Under this scheme, Parliamentary Seminars are organised by the Trust for representatives of the Trust’s Corporate membership and hosted by the Speaker as President of the Trust. The seminars are held three times a year, normally in March, July and October, in Parliament’s Legislative Council Chamber, In an election year only two seminars are held.
This year two seminars are scheduled for Wednesday 15 March and Wednesday 29 June.
Here is the programme for the March 2017 Seminar.
The Trust's Parliamentary seminars are unique intensive one-day studies of the parliamentary system, aiming to illustrate how government is exercised through Parliament and to provide participants with an insight into the practical workings of the House, the effectiveness and limitations of committees, the process of legislation, and the programming of parliamentary business, etc.
Participants hear from MPs and those associated with the day-to-day running of Parliament just how the system works with a view to promoting understanding within the business community of the work of Parliament and its members.
A typical programme includes the following sessions:
- The Role of the Speaker
- (Speaker of the House of Representatives)
The New Zealand Parliament; the parliamentary process; the Speaker’s role.
- The Business of the House
- (Clerk of the House, Senior Government Whip and Senior Opposition Whip)
Causes and demands for legislation; types of business transacted in the House and the process of legislation; whips of the government and opposition; the role of the Business Committee.
- The Select Committee
- (A Party Leader or Select Committee Chairperson)
The role of Select Committees; making a submission; making the most of a Select Committee submission.
Attendance at a Select Committee
- Exercising Government through Parliament
- (Prime Minister)
The role of the Prime Minister; demands and constraints; the role of the executive; collective responsibility; MMP at work.
- The Opposition in Parliament
- (Leader of the Opposition)
The role of role of the opposition leader; opposition parties in the MMP environment; demands and constraints.
- Visiting the House
- A brief guided tour of the Debating Chamber.
- Lunch in the Grand Hall
- With the opportunity to meet Members of Parliament.
- Parliamentary Sitting
- Attendance during question time in the Debating Chamber.
- MMP at Work
- (A Party Leader)
The role of the smaller parties in Parliament; effectiveness and limitations; working in the MMP environment.
- The Cabinet Minister
- (A Minister of the Crown)
The demands and constraints on Ministers – a working week; relationships with officials; collective responsibility and the Minister.
- The Member of Parliament
- (Two First-term MPs)
The MP in Parliament as government or opposition party representatives; pressure groups and lobbying; effectiveness and limitations of an MP.
- Reporting Parliament
- (Press Gallery representative)
The role of the Press Gallery.
Participants at the June 2016 Parliamentary Seminar
Select Committee Seminar
The Trust has, of a number of occasions, received requests to organise a separate, more in-depth Seminar on the Select Committee process. In late 2013, the Trust Board agreed to hold a special seminar each year.
The 2017 the Select Committee Seminar will be held on Wednesday 7 June and provide another opportunity to widen people’s understanding of this very important aspect of the Parliamentary process.
David Wilson, Clerk of the House, addresses Seminar participants