Be careful not to blink or you might miss some legislation hurtling through Parliament this week.
Once again Parliament is into urgency. The Freedom Camping Bill was passed in time for morning tea (and in time for the Rugby World Cup), and then MPs were on to the Student Loan Scheme Bill, which has to be in place before April 1. Also to be fast-tracked are the Maori Purposes Bill and the Aquaculture Legislation Amendment Bill number three.
Today's scheduled Members Day was the casualty. But is it the only loss? Is it really okay to advance laws without proper scrutiny?
On the Order Paper is a mystery "fixit" bill to close a loophole in some unnamed legislation. After a secret deal with the Labour Party, it will be whipped through in about 90 minutes tomorrow morning, with no input from select committee.
We'll find out then what it is. According to Government sources, it's not major policy and was passed under the previous Labour government. But if it were made public, unscrupulous types could take advantage before the loophole is closed, we're told.
It's known that acting Leader of the House Simon Power is uncomfortable rushing though laws under urgency if they are contentious. And it's true the Government has a lot to get through, with a diminishing number of sitting days before the House rises on October 6.
However, the so-called Hobbit labour laws and the maligned "Skynet" law got zipped through quick-smart. Now the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act did get an airing at select committee, but no public submissions were heard on the The Employment Relations (Film Production Work) Amendment Bill and Opposition MPs called its passing a "day of shame".
It's hard to argue that Parliament shouldn't be allowed to legislate quickly when it's very necessary - such as in times of crisis. The quake recovery bill was rightly passed under urgency - and the Government made amendments after a whirlwind consultation, proving it can be done.
But - as blogger David Farrar and Labour MP Grant Robertson established in April - National are like Energizer bunnies when it comes to urgency. More and more, the public are starting to notice - and object.
With overuse the Government is in danger of wearing it out - along with the public's patience. Bypassing or hastening public participation makes a government look arrogant and as though it doesn't care what the public think. The average joe already sees politicians as out of touch.
Should disquiet continue to grow, there are likely to be calls for reform, for instance requiring all or most of MPs to agree to urgency.
Are you worried about how this Government is abusing urgency?
Andrea Vance is on Twitter
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