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Supreme Court Bill: Analysis of Groups

Supreme Court Bill: Analysis of Groups and Organisations making Submissions

This analysis by the New Zealand Business Roundtable outlines the groups that made submissions on the Supreme Court Bill.[1] It excludes submissions by individuals (many of which were not comprehensive in nature) in favour of examining the division of support among organisations that represent wider constituencies.

1.0 Unions

All labour unions that put forward submissions support the legislation. Examples include the CTU and both major teachers' unions.

2.0 Political party organisations

Young Labour, Rainbow Labour and the Labour Women's Council were the only political party organisation submitters. They supported the legislation.

3.0 Maori organisations

The vast majority of Maori organisations oppose the legislation. Most submitters were trusts or boards representing hapu (sub-tribes) or iwi (tribes) (these are not listed here). Larger organisations that could claim to represent a broader constituency were:

a) Treaty Tribes Coalition (opposes legislation)

b) New Zealand Maori Council (opposes legislation)

c) Federation of Maori Authorities (opposes legislation)

d) National Urban Maori Authority (supports legislation with provisos)

4.0 Business (inc. farmers)

All representative business organisations (Business New Zealand, New Zealand Business Roundtable, Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand, New Zealand Association of Consulting Engineers, Federated Farmers) opposed the legislation. Individual business that made submissions all opposed the legislation. They were:

a) Telecom

b) Air New Zealand

c) Carter Holt Harvey

d) Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Ernst&Young, KPMG and Price WaterhouseCoopers

5.0 Groups representing legal practitioners

Almost every society of this nature which made a submission was opposed to the legislation; the remainder were equivocal. However, many submissions were more concerned with the detail of the proposed legislation rather than whether or not it is fundamentally sound.

a) New Zealand Bar Association (significant majority of members oppose legislation).

b) Criminal Bar Association (opposes legislation).

c) New Zealand Law Society (concerns itself mainly with detail rather than the broader question of the soundness of the legislation).

d) Auckland District Law Society (opposes legislation).

e) Wellington District Law Society (poll shows members oppose legislation).

f) Waikato Bay of Plenty District Law Society (opposes legislation).

g) Hawke's Bay District Law Society (opposes legislation).

h) Otago District Law Society (equivocal).

i) New Zealand Trustees Association (opposes legislation).

j) Youthlaw (opposes legislation).

k) Auckland Women Lawyer's Association (equivocal).

6.0 Local government

The only local government submissions were from Local Government New Zealand and the Ashburton District Council. Both oppose the legislation.

7.0 Law centres

All submissions by law centres (government-funded organisations which offer free legal advice to people on low incomes) supported the legislation.

8.0 Other organisations

The Returned Services Association, the Maxim Institute and the New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties opposed the legislation. The National Council of Women of New Zealand supported the legislation. The Howard League was equivocal.


[1] Depending on the perceived value of the information, the authors have chosen to either detail every submitter in each category, or give an overview of organisations that submitted. If the latter is not explicitly stated in any category, it should be assumed all organisations that submitted are listed.

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