As it happened: State Opening of Parliament

  • 08/11/2017
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 20:  New Zealand flags fly in front of The Beehive during the Commission Opening of Parliament at Parliament on October 20, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand.  This is the first ceremony for the official opening of New Zealand's 51st Parliament.  (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
Photo credit: File

Follow our live updates and watch the livestream as the State Opening of the 52nd Parliament takes place on Wednesday morning.

Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy will give a Speech from the Throne outlining the Government's priorities for the term.

As it happened: State Opening of Parliament
Photo credit: Newshub/ Jenna Lynch

11:25am - Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy has just concluded the Speech from the Throne, and has handed the speech back to the Speaker Trevor Mallard.

She is now leaving the Council Chamber in a procession through the Grand Hall.

The procession will end with a Royal Salute from the Royal Guards of honour, she will then depart Parliament grounds.

MPs will file back into the House, and will have the opportunity to respond to the speech in the first major debate of the 52nd Parliament - which is now underway.  

11:21am - This Government has the most Māori and Pacific Island Ministers in Parliament's history. 

11:19am - There will be an independent inquiry into abuse in state care.

11:18am - Drug addiction will be treated as a health issue, medicinal cannabis will be available for those in chronic pain or suffering chronic illness, and the Government will hold a referendum on legalising cannabis for personal use at or by the 2020 election.

11:15am - An extra $1.8 Billion will be invested in the education sector to fund more teachers, better professional development, more learning resources.

Three free years of tertiary education will be progressively introduced and student allowances and living costs will be boosted.

The Government will develop a 30 Year Plan for education, excluding charter schools. It will also scrap National Standards.

All high school leavers will be offered free driving and financial literacy training. 

11:13am - The Government promises to remove excessive sanctions from the welfare system. 

It also promises to elimate the gender pay gap within the core public sector, and encourage the private sector to do the same. 

11:10am - "Poverty hurts everyone but it hurts children the most."

Poverty has been described as both a moral and economic issue for New Zealand. 

The Government will set child poverty reduction targets into law, and heads of departments will be required to deliver reductions to child poverty. 

Every Budget will include a measure of how many children have been lifted out of poverty. 

11:08am - "Housing is a top priority for this Government."

The Government promises to build 100,000 homes within ten years, and work with council, iwi and industry to "cut through red tape".

It will boost social housing funding and introduce a Winter Energy Payment. 

11:07am - The Government will "make sure we get our immigration settings right" by ensuring work visas reflect "genuine skill shortages" and cutting down on vias for low-quality education courses.

11:02am - "Climate change is the biggest challenge facing the world… New Zealand must do its part as the cost of doing nothing is too high."

The Government has an "ambitious plan" to take action on climate change.  

10:57am - "There will be a progressive tax system where everybody pays their fair share according to their means."

The Government will review the tax system as promised during the campaign, but will exclude the family home and the land it sits on - and will take any capital gains tax plans to the 2020 election.

10:53am - "This will be a Government of inclusion", the Governor General said in the Speech to the Throne prepared by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

"Everyone should have a roof over their head and be warm in winter."

New Zealand will aim to be a world leader on climate change.

10:50am - Members of Parliament have been roped in and the doors of the Council Chamber have been locked - to make sure they don't depart during the Speech from the Throne. 

10:45am - The Speaker accompanied by the Clerk of the House, David Wilson, Deputy Clerk, Rafael Gonzalez-Montero, and the Clerk Assistant, Suze Jones, the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, the Serjeant-at-Arms, Steve Streefkerk, Prime Minister  Jacinda Ardern, and Leader of the Opposition Bill English, and Members of the House of Representatives, have arrived in the Council Chamber.

10:35am - The Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod has asked to be admitted to the House (by knocking three times on the door of the House with his Rod).

On being admitted to the House, Black Rod will deliver Her Excellency’s Command to the Speaker.

10:30am - Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy has been welcomed on to the grounds at Parliament for the State Opening of the 52nd Parliament.

She will be seated on the Throne in the Council Chamber and will then command the Members of the House of Representatives.