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Mixed bag of members' bills drawn

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/04/2017

Four members' bills have been drawn from parliament's ballot dealing with marriage laws, international treaties, voting rules and the regulations around friendly societies.

They will come up for first reading debates over the next two months.

NZ First MP Fletcher Tabuteau's International Transparent Treaties Bill would ensure all international treaties are approved by parliament before being signed by the government.

At present there's no law that says they must be, and opposition parties tried without success to force a debate on the now defunct Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement before it was signed.

National's Joanne Hayes drafted the Marriage (Court Consent to Marriage of Minors) Amendment Bill.

If passed, it would mean 16 and 17-year-olds would have to apply to a court to marry.

The marriageable age is 18, but 16 and 17-year-olds can marry with parental consent.

The bill is designed as a precaution against forced marriages.

Labour MP Meka Whaitiri drafted the Electoral (Registration by Special Vote) Amendment Bill.

It would allow unregistered voters to cast special votes.

At present, there's a deadline for enrolment before an election and votes cast by unregistered voters aren't counted.

National MP Stuart Smith's Friendly Societies and Credit Unions (Regulatory Improvements) Amendment Bill proposes minor changes to existing legislation.

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