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The House Profile

The House

English, National/National politics/National assembly, 1 seasons, 109 episodes, 15 hours 34 minutes
Legislation, issues and insights from Parliament.
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Parliament pauses out of respect for Efeso Collins

Parliament has paused out of respect for the Green Party MP Efeso Collins who died unexpectedly in Auckland this morning.
21/02/20244 minutes 50 seconds
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Is Casey Costello facing a privilege complaint?

Wise MPs apologise hard and early, but Casey Costello's correction may be late. The Speaker appears to have revealed he is considering a complaint over a matter of privilege.
20/02/20245 minutes 10 seconds
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Water reforms ditched and digital hitches: Parliament week

This weekly wrap of The House looks at the repeal of major water reforms passed in the last Parliament term, and a Select Committee hearing on news media's existential crisis.
17/02/202413 minutes 52 seconds
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News media existential crisis comes to select committee

A select committee is considering views on a bill that seeks a more level playing field in the digital market that our media industry operates in, where tech giants dominate.
15/02/20248 minutes 36 seconds
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Water reforms down the drain after repeal bill

The Water Services Acts Repeal Bill has passed through all stages while Parliament went into urgency.
14/02/20244 minutes 45 seconds
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Marathon sitting block underway with more repeals

An unusually long sitting block begins today at Parliament, beginning with another repeal of law passed by the previous government.
13/02/20244 minutes 55 seconds
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Parliament's new bible

Parliament's Clerk has just published a new edition of Parliament's own bible, a vast and fascinating compendium of our democracy - Parliamentary Practice in New Zealand.
10/02/202414 minutes 27 seconds
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Select Committee live-streaming moves off Facebook

Live-streaming of public select committee hearings is now being hosted on Parliament’s own website instead of on Facebook.
03/02/202414 minutes
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Harder than it looks: Welcome to the ministry Ms Costello

Being a government minister is harder than it looks. Parliament is a tough master of its governments. This week a clutch of ministers made mea culpas, and one is learning fast just how hard it can be.
01/02/20243 minutes 59 seconds
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Legislative year begins with ending Productivity Commission

The first piece of legislation Parliament is looking at in 2024 disestablishes a Crown entity that MPs all agreed has been doing great work. But they don't all agree that it should go.
31/01/20244 minutes 53 seconds
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New Year, newish Parliament, new MPs

Leader of the House, Chris Bishop, outlines the week to come in Parliament. A week with 19 maidens and just two bills. 
30/01/20245 minutes 7 seconds
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Parliament 2023, year of the shake-up

The House offers a selection of some of the highs and lows, and behind the scenes chats, from a year of great change at Parliament.
24/12/202314 minutes 57 seconds
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Quick bills, long weeks at Parliament

When governments change, the new bunch typically want to quickly make a mark. The first weeks have been long weeks, all about marking fast marks.
21/12/20234 minutes 44 seconds
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Digging in: MPs' grind towards year's end

There’s a look in the eyes of many people who work on precinct that tells you they just want this parliamentary year to finish already, but it’s not quite done yet.
20/12/20234 minutes 54 seconds
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Parliament's Speaker has outlined his approach to Question Time

The Speaker's role and approach are crucial to Parliament's good functioning. Gerry Brownlee has outlined to MPs what approach he will take in enforcing Parliament's rules regarding Question Time.
19/12/20234 minutes 34 seconds
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Early stanzas: getting a feel for the new Parliament

It's early in the 54th Parliament and things are dynamic, with many MPs either still finding their feet or feeling out the others to see how they roll.
16/12/202314 minutes 48 seconds
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The House For Thursday 14 December 2023

The latest from the House
14/12/20236 minutes 1 second
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Crash learning: MPs adjust to new roles

Parliament’s in urgency in this hectic, penultimate week before Christmas, and most MPs are undergoing a kind of crash course of learning and adjustment.
13/12/20234 minutes 22 seconds
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Question Time answers become optional

Parliament is discovering how the Speaker will interpret its rules. Today's contention was can he force good answers from ministers, or indeed, any answers.
12/12/20235 minutes 46 seconds
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Parliament: A change of ends and a new referee

