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Weekly Select Committee News Bulletin

Select committee business
24 March 2000 to 31 March 2000


Committee meetings


There were 18 committee meetings, one of which was held in Auckland.

Reports presented (45)

Commerce
1. 1998/99 financial review of the Electricity Corporation of New
Zealand
2. 1998/99 financial review of the Takeovers Panel

Education and Science
3. Industry Training Levies Bill (105-1)
4. Petition 1996/1924 of Karen Johansen and 470 others
5. 1998/99 financial review of the Careers Service
6. 1998/99 financial review of the Education and Training Support Agency
7. 1998/99 financial review of the Early Childhood Development Unit
8. 1998/99 financial review of Learning Media Limited
9. 1998/99 financial review of the Education Review Office

Finance and Expenditure
10. 1998/99 financial review of the Public Trust Office
11. 1998/99 financial review of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand
12. 1998/99 financial review of the Inland Revenue Department

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
13. 1998/99 financial review of the New Zealand Customs Service
14. 1998/99 financial review of the Ministry of Defence
15. 1998/99 financial review of the New Zealand Antarctic Institute
16. 1998/99 financial review of the New Zealand Trade Development Board
17. 1998/99 financial review of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
Trade

Government Administration
18. 1998/99 financial review of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs
19. 1998/99 financial review of the Department of Prime Minister and
Cabinet
20. 1998/99 financial review of the New Zealand Lotteries Commission
21. 1998/99 financial review of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs
22. 1998/99 financial review of the State Services Commission
23. 1998/99 financial review of the Department of Internal Affairs

Justice and Electoral
24. Citizenship Amendment Bill (334-2A)

Health
25. 1998/99 financial review of Pacific Health Limited
26. 1998/99 financial review of Nelson-Marlborough Health Services
Limited
27. 1998/99 financial review of Health Waikato Limited
28. 1998/99 financial review of Lakeland Health Limited
29. 1998/99 financial review of Health Care Hawke's Bay Limited

Law and Order
30. 1998/99 financial review of the Department for Courts
31. 1998/99 financial review of the New Zealand Police
32. 1998/99 financial review of the Department of Corrections
33. 1998/99 financial review of the Serious Fraud Office

Local Government and Environment
34. 1998/99 financial review of the Ministry for the Environment

M~ori Affairs
35. Petition 1996/1950 of Dr Huirangi Waikerepuru and others

Primary Production
36. 1998/99 financial review of the Ministry of Agriculture and
Forestry
37. 1998/99 financial review of the Ministry of Fisheries
38. 1998/99 financial review of Animal Control Products Limited
39. International Treaty Examination of the Amendments to the Treaty on
Fisheries between the Governments of Certain Pacific Island States and the
Government of the United States

Social Services
40. 1998/99 financial review of the Housing Corporation of New Zealand

Transport and Industrial Relations
41. 1998/99 financial review of the New Zealand Railways Corporation
42. 1998/99 financial review of Wellington International Airport Limited
43. 1998/99 financial review of the R Corporation
44. 1998/99 financial review of Vehicle Testing New Zealand Limited

Intelligence and Security
(established pursuant to the Intelligence and Security Committee Act
1996)
45. 1998/99 financial review of the Government Communications Security
Bureau and the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service

Committee notes

(for further information on an item, please contact the committee staff noted in brackets)

Commerce (Alan Witcombe, Ainslie Rayner)

The committee met on 30 March 2000 to conduct the financial reviews of Television New Zealand Limited, Radio New Zealand and New Zealand On Air. The committee will meet next week on 6 April 2000. It will consider the Business Law Reform Bill and the Motor Vehicle Dealers Bill.

Education and Science (Clare Sullivan, Malcolm McNamara)

The committee met to consider a number of financial review reports. Reports were presented on the Education Review Office and education sector Crown entities. Next week the committee will travel to Auckland to visit the Institute of Environmental Science and Research's laboratory in Mt Albert.

Finance and Expenditure (Graham Hill, Julian Kersey)

The committee met on 29 March to hear evidence from the Governor of the Reserve Bank on the March Monetary Policy Statement and hear evidence from the Earthquake Commission on its 1998/99 financial review. At its next meeting on 5 April the committee will receive a briefing from the Minister of Revenue and officials on the Income Tax Amendment Bill and a briefing from the Controller and Auditor-General on the third report for 1999. It will also hear evidence from the Ombudsman on Case W42893 on IRD's policy and procedures to hold and use its official information and process requests for official information it holds.

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (David Sanders, Andrew Fieldsend)

The committee heard evidence from Mark Peck on his Pardon for Soldiers of the Great War Bill. It also reported (pro forma) on three financial as listed above. The committee also had a joint meeting with the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties from Canberra.

Next week the committee will be briefed by Mr Ali Kazak, the diplomatic representative of the PLO for Australasia, as part of a routine visit by Mr Kazak to Wellington. This is open to the public. The committee will further consider its inquiry programme and begin consideration of its examination of the Rome Statute and CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women) treaties.

Government Administration (Louise Sparrer, Lesley Ferguson) Next week the committee will hear evidence on the financial reviews of the New Zealand Tourism Board and the New Zealand Fire Service Commission.

Health (Nick Aldous, Marcus Ganley)

The committee has completed its financial reviews of the following Health and Hospital Services: Health Waikato Limited, Health Care Hawke's Bay Limited, Pacific Health Limited, Lakeland Health Limited and Nelson- Marlborough Health Limited. The committee will next meet on 5 April to commence consideration on the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill (No.4).

