A members' bill dealing with lost property at airports will be scrapped and the issue will be dealt with as part of a wider raft of minor law reforms thanks to a rare joint force of Labour and Act.

National MP Nuk Korako's bill removed a requirement for airports to advertise unclaimed lost property in their local newspaper and allowed them to advertise it in any appropriate media instead.

Parliament has now voted to deal with the measures on that bill and a second bill by National's Matt Doocey as part of a Statutes Amendment Bill instead - a step that will free up two more places for other MPs' bills.

Doocey's bill removed a requirement for companies to give shareholders written notice of annual reports.


The two bills were drawn in quick succession in August and, despite Korako's spirited defence of his bill, prompted criticism of National for stuffing the members' bill ballot with minor law changes to try to thwart and delay Opposition MPs' bills.

In Parliament today Labour MP Kris Faafoi put up an amendment to deal with airport lost property in the Statutes Amendment Bill instead while Act MP David Seymour did the same for Doocey's bill.

The changes were supported by National, which Faafoi said was a concession they had been abusing the members' bill process.

Seymour's own member's bill on euthanasia is yet to be drawn from the ballot.

Seymour said Doocey's bill was worthy because it got rid of outdated red tape.

"But it's minor in scope and extremely non-controversial. Parliament's time is expensive, costing taxpayers $43,000 an hour. ACT believes that this funding should be used to debate major issues that affect New Zealanders."

Faafoi said putting the two bills in the member's ballot was an abuse of the system and National's support for it to be dealt with in the Statutes Amendment Bill was a concession of that.

"Today's concession by National should now be followed up by taking the Members Bill process seriously. National has been embarrassed by this episode and has taken the first get out of jail card available."

A Statutes Amendment Bill is a bill which includes various minor or non-controversial law changes that are dealt with in one bill for expedience.

Korako had defended his bill, saying it was an issue that had been raised with him in his work as an MP and even quoting a Maori proverb at one point: it is small, but it is quality.