A new Parliament, a new Prime Minister, a new Speaker. There was a lot going on at Parliament in the first week of its 54th incarnation.
09/12/202317 minutes 45 seconds
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Parliament’s first choice of debate topic is Gaza

Parliament pushed back it's business on Thursday to begin with an hour of debate over how far to go in calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
07/12/20235 minutes 15 seconds
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Pomp and ceremony gets Parliament underway

Parliament business got underway after the State Opening of the 54th Parliament, a ceremony of pomp and pageantry culminating in the Speech from the Throne.
06/12/20234 minutes 5 seconds
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Parliament's new Speaker hints at free flow style

The new Speaker Gerry Brownlee has offered a heads-up about how he'll run Parliament, with Standing Orders to be a mere guide rather than a strict line to follow.
05/12/20234 minutes 58 seconds
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New Parliament, new rules

The final thing Parliament did before adjourning was agree rules changes for the next Parliament. We discuss them with senior clerks David Wilson and Gabor Hellyer.
03/09/202315 minutes 54 seconds
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The rule untravelled: changes MPs wanted but didn’t get

Before Parliament adjourned it agreed new rules for next time. In discussing them MPs gave glimpses into the rules they would like to change and the Parliament they wished existed.
01/09/20233 minutes 59 seconds
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Voting age for local council elections debated

MPs have been debating whether to lower the voting age for local council elections to 16 years of age from the current age of 18.
30/08/20235 minutes 20 seconds
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A week to wrap up Parliament

The last sitting week of the 53rd Parliament has a fairly packed schedule of government business, plus debate on the Standing Orders Committee's regular report, and the Adjournment Debate.
29/08/20236 minutes
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Beyond the tiles, the work of photographers at Parliament

If there’s one group who we don’t hear enough about, it’s the photographers who cover Parliament. A new exhibition is casting light on five of these practitioners. We talk to two of them.
26/08/202314 minutes 21 seconds
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Todd Muller and 'What might have been'

Among a long week. of debates at Parliament, MPs still found the time for farewell speeches from departing colleagues. Todd Muller's stood out and while uncomfortable for his colleagues, it is worth noting.
24/08/20235 minutes 20 seconds
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Valedictory warning about divisive style of politics

As more valedictory speeches were heard in Parliament’s chamber, a warning was sounded from a departing MP about race baiting and dog whistling to extremism.
23/08/20237 minutes 15 seconds
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Parliament's final six busy days

It is the second to last sitting week for Parliament but there is still a mountain of bills to get finalised before the MPs wearily trudge home.
22/08/20234 minutes 30 seconds
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'Stay grounded and connected to the community' - Aupito William Sio

The Labour MP for Māngere, Aupito William Sio is leaving Parliament after a sixteen year-stint which encompassed nine years in Opposition bookended by spells in Government.
19/08/202318 minutes 43 seconds
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So many bills, so little time

Parliament has just days left before it ends for the election. The closer dissolution gets, the harder the MPs are pushing to fit everything in - almost like they're cramming four years of legislating into three years.
17/08/20234 minutes 10 seconds
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Valedictories: Tell us what you really think

Valedictory speech season has begun, and if there’s a common theme cropping up already, it’s a plea for a less toxic style of politics in Parliament.
16/08/20234 minutes 57 seconds
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Final sitting block underway, urgency planned

This week is the first of the last three weeks in the 53rd Parliament, a busy time as the Government still has a lot that it wants to finish before the House rises.
15/08/20235 minutes 42 seconds
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Soft parliamentary diplomacy for more women MPs in the Pacific

The majority of all female elected representatives across the Pacific Islands region visited Wellington for a development event, showcasing the merits of soft diplomacy, Parliament-style.
12/08/202318 minutes 8 seconds
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Committee's scrutiny of Covid regulations fleshed out

This week MPs had a special debate about the report of the Regulations Review Committee on Covid-19 Secondary Legislation. 
05/08/202313 minutes 57 seconds
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Bill looks to address Dawn Raids-linked injustice

