Select committees

Committee business summary

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House of Representatives
3 September 2013
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Question of privilege concerning the defamation action Attorney-General and Gow v Leigh


The Speaker referred a question of privilege regarding a decision of the Supreme Court to the Privileges Committee for consideration. The court, in its decision in Attorney-General and Gow v Leigh - [2011] NZSC 106, held that statements made by an official to a Minister for the purpose of replying to questions for oral answer are not themselves parliamentary proceedings. Such statements could therefore be the subject of court proceedings as they would not be protected by absolute privilege. In its report to the House, the committee disagreed with the court’s decision and recommended that a Parliamentary Privilege Bill be introduced to clarify for the avoidance of doubt the nature of parliamentary privilege in New Zealand.

Type of business:Matter of Privilege
Date referred:27/9/11
Submissions closing date:29/10/12
Date reported:11/6/13
Government response reported:3/9/13