Justice and Electoral (Jayne Wallis, Andrew Fieldsend, Fiona McLean) The committee heard evidence on the Legal Services Bill in Auckland on Wednesday. The Auckland District Law Society, and several community law centres made submissions on the various aspects of the bill. The Minister recently announced that a supplementary order paper will be circulated containing a number of amendments to the bill in relation to community law centres. The Chairperson announced to submitters that the committee will give community law centres an opportunity to comment on the SOP once it is circulated. It will continue to hear evidence on the bill this Wednesday in Parliament House.

Law and Order (Tracey Conlon, Tracey Rayner)

The committee met on Thursday, 30 March to hear evidence on the Truth in Sentencing Bill. This is a member's bill in the name of Hon Richard Prebble.

The committee meets two days next week to hear evidence on the Arms Amendment Bill (No. 2). On Thursday, the committee will meet in Auckland at the Lakeside Convention Centre, Manukau City, from 9.00 am - 5.30 pm. On Friday, the committee will travel to Christchuch and hear submissions at the Centra, Corner Cashel and High Streets, from 9.00 am - 2.45 pm.

Local Government and Environment (David Bagnall, Malcolm McNamara)

On Wednesday 29 March the committee received an introductory presentation from the Environmental Risk Management Authority. The authority outlined its role and functions and noted some of the issues it faces. Particular attention was drawn to delays to the making of regulations relating to hazardous substances.

The Minister for the Environment then briefed the committee on the new Government's approach to the Resource Management Amendment Bill. She stated that the Government has an open mind with respect to most of the bill and is eager for the committee to consider submissions and report back to Parliament.

The Minister said it is unlikely the Government would support amendments relating to: · contestable processing of resource consent applications · mandatory use of independent commissioners to hear consents when requested by an applicant or submitter · direct referral of consent applications to the Environment Court · transferring archaeological controls from the Historic Places Act 1993 into the Resource Management Act 1991 · altering the statutory role of the Historic Places Trust. The Minister indicated the Government would consider the last two of these issues further and is supportive of the remaining heritage clauses in the bill.

The Chairperson said the committee would still hear evidence on and consider provisions the Government has indicated it is unlikely to support. The committee will commence its consideration of the Resource Management Amendment Bill in a closed meeting on Wednesday 5 April.

On 30 March the committee presented its report on the financial review of the Ministry for the Environment. The committee's conclusions include: · The development of detailed plans to reverse New Zealand's decline in biodiversity must be the first priority for the ministry. The committee wants specific action plans for biodiversity to be developed that go beyond the preparation of a national policy statement and the negotiation of voluntary national and local accords. · The committee expects to see further progress on the development of standards and guidelines to assist local government. · The committee is concerned that the ministry has been required to take its own initiative in preparing a report on environmental aspects of road reform, and that such important matters were not incorporated into the Ministry of Transport's primary discussion document. Finally, the committee emphasised that reversing the current environmental decline will depend upon the integration of environmental policy across the work of other departments. It is important that the ministry should have the resources to contribute to policy development in, for example, transport, energy, fisheries, agriculture and forestry.

Maori Affairs (Kia Paranihi, Denise Te Karu)

At its meeting on Thursday, 30 March the committee considered a number of items of business none of which included the hearing of evidence. Having regard to the approaching adjournment period, it will not meet again until 4 May.

Officers of Parliament (Adrian Carpinter)

The committee met to consider the draft budgets of the Officers of Parliament for the 2000/01 financial year and alterations to their 1999/2000 appropriations. Further consideration of these budgetary matters will take place at the next meeting on Wednesday, 5 April.

Primary Production (Bob Bunch, April Bennett)

The committee met on Thursday, 30 March. It heard evidence from Asure New Zealand Limited in its review of performance and current operations. The committee was also briefed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry about recent biosecurity breaches.

The committee has presented a number of reports as above. Next week the committee will hear evidence from Terralink New Zealand Limited on its 1998/99 financial performance and current operations.

Social Services (Tim Cooper, Louise Gardiner)

The committee has now heard evidence on all its financial reviews. The last to be heard was Housing New Zealand Limited. Significant changes in housing policy are likely this year, and the company was asked what work it had done in preparation for those changes. The hearing also focussed on the company's sales, acquisitions and property reconfiguration activities. The committee's report on the Housing Corporation was presented on 30 March. Its reports on the Department of Work and Income and the Department of Social Welfare are due back in the House on 6 April.

Closing dates for submissions

Committees are receiving submission on the following items with closing dates shown:

Commerce

Business Law Reform Bill (14 April 2000) Sale of Liquor Amendment Bill (14 April 2000)

Education and Science

Inquiry into reading in New Zealand (22 May 2000)

Employment and Accident Insurance

Employment Relations Bill (3 May 2000)

Health

Nurse Maude Association Bill (28 April 2000)

Justice and Electoral

Referenda (Postal Voting) Bill (14 April 2000) Inquiry into the 1999 General Election (31 March 2000) Inquiry into matters relating to the State visit of the President of China to New Zealand in 1999 (7 April 2000)

Local Government and Environment

Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Amendment Bill (No.2) (8 May 2000)

Maori Affairs

Te Ture Whenua Maori Amendment Bill (28 April 2000)

Social Services

Student Loan Scheme Amendment Bill (No. 6) (20 April 2000)

Transport and Industrial Relations

Airport Authorities Amendment Bill (No. 2) (5 April 2000)

General

You can find further information about select committees on our website at www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz. If you require additional information or have any feedback on the contents, please contact: Carol Rankin, Senior Parliamentary Officer ph: 471 9534, fax: 499 0486, or at carol.rankin@parliament.govt.nz Compiled in the Select Committee Office, Office of the Clerk, 31 March 2000


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