A new Member's Bill looks to fix a 40-year-old outcome of the anti-Pacific racism of the Dawn Raids era, restoring the right to New Zealand citizenship for a generation of Samoan people.
03/08/20235 minutes 12 seconds
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National security briefing: prepare for the unpredictable

The Intelligence and Security Committee has received a briefing on long-term national security threats which has incorporated a public survey and public consultation which found New Zealanders perceive threats to national security are increasing.
02/08/20234 minutes 57 seconds
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Special debate to focus on Covid regulations

We're reminded of the important role of the Regulations Review Committee as Parliament this week holds a special debate about the committee's report on Covid-19 regulations.
01/08/20234 minutes 57 seconds
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Todd Muller, the human factor

Todd Muller is leaving Parliament. Known for a brief stint as Opposition leader, he also won plaudits for his bipartisanship and advocating for awareness about mental health.
29/07/202322 minutes 25 seconds
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Te Kāhui Mōuri lights up Parliament's face

Visitors entering the main entrance to Parliament can finally notice some visual signs of Māori culture and physical recognition of mana whenua.
27/07/20236 minutes 11 seconds
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The House drops into first gear on RMA

This week the Government added a morning sitting of the House to ‘get stuck into’ completing debate on RMA reform. The Opposition just aimed for ‘stuck’.
26/07/20234 minutes 10 seconds
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Election Energy inside Parliament

As MPs count down to the election Parliament’s mood changes. The Opposition’s House leader Michael Woodhouse predicts “more anger, frivolity, perhaps less discipline”. “Perhaps” seems generous.
26/07/20234 minutes 30 seconds
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Photo essay: cross-party MP group in Samoa

Five New Zealand MPs from across the political spectrum are visiting Samoa to build relationships within the country - and among themselves.
22/07/202317 minutes 24 seconds
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Urgency done with urgency

During a briefer than usual urgent sitting in Parliament this week, multiple bills were progressed through multiple stages each in what would normally take a couple of sitting weeks of debate.
20/07/20234 minutes 41 seconds
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Parliamentary Privilege: a balance of power and responsibility

When MPs screw up the consequences can be public and brutal. But sometimes that response has solid reasons which safeguard our system of responsible government.
19/07/20234 minutes 26 seconds
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Privileges and more than a sense of urgency

Parliament has just six weeks left before it breaks for the election. There is still a lot yet to do, and to slow that down, one or two matters of privilege. 
18/07/20234 minutes 43 seconds
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Geoffrey Palmer: Strengthen Parliament to watch government

As an MP Sir Geoffrey Palmer had a huge impact on the interlocking shapes of government and parliament. The great reformer is still brimming with ideas for improvement.
15/07/202315 minutes 19 seconds
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Ian McKelvie: Parliament's last country squire

Something of a throwback to when most National MPs staunchly represented farming interests, Ian McKelvie is however ending his career as an MP not defined by the tribal lines of party politics. 
08/07/202311 minutes 33 seconds
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The ways of Parliament’s committees

This week, RNZ’s Parliament show, The House, focused on the processes and outcomes of Parliament’s Select Committees. The Sunday show is a collation of this content.
01/07/202311 minutes 25 seconds
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Therapeutic Products Bill in the panel-beater workshop

The Therapeutic Products Bill is one of those pieces of legislation that requires a fair bit of panel-beating in a select committee, and even then not everyone's happy with its shape. 
29/06/20235 minutes 8 seconds
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How select committees tweak bills

When things threaten to go awry it can help us learn how they work. So, how do Select Committees decide to amend bills, who helps them; and how do they track amendments and communicate with the legal drafters?
28/06/20235 minutes 59 seconds
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Parliament's backstop for extra government spending

An Imprest Supply Bill is Parliament’s way of saying to the government 'yes you can have that money, but also if you find you need to use more money on it, you don't need to come back and ask again'.
27/06/20234 minutes 57 seconds
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Ministerial Grillapalooza: Photos from Parliament’s Estimates Hearings

