Trans-Tasman Committee Exchange

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Ohariu-based List MP Brett Hudson had the opportunity to compare two parliamentary systems at close quarters earlier this month.

Two weeks ago, the Government Administration select committee visited Australia as part of a regular committee exchange programme with the Australian Federal Parliament. It gave the New Zealand delegation a chance to discuss policy initiatives with trans-Tasman agencies and politicians and to see first-hand Australia's parliamentary processes in action.

Brett says, "There are many common challenges to consider, particularly in the area of online gambling. It's one thing to regulate gambling, but quite another to enforce it. Betting companies can be difficult to track down, so ensuring compliance is challenging to say the least."

Australia has had legislation that makes many overseas gambling operations illegal for some time but its MPs acknowledge that enforcing compliance is problematic.

"New Zealand is facing similar challenges from overseas physical gambling operations, such as Centrebet, offering odds on New Zealand events, through to online services offering electronic gambling such as blackjack and roulette."

Brett was pleased, too, to be part of making history in both Australia's Senate and House of Representative debating chambers. Green list MP Mojo Mathers -- this country's first deaf parliamentarian -- is a member of New Zealand's government administration select committee. She was allowed to have a sign-language interpreter accompany her on the floor of both Houses as the Kiwis observed both the Senate and the House of Representatives in action.

"It was history I was delighted to be part of," Brett says.