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Machinery of Executive Government and Parliament- 12 June

The New Zealand Business & Parliament Trust held its first seminar on the Machinery of Government and Parliament, which took a close look at legislation, the process of Select Committee and finally the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The seminar was privileged to be addressed by The Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt Hon Trevor Mallard, who gave his opening remarks in relation to his role and that of Parliament. 

Peter Griffiths, Chairman of the Board of the New Zealand Business & Parliament Trust, served as the chair of the seminar directing and guiding the corporate clients on the schedule of the seminar.

We were grateful to be joined by Gerrard Carter who gave a unique insight and introduction to the Cabinet and Cabinet Committees. As the legislation coordinator to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Gerrard explained in detail the roles and responsibilities of the Cabinet within a Coalition Government.

Our corporate clients were then invited to attend a Select Committee in session, which presented a fascinating debate surrounding the pertinent issue of estimates surrounding education, the workforce and the labour market.

Later, our attendees relished the opportunity to apply their learned knowledge about Select Committees in their very own mock Select Committee. Gabor Hellyer, Clerk of the Justice Committee, explained further the purpose and role of Select Committees, whilst demonstrating how to make a submission as a member of the public or organisation.

Craig Renney, Senior Ministerial Advisor to Hon Grant Robertson and Danya Levy, Senior Press Secretary to Hon Phil Twyford, offered a depiction of what life was like inside a Minister’s office. They presented together giving an overview of the workings of a ministerial office.

The act of policy making was presented by Gina Smith, Director of the Policy Services Directorate from the Department of Internal Affairs. Gina spoke about the current Policy environment including the task of influencing Policy as well as the role Government departments play in the development and delivery of Policy.

Finally, the Manager of Policy and Legal, Pav Sharma spoke on how legislation proceeds through the House and Select Committees including a detailed explanation of each stage that a bill must go through.

Throughout the day participants were given the opportunity to gain a high level of expert knowledge from a wide range of guest speakers. Upon concluding the Trust’s corporate clients were invited to join Mr Speaker for drinks in the Speakers Lounge on what was a delectable winters’ evening.