Parliament has hit the time of year it turns into a combination of Glastonbury and the Inquisition - the multi-pronged miniterial grilling called Estimates Hearings.
24/06/202314 minutes 53 seconds
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ACT’s pile-on Question Time tactic

The ACT Party has this month latched on to a Question Time tactic of using consecutive supplementary questions on a repetitive theme as a pile-on against the government.
22/06/20235 minutes 10 seconds
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Bill tackling supermarket duopoly to become law

Legislation tackling a power imbalance in the grocery industry is among several bills that wound their way through the committee stage in Parliament this week.
21/06/20234 minutes 12 seconds
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Empty the mattress: Parliament’s week

Among Parliament's key bills this week is one to update emergency management relationships and one to protect your bank deposits because mattresses have better uses. Grant Robertson picks his bills to watch.
20/06/20234 minutes 3 seconds
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Jan Logie: Balancing frustration with hope

Jan Logie admits she had “zero faith in our political system” before entering Parliament, but remains hopeful of what can be achieved here, as she prepares to retire as MP.
17/06/202322 minutes 45 seconds
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'A bob each way': Jacqui Dean on Parliament career

As she prepares to retire after 18 years in Parliament, National's Jacqui Dean has a refreshing knack for straight talk, and doesn’t mince her words about the work of an MP.
17/06/202319 minutes 11 seconds
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The House For Sunday 18 June 2023

In the first in a series of exit interviews with retiring MPs, The House sits down with Green MP Jan Logie and National’s Jacqui Dean to reflect on their time at Parliament.
15/06/202314 minutes 50 seconds
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The unbridled Question Time

For any of Parliament’s speakers, the daily Question Time is a tricky horse to manage, let alone tame. Every Speaker brings a different approach, the current Speaker is trying riding with no reins at all.
10/06/202313 minutes 16 seconds
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Rugby, racing and beer: MPs tackle NZ's holy trinity

MPs have been making laws to enable access to alcohol at race meetings on race days and during those early hours at pubs when rugby's World Cup is broadcast from France.
08/06/20234 minutes 47 seconds
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Question Time as a forum for political messaging

As the election nears, Question Time transforms into a forum for party political messaging. It’s not the ideal format for messaging and it doesn’t always go well. 
06/06/20234 minutes 21 seconds
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Testy exchange highlights reach of select committee

A testy exchange in the foreign affairs select committee this week served as a reminder that Parliament’s committees decide for themselves who they should be briefed by and how often.
03/06/202312 minutes 59 seconds
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Justice Committee focus on youth justice

Parliament's justice committee has been hearing experts on youth justice, the age of criminal responsibility, and better outcomes from alternative approaches to justice.
01/06/20234 minutes 25 seconds
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Third readings for two number twos

MPs passed two bills about number twos this week – one regulating freedom camping toilets, and another creating a role to assist family court judges.
31/05/20234 minutes 9 seconds
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How the Opposition shares its shots at Government

The Shadow Leader of the House, Michael Woodhouse, talks us through how questions are allocated and who gets to ask them on Question Time.
30/05/20235 minutes 38 seconds
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Disability access a work in progress for parliament

Efforts are underway to make Parliament more accessible for people who live with disability, after a new position of Senior Accessibility Advisor was established.
27/05/202317 minutes 53 seconds
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Budget week goings on, diamonds in the rough

This week was Budget week at Parliament, but instead of boring you with numbers, The House dives into limitations of party leaders' responses in the Budget Debate and what got done under urgency.
20/05/202314 minutes 15 seconds
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I oppose this awful [add details] plan

Budget day is all about the Minister of Finance’s big reveal. But spare a thought for other party leaders who must prepare speeches opposing something they haven't read yet.
19/05/20236 minutes 2 seconds
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Stuff that went down under Budget urgency

It’s the norm following the delivery of the Budget for the House to go into urgency, when government moves through legislation directly related to the Budget and some other stuff too.
19/05/20234 minutes 31 seconds
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Member's Bill: a rough diamond waiting to be shaped

A member’s bill freshly picked from the biscuit tin is like a rough diamond waiting to be shaped, according to the MP behind the latest member’s bill on the order paper.
17/05/20234 minutes 54 seconds
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Budget '23: the ceremonial nature of a big day

