One of my hobbies here is tracking the progress of private member's bills - the bills MPs get to introduce by themselves, rather than as government business. In New Zealand, the procedure for introducing a member's bill is laid out in Standing Orders 276 and 277, and is relatively simple: a new bill can be introduced any time there is space on the Order paper for it. If there are more bills than there are spaces, the Clerk holds a ballot to determine which bills will be introduced and in which order. In practice, this boils down to having a ballot the day after Member's Day (and sometimes in the weeks between as well), as necessary when spaces open up. Once introduced, bills have a fairly good chance of progression: every second sitting Wednesday is a Member's Day, and government intrudes on Member's Business at its peril. So so far we've seen a large number of member's bills voted on this Parliamentary term, with many progressing to select committee, and a handful (all from the Greens) passing into law.
In the UK, they do things rather differently.
There are two main ways of introducing a member's bill [PDF] in the UK Parliament. The first is known as the Ten Minute Rule, and allows any member to get a short debate on introducing a bill. As in New Zealand, there are always more bills than there are spaces, but where the NZ Parliament holds a ballot, the British one is very rigid: a bill can only be introduced under the Ten Minute Rule by the MP who is first to walk through the door of the Bills Office on the appropriate day. So, naturally, this being the UK, the MP's queue, and some have been known to sleep out overnight to get the valuable debate slot. Somehow, I think a ballot would be fairer.
The second method is more similar to our own, only instead of balloting for bills, the British ballot once per year for MPs, each of which then gets the chance to introduce something. As most MPs don't have a bill in mind, this leads to a scramble of lobbying as those with ideas for legislation try and persuade someone with a valuable slot on the Order Paper to take up their bill. Again, you have to wonder whether balloting bills wouldn't be fairer.
(There are also two other methods of introduction, but they're much less important).
Either way, as in New Zealand, member's bills are debated on a designated day - they have 13 Fridays a year (so slightly less time than we do). Unlike New Zealand, there are no time limits on debate, so things progress rahter slowly, and a strongly contested bill could be effectively "talked out" unless the Speaker intervenes. But I guess those are the rules they've decided to set for themselves.
I wonder how they do it in Australia?