The House Services group is led by the Clerk-Assistant (House), who is responsible for the secretariat support of the House and the legislative process. The House Office’s overarching role is to provide support for sittings of the House and committees of the whole House. This support involves the provision of advice to the Speaker, presiding officers, and other members of Parliament, on parliamentary procedure. Whenever the House is sitting, the Clerk, or another senior member of staff is present to record the transaction of business by the House. These notes form the basis of the Journals of the House.
House Office team
The functions of the House Office team include certifying that bills are printed and reprinted as passed by the House and committees, and preparing bills for Royal assent. In addition, it maintains and publishes records of all House proceedings. Prior to their publication, it scrutinises bills, written questions, motions, and petitions to ensure conformity with the House’s rules. The team also processes and makes available documents presented to the House, and provides the secretariat for the Business Committee.
Hansard (the verbatim report of parliamentary debates) is produced in the Hansard team.
Staff make a report of the speeches made by members, email these drafts to the members for correction. Uncorrected transcripts of members’ speeches are also published to the Parliament website within 2.5 hours of their delivery. Whole debates are published to the Parliament website progressively as they are edited and the full daily debates are available within 1.5 working days. The final version, the official report of the proceedings of the House, printed in bound volumes, each representing approximately three sitting weeks, is published within three months.
Hansard staff also record and transcribe an increasing number of select committee hearings of evidence. Transcripts may be published as part of a committee’s report.
Interpretation and translation services team
This team provides interpreters who interpret speeches or remarks made in Māori in the House and at committees, translate those contributions for publication in Hansard and provide translation services for select committees as required.
Parliamentary Law and Policy team
This team provides two essential parliamentary functions.
The Policy team coordinates the development of parliamentary procedure and matters of parliamentary policy. This team also processes applications for responses to be entered in the record, and supports the Registrar of Pecuniary Interests, the Standing Orders Committee, and the Clerk’s statutory functions under the Citizens Initiated Referenda Act 1993. In addition, it has been given the responsibility for delivering and implementing the Kete Mātauranga project, a parliamentary knowledge management system designed to enhance the timely capture and dissemination of procedural information and precedents.
Legal Services provides a legislative drafting service to members, general and specialised legal support for the Office of the Clerk, the Parliamentary Service and select committees, and advice to the Regulations Review Committee in its scrutiny of delegated legislation.
Chamber Operations and Broadcasting
The contracts for the broadcasting of Parliament on Radio New Zealand and for radio programmes summarising the business of Parliament are administered by this team. It also manages the contracts for the production of television coverage and the broadcasting of Parliament TV on TVNZ’s FreeView22. This team is also responsible for business continuity planning for the Office.