra vires?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    Also the next time Chris Bishop says “X isn’t suitable for a Statutes Amendment Bill”, we can simply point to this, and tell him to go away?

    Yes.

    why would a bylaw saying “Queenstown airport may sell lost property by way of an auction on the Trade Me website” be ultra vires?

    I’m not saying it would. On balance, I agree with you. I’m think it would probably be lawful. Perhaps even highly probably so. The beauty of select committee consideration of legislation is that we can turn very high probabilities into certainties. And for me, that’s appropriately part of the test of when select committee consideration can be justifiably dispensed with: are we certain the legislation is flawless?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

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