The Minister of Finance talks us through the ceremonial nature of the delivery of the Budget in Parliament.
16/05/20237 minutes 1 second
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MPs make great talkers, but terrible tellers

Parliament changed a long-standing rule this week and will now leave the counting of votes to the experts. It turns out MPs just aren’t that good at counting.
13/05/202313 minutes 53 seconds
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Private bill offers a more reflective debate

Because a private bill addresses a specific matter particular to just one person it offers a more mellow and reflective style of parliament debate.
11/05/20235 minutes
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Officers of Parliament face more complex and demanding environment

The latest from the House
10/05/20234 minutes 18 seconds
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Congratulating an ‘heir’ but pondering ‘successors’

MPs voted today to congratulate Charles III on his coronation. But while noting the heir, thoughts of an alternative Head of State are not far away. Is it not just inevitable but timely? National’s Michael Woodhouse on the Monarchy.
09/05/20234 minutes 34 seconds
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Backbench MPs take on Russia

Backbench MPs sometimes quietly engage in international diplomacy. One relatively junior MP recently faced off against Russia on behalf of not just NZ, but also Canada, Australia and all of Europe.
06/05/202314 minutes 25 seconds
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Luxon v Sepuloni exchanges follow repetitive rhythm

A rare series of square-offs between Opposition Leader Chris Luxon and Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni in her capacity as Acting Prime Minister became repetitive.
04/05/20234 minutes 30 seconds
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Tourette's Association speaks on petition at health committee

Parliament’s Health Select Committee has heard from people petitioning for Tourette Syndrome to be recognised by the Ministry of Health as a disability in its own right in this country.
03/05/20234 minutes 26 seconds
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Portents and harbingers of the Budget

Budgets are wrapped up in a combination of mystery and tradition. The portents of the Budget to come have begun already and will only increase as it nears.
02/05/20234 minutes 39 seconds
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Parliament's first Te Reo Māori outreach

MPs have joined Parliament's Speaker in visiting regional New Zealand for five years, but for the first time a Speaker's outreach has gone all-in on Te Reo Māori at an immersion Kura.
29/04/202314 minutes 52 seconds
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Long game: activism at Parliament

Their work is usually unpaid and sometimes overlooked, but activists play an important long-term role in the parliament system. Four veterans open up on their experiences at parliament.
22/04/202325 minutes 59 seconds
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Behind the scenes of Cabinet

Rachel Hayward has two overlapping jobs, ‘organising’ both Cabinet and the Executive Council. Those twin roles are an also a great insight into how government works at the very highest level.
15/04/202316 minutes 38 seconds
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Jacinda Ardern: Text and Photos - full valedictory

Prime Minister’s farewell speeches are rare events. We have photos, video and the full transcript of Jacinda Ardern’s valedictory address.
08/04/202314 minutes 58 seconds
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Booze bill blocked in conscience vote

Legislation on alcohol went to a conscience vote this week, and the result was a reminder how some parties still tend to vote as a group on such issues.
06/04/20238 minutes 30 seconds
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The annual review debate: the butt-end of the budget

In a busy week of Parliament one of the most crucial things MPs did may have got the least attention. Financial scrutiny is seldom exciting but it is important.
05/04/20234 minutes 19 seconds
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Exits, entries and grog: the week in Parliament

Parliament's week includes a mix of debate on a key police scrutiny role, annual reviews and two bills about booze, as well as the farewell speech from a familiar face.
04/04/20239 minutes 41 seconds
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Eight new bills for Parliament’s final months 

Despite a week of distractions MPs were working. Hard. Ten bills were finished, and eight brand new bills began their lives, ready for the remaining weeks of this parliamentary term.   
01/04/202314 minutes 48 seconds
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Ten bills passed this week in Parliament

Parliament spent extra hours this week churning through quite a long list of proposed legislation, with ten bills completing their third and final readings.
30/03/20234 minutes 32 seconds
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Extra scrutiny for Immigration

