Summarised by Centrist
In his article, “Questions raised and thoughts aired about legislation rushed through parliament under urgency limiting scrutiny of it”, Eric Frykberg writes on the growing apprehension surrounding the expedited passage of laws in New Zealand’s Parliament without prior notice or debate.
A number of academics and the New Zealand Law Society have expressed their concern over the frequent use of “urgency” depriving Kiwis of essential in-depth scrutiny over legislation and increasing potential for technical errors in the final laws.
Urgency, which should ideally be reserved for genuine emergencies, is now often applied to laws that don’t meet this criterion, leading to a lack of expert input, public engagement, and understanding of the legislation.
New Zealand’s parliament lacks an upper house, making the select committee process crucial for thorough examination.
Opposition parties also argue that this practice often leads to sneaky policy changes, evading the balanced democratic scrutiny and legislative rules of normal procedure.
But what can be done?