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Member's Bills, arbitrarily rated
Parliament Website Wrote:Members' bills are bills introduced by members who are not Ministers. Every second Wednesday the House gives precedence to local, private, and members' bills. On these days members' bills are debated.  

I bolded the "not ministers" bit, currently of our 120 members of parliament, there are 29 ministers (20 from Labour, 5 from New Zealand First, 4 from Greens). Accordingly we ought to have 91 non-minister members that can submit bills, however the website currently only lists 66 proposed bills. Not sure what the deal is there, but whatever.

This is one way that members that are either in opposition or not in a position of particular power within the coalition can voice something important to them.

I'm going to go through each proposed member's bill and talk about them and give them ratings out of 5.
Beware my own political bias will be a big part of this
I'll likely get bored of this before getting through all 66
please comment and validate all my wasted time
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Access to End of Life Palliative Care Bill
by Hon Maggie Barry
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National Party, Rank #22
Proposal length: 9 pages

This is a bill which aims to increase access to palliative care for people who are on their way out. The wording reminded me a lot of the Catholic anti-euthanasia rhetoric, and it turns out this bill is indeed in response to David Seymours euthanasia bill, to which Barry does not like. Maggie Barry was raised by observing Catholics but it seems like she is no longer practicing (she has not married her partner and their kid therefore wasn't raised in the proper Catholic way, but I dunno, haven't done much research).

I think this sort of amendment is valuable and compassionate, but it is being pitched(at least implicitly) as an alternative to future euthanasia legislation (as opposed to compatible with).

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This bill therefore gets 3 stars out of five, losing one star for the Catholic agenda and one star for reactionism against (not even legal yet)euthanasia
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Accident Compensation (Notice of Decisions) Amendment Bill
by Hon Tim Macindoe

National Party, Rank #28
Proposal length: 4 pages

So apparently, currently if you make an work related ACC claim then they notify your employer, unless you make a new claim on a re-injury from a previously granted work-related ACC claim, so it makes it harder for the employer to appeal against the claim. Tim Macindoe is the spokesperson for ACC so I guess it seems reasonable that he is aware that this is a problem... I'm always a little skeptical of amending bills to make it easier for employers to appeal this sort of thing but on the face of it, it seems legit.

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This bill gets four stars, three for sounding reasonable, and one for being only 4 pages. It loses one because I do not trust the National party
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Adverse Weather-affected Timber Recovery on Conservation Lands Bill
by Maureen Pugh

National Party, Rank #52
Proposal length: 12 pages

I've heard on good authority that Maureen Pugh is fucking useless, and with that in mind a 12 page submission to let the director-general of conservation cut down native trees has me immediately uncharitably skeptical.
Specifically, cutting down native trees which are already dead or irreversibly damaged due to weather events or similar.  

But the bill would have it so you can apply to director general to have a tree cut down if the director general invites you to apply, provided it is (among other things) "damaged to the extent that it is not possible to recover naturally". But, like, if we're already jumping through hoops already, why not consider non-natural tree recovery (there's a bunch of tree doctoring shit that we do these days).

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So, one and a half stars. Maureen loses one for her proposal being too long, one because Simon Bridges was mean to her, one because I think this is a dumb bill, and one because she is a weird conspiracy theorist. She gets back half a star because all this ad hominem I'm throwing at her is sort of mean
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Age of Majority (Attainment at 18 Years) Amendment Bill
by Brett Hudson

National Party, Rank #29
Proposal length: 5 pages

This bill would change all instances of the law where it talks about the adult age being 20 years to 18 years, to make it all consistent and reasonable.

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I like this. It gets 4 stars for being reasonable, orderly and to the point. It loses a point for not really doing anything important.
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This great! My favourite level of detail, enough to give me the illusion of being informed and making rash judgments, but not enough to make me useful. I look forward to the reviews of the other 62 proposals.

I'm guessing the reason the other 25 non-ministers did not make a proposal is because they are lazy and/or disillusioned.

I feel like a lot of these are just "busy work". I was kinda hoping for some utterly ridiculous and stupid proposals.

Oh wow. Maureen Pugh is a legit crazy.
Burial and Cremation (Removal of Audit Requirement for Cemetery Trusts) Amendment Bill
by Tim van de Molen

National Party, Rank #49
Proposal length: 4 pages

This bill would remove the requirement for cemetery trusts that earn less than $50,000 a year to be audited by the auditor-general. Tim insinuates that because cemetery trusts are often run by volunteers maybe this would make it easier for them to be run with this change? He says that there are currently 95 cemetery trusts and currently all but 1 report less than $50,000 annually. Not sure what this one high earning cemetery trust is (I tried to find out but don't even really know where to look), but it seems kinda odd that he's sort of singling out this one trust. Are they his enemy?

I don't really get the advantage of this bill, unless the audits are a real hassle for cemetery trust runners, and are a real burden, but I don't really see it. Auditing is good and a corrupt or mismanaged trust of (potentially) many cemeteries by people who are apparently often not experts, just sounds like a shitshow waiting to happen.

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I'm giving this 2 stars. He loses one because it feels like he's specifically targeting that 1 cemetery trust, he loses three because I think this is a bad idea. He gets back one because this proposal is very succinct and I like that
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Celebrant Eligibility Expansion Bill
by Hon Scott Simpson

National Party, Rank #14

This bill removes some restrictions on being a marriage celebrant, so to reflect the changing demographics of NZ society, where much more weddings and funerals are run by "independents" than by organised religions and the like, while the number of celebrants that are not religiously-affiliated do not represent that.

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This gets 4 stars for being reasonable, but can't have 5 stars because, Paula Bennett has just recently become a marriage celebrant, and, how godless and unreasonable can you go from there?
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Citizenship (Acknowledgement of Te Tiriti o Waitangi) Amendment Bill
by Chlöe Swarbrick

Green Party, Rank #7
Proposal length: 5 pages

Chloe's bill would have new citizens be told that New Zealand is founded on and proudly stands by the Te Tiriti o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi, and also tell them which hapu and iwi are local to their new region of residence. Given that interpretation of the treaty is somewhat controversial it's an interesting claim, but I guess no matter which interpretation of the treaty one has, at least I guess we're all in favour of following through on that? Also, rather than just being told which hapu/iwi are local, would be nice to have a representative there at the ceremony? But I guess that doesn't really need to be written into the law...

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3 stars, starting at 2.5 with my ambivalence towards the whole thing, but gets another half for being succinct
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Companies (Employees’ Liquidation Cap) Amendment Bill
by Jo Luxton

Labour Party, rank #32
Proposal length: 3 pages

So when a company is liquidated, all remaining assets or whatever are turned liquid (into sweet cash money) and the liquidators and creditors take their melted pieces of the puddle pie. Next the employees are paid out any outstanding pay they are owed. This bill would change the timeline of due money from 3 to 6 months, and increase the max payout from $22,160 to $30,000. These amounts will be adjusted by average weekly earnings.

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I give this 4.5 stars. Workers so often get fucked when companies close and so getting them just a little bit more is great. Loses half a star for being a little underwhelming. Really I think that we should change laws so we can go after irresponsible/dishonest CEOs and trust funders and the like who steal corporate money and leave the employees with nothing... but pragmatically that seems a bit out of reach for a members bill (they are rarely passed and seems to really only be good for incremental changes)
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