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Select Committee Weekly News - June 23

SELECT COMMITTEE BUSINESS
16 June 2000 to 23 June 2000
Committee meetings
There were 18 committee meetings, all held in the parliamentary complex.

Reports presented (10)
Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
 International treaty examination of the International Convention on Salvage 1989
 International treaty examination of the Protocol of Amendment to the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures

Education and Science
 Education Amendment Bill (12-2)

Law and Order
 Petition 1999/27 of Hon Trevor Mallard

Commerce
 1998/99 financial review of Radio New Zealand

Government Administration
 Estimates for 2000/01 for Vote Millennium
 Estimates for 2000/01 for Vote Ombudsmen
 Estimates for 2000/01 for Vote Statistics

Primary Production
 1998/99 financial review of Timberlands West Coast Limited


Bills referred to select committees
No bills were referred.

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

Commerce (Alan Witcombe, Matthew Andrews)
On Wednesday the committee heard submissions on the Economic Development (Industry New Zealand and the Ministry of Economic Development) Bill. On Thursday the committee considered the same bill, the Shop Trading Hours (Abolition of Restrictions) Bill and the financial review of Radio New Zealand.

Next week the Minister of Consumer Affairs will appear before the committee for an Estimates hearing on Vote Consumer Affairs. The committee will also be considering the Shop Trading Hours (Abolition of Restrictions) Bill, the Economic Development (Industry New Zealand and the Ministry of Economic Development) Bill and the Sale of Liquor Amendment Bill (No 3).

Education and Science (Clare Sullivan, Ethan Tucker)
This week the committee began its consideration of the Estimates for 2000/01 by hearing evidence on Vote Research, Science and Technology from the Minister and Chief Executive of the ministry. Issues discussed included the capability of the ministry, the publication Transforming New Zealand Challenges and opportunities for research, sciecne and technology and investment in research and development.

The committee presented three reports this week as above.

Employment and Accident Insurance (Marie Alexander)
The committee has three meetings scheduled next week on the Employment Relations Bill. These are not open to the public.

Finance and Expenditure (Graham Hill, Julian Kersey)
The committee met on the morning of 21 June to consider the Supplementary Estimates for this financial year. It heard evidence on the two culture and heritage votes, Vote Police and Vote Finance. Later in the afternoon on 21 June the committee completed the hearing evidence on the Taxation (FBT, SSCWT and Remedial Matters) Bill. On the afternoon of 22 June the committee continued to hear evidence on Vote Finance and Vote Pacific Island Affairs for the Supplementary Estimates. Next week on 28 June the committee will consider the Taxation (FBT, SSCWT and Remedial Matters) Bill and hear evidence from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Revenue on the Government's response to the previous committee's Inquiry into the Powers and Operations of the Inland Revenue Department.

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (David Sanders, Andrew Fieldsend)
The committee considered the Pardon for Soldiers of the Great War Bill. The committee will begin its Estimates examinations next week. Hon Phil Goff and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will be appearing from 10.30 am to 11.30 and Trade New Zealand from 11.30 am to 12 noon.

Government Administration (Louise Sparrer, Lesley Ferguson)
The committee has started its round of Estimates examinations for the 2000/01 year. At its meeting this week the committee examined Vote Office of the Clerk. The Speaker of the House is the responsible minister for this Vote. The Office of the Clerk contributes to the functioning of the legislature in which members of Parliament are able to discharge their constitutional duties in respect of the consideration of legislation and other parliamentary business. The critical issues for the Office are the establishment of two additional select committees (for the review of MMP and to consider employment relations and accident insurance legislation), and to improve Mori translation and interpretation services. Next week the committee will examine Vote Parliamentary Service. This will be open to the public for the hearing of evidence from 10.20 am. The Speaker is also the responsible minister for this vote. The committee will hear evidence on the Fire Service Amendment Bill. This is scheduled from 12 noon and is open to the public.

Health (Nick Aldous, Marcus Ganley)
On Wednesday the committee finished its consideration of the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill (No 4) and the Alcohol Advisory Council Amendment Bill. Next week the committee will hear evidence from the Minister of Health and officials on the 2000/01 Health Estimates.

Justice and Electoral (Tracey Conlon, Andrew Fieldsend, Fiona McLean)
The committee considered the Statutes Amendment Bill (No 7). The bill will make minor amendments to 37 Acts and is due to be reported back by 30 June.

The committee heard further submissions on its Inquiry into the 1999 General Election. John Tamihere MP spoke about problems faced by Mori electors. Richard Prebble MP presented the submission of ACT New Zealand in which he expressed dissatisfaction with the current system of election broadcasting. The committee heard submissions from the Society of Local Government Managers and George Jones on advances in electoral technology.

Next Wednesday the committee will commence its examination of the Estimates, hear further evidence on the General Election Inquiry, and consider the Statutes Amendment Bill (No 7).

The Justice and Electoral Subcommittee met this week to hear further evidence on its inquiry into matters relating to the State visit of the President of China to New Zealand in 1999. Evidence was given by the New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties. To date, the subcommittee has heard evidence on the inquiry in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland. The subcommittee is not scheduled to meet next week.

Law and Order (Adrian Carpinter, Tracey Rayner)
This week, the committee considered the Truth in Sentencing Bill. This is a Member's bill in the name of Hon Richard Prebble. The bill aims to amend the Criminal Justice Amendment Act 1993 to provide that all sentences are to be served in full unless a person has a record of good behaviour, or shows to the Parole Board that there are grounds for believing the person has been rehabilitated.

