Of all the pressing matters facing society, taxpayers can rest assured Parliament will soon debate one of the greatest of all: the lost and found bin at airports.

National MP Nuk Korako is the hero bringing this matter to the attention of decision makers.

His member's bill was drawn from the ballot today. It goes by the humble name of Airport Authorities (Lost Property) Amendment Bill. But it heralds a new dawn for passengers who lose their luggage.

It will remove a requirement for airport to advertise lost property in a local newspaper and instead proposes they advertise it in a more modern forum, such as on the internet.


Korako, a Christchurch-based List MP, has insisted the outdated process for lost property at airports is an issue frequently raised with him. He has even declared he is "passionate" about the issue.

A search through the archives revealed Korako had done his research at airports - he had the third highest travel spending of any non minister MPs in the first quarter of the year.

It was a crucial enough issue for even Prime Minister John Key to be questioned on it, possibly because of Key's previous declaration that he uses the Koru Lounge to talk to people from all walks of life.

Key's verdict was that there was room enough on the member's ballot for all manner of things.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges managed to keep an impressively straight face when he was asked about Korako's bill. He would not go so far as to describe it as a game changer for the aviation industry but did describe it as "worthy."

"Clearly it's not the biggest bill that's ever been before Parliament, but I think it's worthy and good on Nuk for seeing this issue that I think a lot of locals in his area have talked about. Good on him for bringing this member's bill forward."

The problem Korako outlined was that airports were required to advertise in their local newspaper only, but travellers were not necessarily still in town when the advertisements ran.

It did not provide for advertising in more sensible places, such as the internet, and needed updating.


Fair enough, Korako may have a point.

But to achieve it, Parliament will debate it for two hours, it will then spend six months before a select committee before Parliament debates it again and again and then again and it is finally passed into law.

It costs taxpayers about $43,000 for every hour Parliament sits according to Parliamentary Service figures in 2014.

And such a measure could easily be dealt with by way of an 'omnibus' bill which wraps up a number of non-controversial measures into one bill for expediency.

Labour's Tourism Spokesman Kris Faafoi said he will offer Labour's support to add Korako's changes to one such omnibus bill which is currently before Parliament.

"If National doesn't take up this offer it is proof that they are abusing the Members' Ballot to prevent other issues from being debated."

Members' bills are the only chance Opposition and backbench MPs have to get law changes they want before Parliament. Success is down to pure luck: members' bills are drawn from a ballot. Most are on matters close to an MP's heart, or to a party's politics.

Some have resulted in major changes. For example, the anti-smacking legislation began as a member's bill by Sue Bradford. Other biggies are awaiting their chance, including Act leader David Seymour's euthanasia bill.

Prime Minister John Key said Government MPs often put up narrower bills and some were then picked up by the Government. "The whole purpose of the members' process is to have a range of different issues. Not all are going to be contentious, moral issues. There is a place for everything through the members' process."

Some Government MPs do have bills they feel strongly about but others are simply used as ballot-stuffing fodder by the Government.

Those are given bills which make minor technical changes only in an attempt to take reduce the Opposition's chances of having a bill drawn and block up a space on the order paper.