In a moment straight out of Hollywood and a demonstration of an MMP Parliament working as it should, the Minister walks into the Chamber with a handwritten amendment to the Bill…
Minister Simon Power was persuaded by the debate in the House to amend the legislation under discussion.
The right of the accused person to be present in Court during the whole of his trial (subject to practical constraints) was to be undermined by proposal in the Courts (Remote Participation) Bill.
When the dust settled MP after MP stood up to reflect on what happened.
Here’s our own Kennedy Graham:
It is great to see that the Government has listened to the Green, Labour and Maori parties and protected the right of defendants to be present at their own trial …I salute the Minister for his decision to accede to our entreaties. The outcome is a victory for parliamentary democracy.
Labour’s Chris Hipkins said it was unusual for parties to all work together in this collaborative manner … the public like to see more of this …
National’s Chester Borrows said we worked together in a very collaborative way … there was a willingness to engage with … the enduring nature to it [the legislation] because it will work past those political divisions…
National’s Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi said a very good standard of democracy [was displayed]… good government always listens to logical reason.
Labour’s David Parker said it’s the sort of interchange that we should have in respect to pieces of legislation that the public wants us to do… We have actually built confidence in this institution this week.
It was the hope of supporters of MMP that Parliament would regain its function of deliberating on legislation drawing on broad community perspectives and engaging in constructive debate.
Wednesday was a further illustration of MMP delivering great democracy for New Zealanders.