“MPs who want to see a four year term have an option to have it debated in parliament immediately by supporting my Constitution (Enabling a 4-Year Term) Amendment Bill,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Those who say they support the concept can opt to have it debated by supporting a Bill I have already submitted. The 61 MPs who are not part of the Government could see it debated this month and a referendum held at the next election. This is thanks to a new rule that a Bill can skip the biscuit tin and be debated immediately if 61 MPs agree.
“The Bill extends the Parliamentary term to four years only if the Government effectively turns control of Select Committees over to the opposition. This would bring real scrutiny of legislation, Minsters and officials. Instead of facing a committee controlled members of the Governing party, they would face a grilling from the Opposition.
“Submitters on new laws would have a different experience, too. Instead of facing a Committee led by members of the Governing party, they would find themselves being listened to by a Committee controlled by opposition MPs interested in critiquing Government Bills.
“We need Select Committees to be an independent voice of the legislature to ask probing questions, scrutinise government actions, and reflect the submissions of the public to the Government.
“The Bill would give governments the time they need to introduce their manifesto while also giving legislation the scrutiny it deserves.
“ACT is the party of sensible law making. We believe in good public policy that improves the lives of New Zealanders.”