Question Time gets all the media attention, but it is only the tip of the scrutiny-iceberg. The action is below the waterline - in committee, where most of Parliament’s scrutiny of Government happens.
29/03/20234 minutes 12 seconds
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Enabling lawmaking on the fly

Parliament can grant powers to certain authorities to make new rules without having to go through the normal lengthy legislative process.
28/03/20234 minutes 27 seconds
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Keeping the flow: the use of te reo at Parliament

An increased appetite to learn Te reo Māori among different parts of the Parliament system means the work of the Māori Language Service is in demand more than ever.
25/03/202314 minutes 55 seconds
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The ominously named Shadow Leader

Parliament has a charming tendency to gift people with very odd job titles, like Shadow Leader of the House. Michael Woodhouse outlines what the job entails (and it's neither shade nor homes).
18/03/202314 minutes 53 seconds
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Political pile-on or Parliament as designed?

This week MPs discussed Stuart Nash’s loss of a ministerial warrant for an hour. It may have looked like a political pile-on, but in reality it was Parliament doing exactly what it is designed for – scrutiny of the Executive. 
16/03/20234 minutes 35 seconds
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'Fairly busy': National Emergency Management Agency at committee

Response to recent climate disasters was the focus as the National Emergency Management Agency appeared before the Governance and Administration Committee for its annual review.
15/03/20235 minutes 12 seconds
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Parliament may fast-track cyclone law without urgency

Parliament this week may agree to act speedily on a cyclone response bill, rather than invoke urgency. Doing so will allow some select committee time on the issue, and even a Member's Day.
14/03/20234 minutes
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Tabling and other Parliamentage

This week’s weekend feature story for The House compiles highlights from through Parliament’s sitting week.
11/03/202313 minutes 2 seconds
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Unpacked: seeking leave to table a document

It’s a common occurrence in the House for opposition MPs to ask to “seek leave to table a document”, but have you wondered what this really means?
09/03/20233 minutes 41 seconds
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Hamilton West MP honours tūpuna in maiden statement

Maiden Statements are usually the public’s first and sometimes best chance to learn about an MP's motivations and politics, and new Hamilton West MP Tama Potaka's was no exception.
08/03/20234 minutes 25 seconds
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The non-legislative week in the House

In Parliament this week there are three things happening that have nothing to do with passing legislation. Leader of the House Grant Robertson explains them to the House.
07/03/20234 minutes 45 seconds
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Talking the talk: how MPs' backgrounds inform debating style

The House takes a look at how the backgrounds of three MPs informs the way they speak in Parliament.
04/03/202313 minutes 43 seconds
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Democracy on the cheap: Skint Parliament to turn off the radio

After years of trimming budgets and doing things on-the-cheap to make ends meet Parliament’s secretariat has hit the budget wall and plans to end radio broadcasts. It’s a symptom of MP's fear of funding democracy properly.
25/02/202314 minutes 40 seconds
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Urgency used to pass Bill fixing 501 deportees loophole

Legislation has been passed under urgency to ensure all people returning to the country after being in prison systems abroad continue to come under parole-like oversight and support back in New Zealand
23/02/20234 minutes 30 seconds
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Entrenchment use under the grill in Standing Orders review

The use of entrenchment in law-making in this country has had a sound grilling at the Standing Orders Committee which is conducting its ongoing regular review of Parliament’s rules.
22/02/20236 minutes 21 seconds
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Cyclone devastation and climate dominate PM's Statement debate

Today the debating chamber launched into action as it does most years - but this year was all about the weather and the climate.
21/02/20235 minutes 39 seconds
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Parliament gets cracking proper with PM's Statement and disaster bills

After a week of business in the House was lost due to Cyclone Gabrielle, Parliament’s sitting year properly gets underway today with Debate on the Prime Minister’s Statement.
21/02/20234 minutes 34 seconds
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Short, cyclone-hit week starts Parliament 2023

After a two-month break, Parliament resumed only to soon adjourn for the week as Cyclone Gabrielle complicated plans for the first sitting week in 2023.
14/02/20234 minutes 23 seconds