Next week, the committee begins its 2000/01 Estimates examinations. The votes allocated to the committee are Police, Corrections, Courts and Serious Fraud Office. The Minister of Police, Hon George Hawkins, and the Commissioner of Police, Rob Robinson, will be appearing before the committee on Thursday, 29 June from 10.30 am in Parliament House.

Local Government and Environment (David Bagnall, Malcolm McNamara)
On Wednesday the committee commenced the hearing of evidence on the Forests (West Coast Accord) Bill. Submissions were heard from the New Zealand Forest Industry Council and New Zealand Forest Owners' Association, the West Coast Timber Association and Westco Lagan Limited (the company that holds the major contract for the supply of Timberlands West Coast Limited rimu sawlogs). The committee also heard the submission of the Environmental Risk Management Authority on the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Amendment Bill (No 2).

On Thursday the committee met in the evening to consider the Wildlife (Penalties) Bill and to hear submissions on the Resource Management Amendment Bill. Evidence was heard from the Resource Management Business Forum, Wellington Regional Council, Upper Hutt City Council, New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects, Westfield NZ Limited, St Lukes Group and Taiwhenua Iwi Authority.

Next week, the committee will complete the hearing of evidence on the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Amendment Bill (No 2) on Wednesday. Another meeting will be held on Thursday evening, at which more evidence will be heard on the Forests (West Coast Accord) Bill and the Resource Management Amendment Bill.

Evidence on the latter two bills will be heard when the committee meets in Christchurch on 12 July. The committee will then hear evidence on the Forests (West Coast Accord) Bill in Hokitika on 13 July.

MMP Review (Louise Sparrer)
The terms of reference for the review of MMP are set out in a press release shortly to be located at www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/programme/committees/pressrelease.html.

Primary Production (Bob Bunch, April Bennett)
The committee met on Thursday, 22 June 2000. It completed its final 1998/99 financial reviews of State enterprises by reporting on the review of the 1998/99 financial performance and current operations of Timberlands West Coast Limited.

The committee also commenced its consideration the 2000/01 Estimates of Expenditure. The committee has four votes, Agriculture and Forestry, Biosecurity, Fisheries and Lands, to examine and will be questioning the relevant Ministers about these votes over the next two months.

The committee further considered its inquiries into the sale of the Property Services Division of Terralink New Zealand Limited to its former employees and organic agriculture in New Zealand. The petition of Barry Nicolle and others, calling for an inquiry into sustainable forestry management on the West Coast, was also considered.

Next Thursday, 29 June, the committee will go on a site visit to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research at Greta Point, Wellington, to find out about the institute's research in relation to fisheries.

Regulations Review (Shelley Banks, Tracey Rayner)
On Wednesday, 28 June the Regulations Review Committee will hear evidence from the Ministry of Agriculture about Codes of Welfare issued under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 (3.15 pm to 3.45 pm). The committee will also continue its consideration of the Biosecurity (Ruminant Protein) Regulations 1999.

Social Services (Tim Cooper, Louise Gardiner)
The committee began its consideration of the Housing Restructuring (Income-Related Rents) Amendment Bill this week. The bill aims to restore income-related rents to State house tenants, and to move the focus of Housing New Zealand Limited away from profit and give a greater priority to social assistance. Submissions on the bill close on Monday 26 June. The committee is also beginning its consideration of the 2000/01 Estimates. Six votes have been referred to the committee: Work and Income; Child, Youth and Family; Social Services; Employment Policy; Senior Citizens; and Housing.

Transport and Industrial Relations (Lyn Main, Karen Smyth)
The committee heard evidence from the Automobile Association and the Grey Power Federation on Petition 1996/2062 of Dr Otto Bauer. This petition seeks a review of driver licensing and testing fees and rules in relation to older drivers.

Next week the committee will begin consideration of the Vote Accident Insurance, as part of its examination of the 2000/01 Estimates. Other votes allocated to the committee are Labour and Ministry of Transport.


Closing dates for submissions
Committees are receiving submissions on the following items with the closing date shown. Twenty copies of submissions are required.

Commerce
Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Bill (7 July 2000)

Education and Science
Inquiry into student fees, loans, allowances and the overall resourcing of tertiary education (24 July 2000)
Education (Limiting Number of Universities) Amendment Bill (30 June 2000)

Finance and Expenditure
Taxation (Annual Rates, GST and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill (5 July 2000)
Taxpayers’ Charter Bill (31 July 2000)

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
International Crimes and International Criminal Court Bill (30 June 2000)

Government Administration
Fire Service Amendment Bill (23 June 2000)

Justice and Electoral
Supplementary Order Paper No 25 relating to the Matrimonial Property Amendment Bill (7 July 2000)

MMP Review
Review of MMP and other aspects of the electoral system (31 July 2000)

Primary Production
Inquiry into organic agriculture in New Zealand (3 July 2000)

Social Services
Housing Restructuring (Income-Related Rents) Bill (26 June 2000)
Social Welfare (Transitional Provisions) Amendment Bill (11 August 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
at carol.rankin@parliament.govt.nz

Compiled in the Select Committee Office, Office of the Clerk, 23 June 2000

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