Bonn gives new meaning to “meter maids” with a simple system for taxing its strumpets

September 3, 2011

Manurewa MP George Hawkins – a bit of an old fusspot who won’t be missed by Alf after the election – put a parliamentary question to the chairperson of the Local Government and Environment Committee a few weeks ago about the Manukau City Council (Regulation of Prostitution in Specified Places) Bill.

This silly piece of legislation initially was aimed at ridding the streets of Manukau of harlots by banning prostitutes from some areas of south Auckland.

It was promoted by the former Manukau council to deal with problems with street workers, particularly in Papatoetoe.

If passed it would result in prostitutes being fined up to $2000 if they are caught soliciting in banned areas.

But the legislative process has been slowed by the creation of the super city of Auckland and Manukau’s absorption within it.

And now – the way Alf recalls things – it will give the Auckland Council the power to make similar by-laws throughout Auckland.

Anyway, George wanted to know when the bill will be reported back to the House, and Chris Auchinvole said it has a reporting back date of 8 September.

But before things are signed and sealed in this bill for controlling street-walkers, we should consider the merits of an idea being implemented in Bonn.

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Nah, this ‘punchup’ is simply some pricklish politicking about a teenage strumpet called Holly

September 19, 2010

The first thing Alf has to say this morning is that the SST has conned him – and all its readers – with its headline Political punchup over call-girl claim.

There was no punch-up.

Not even the hint of a bit of arm wrestling or of someone firmly putting an arm on the shoulders of someone else.

The second thing to say is that the story involves George Hawkins, mostly known to Alf as a bloke who spat the dummy when the Labour Party placed him around 25th on its party list in 2006. Hawkins thought he deserved a higher place, withdrew his name from the list, and won the seat handsomely when he stood for election in Manurewa.

But Alf reckons this tells us much more about the collective wisdom of the people of Manurewa than about the electoral appeal of George Hawkins, although the voters did have the good sense to lop his majority when he stood again in 2008.

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Super City filibuster is beaten at last

May 17, 2009

It’s great to be home again.

Alf has been held prisoner in Wellington, in effect, by the Labour Party’s playing funny buggers in Parliament to stall the passage of the Super City legislation.

As Radio NZ reports:

Legislation paving the way for the new Auckland super-city has passed in Parliament after four days of almost non-stop debate.

The Local Government (Tamaki Makaurau Reorganisation) Bill, setting up the new Auckland council and a transition agency to oversee its establishment, was passed into law just before 8pm on Saturday.

Local Government Minister Rodney Hide said the legislation provided for the establishment of the Auckland council from 1 November next year, the establishment of the Auckland Transition Agency and the requirement for existing local authorities to participate in the changeover.

The Sunday Star-Times points out the marathon session of Parliament was ended only after the Government figured out a way to short circuit the Opposition’s delaying tactics.

Labour dragged out the debate – known as filibustering – on two bills to set up a single council in Auckland, but the Government introduced its own amendments to gazump Labour’s efforts.

Among the delaying tactics was the tabling of thousand of amendments, each of which had to be voted on.

The Sunday Star-Times rightly describes many of these as “ludicrous”.

Each vote takes about a minute on each amendment, and the way things were going, Parliament looked likely to be forced to resume tomorrow and sit on into the week.

Yet Labour has rejected Government claims these amendments were trivial.

This gives new meaning to “trivial”. It also gives us a new appreciation of Labour’s notions of “serious.”

Take Labour MP George Hawkins’ contributions to proceedings, for example.

The Dominion-Post mentioned him and his antics in its report yesterday:

Debate on a 29-page bill relating to a planned Auckland super-city was reduced to farce after Labour delay tactics forced votes on thousands of ludicrous amendments.

In a classic case of filibustering, Mr Hawkins suggested scores of names for the planned council, including the Sons and Daughters of Maui, the Sisters and Brothers of Maui and the Cousins and Aunts and Uncles of Maui. With National, ACT and UnitedFuture having a clear majority, none of the amendments had a chance, but Labour’s objective was delay, not change.

But on Saturday afternoon the Government came up with a procedure to stop the votes going ahead: the trick required Local Government Minister Rodney Hide to put forward a minor amendment to each part of his legislation.

The Sunday Star-Times explains:

Under Parliament’s rules all of the other amendments were ruled out as MPs had all ready agreed on the issue before it.

Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee acknowledges it was the Opposition’s right to filibuster, but he’s been a bit cranky about “the trivialising of something that is so important for the future of 1.5 million New Zealanders.”

Thousands of amendments were lodged.

Part two of the first bill was 149 words long but 825 amendments to it were put up.

There’s booze in the Bellamy’s bar to sustain a Parliamentary warrior like Alf through an ordeal like this. But he would rather be with his mates in the Eketahuna Club.