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Weekly Select Committee Business

SELECT COMMITTEE BUSINESS

30 June 2000 to 7 July 2000
Committee meetings

There were 24 committee meetings including one in progress in Auckland. The other 23 meetings were all in the parliamentary complex. The increased number of meetings is partly due to the growing number of subcommittees that are meeting in addition to meetings of the main committee. There were three such subcommittee meetings this week.

Reports presented
Justice and Electoral
 Statutes Amendment Bill (No 7) (334-2)

Transport and Industrial Relations
 Airport Authorities Amendment Bill (No 2) (332-1)

Justice and Electoral
 Petition 1999/1 of Kenneth Orr for Christians for Life and 30 084 others


Bills referred to select committees
The Local Elections (Single Transferable Vote Option) Bill was referred to the Justice and Electoral Committee.

The New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone Extension Bill was referred to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee.

The Gaming and Lotteries Amendment Bill was referred to the Government Administration Committee.

The House gave leave for two other bills previously referred to the Justice and Electoral Committee, the Habeas Corpus Bill and the Crimes (Publications) Bill, to be referred to the Law and Order Committee.


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

Commerce (Alan Witcombe, SC-Commerce@parliament.govt.nz)
This week the commerce committee had hearings on Vote Commerce and Vote Communications. The Hon Paul Swain, Minister for Commerce and Communications, gave evidence. Also this week the committee considered both the Sale of Liquor Amendment (No 3) Bill and the Economic Development (Industry New Zealand and the Ministry of Economic Development) Bill.

Education and Science (Clare Sullivan, SC-ES@parliament.govt.nz)
The subcommittee received a briefing on the inquiry into reading in New Zealand. The main committee heard evidence on the Education (Limiting Number of Universities) Amendment Bill and the Estimates of Appropriation for 2000/01 Vote Education.

The committee is not meeting next week but on Thursday 20 July it will travel to Auckland to hear submissions on the Education (Limiting Number of Universities) Amendment Bill and the Educational Establishments (Exemption from Certain Rates) Bill. The subcommittee will also travel to Auckland to receive briefings on the inquiry into reading.

Employment and Accident Insurance Legislation (Marie Alexander,
SC-EAI@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met twice this week for ongoing consideration of the Employment Relations Bill.

Finance and Expenditure (Graham Hill, SC-FE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on 5 July to consider the Taxation (FBT, SSCWT and Remedial Matters) Bill. The committee will not meet during the two-week July adjournment. It will meet next on 26 July to hear evidence on Vote Economic Development, Vote Finance, the Fiscal Strategy Report and the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update. The committee will also consider further the Taxation (FBT, SSCWT and Remedial Matters) Bill.

Government Administration (Louise Sparrer, SC-GA@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee commenced its examination of the 2000/01 Estimates for Vote Pacific Island Affairs. The committee heard evidence from the Minister for Pacific Island Affairs, Hon Mark Gosche, together with officials from the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs. The committee was particularly interested in the findings of the ministerial review of the Pacific Business Development Trust. The Minister indicated he was prepared to appear before the committee again to discuss further the contents of the ministerial report on the Trust.

The committee continued its consideration of the 2000/01 Estimates for Vote Office of the Clerk and the Fire Service Amendment Bill. The committee will not meet while the House is adjourned.

Health (Nick Aldous, SC-Health@parliament.govt.nz)
On Wednesday the committee heard evidence from the Minister of Health and officials on the Vote Health. The committee will not meet again until 26 July.

Justice and Electoral (Tracey Conlon, SC-JE@parliament.govt.nz)
At the committee’s meeting on Wednesday, 5 July, the Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Margaret Wilson, appeared before the committee to give evidence on Vote Treaty Negotiations. The Minister answered questions on the size of the appropriation for policy advice, the fiscal cap, a timeframe for settlements, relativity clauses, the structure of iwi, and land-banking.

The Minister of Justice, Phil Goff, appeared to give evidence on Vote Justice. The examination included the issues of sentencing, compensation for the wrongfully convicted and restorative justice.

The committee further considered one inquiry and two pieces of legislation: the Inquiry into the 1999 General Election, the Legal Services Bill and the Referenda (Postal Voting) Bill. The committee will not meet during the first week of the adjournment.

The subcommittee met again in Wellington this week to continue its consideration of the inquiry into matters relating to the visit of the President of China to New Zealand in September 1999. The subcommittee will not be meeting while the House is adjourned.

Law and Order (Adrian Carpinter, SC-LO@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on Thursday to examine the 2000/01 Estimates for Vote Corrections and Vote Courts. The committee heard from the Responsible Minister for both votes, Hon Matt Robson, and senior departmental officials.

The issues covered in the examination of Vote Corrections included: new initiatives contained in the Budget, prison employment schemes, the home detention scheme, programmes designed to close the gaps for Mori and Pacific Island people, the recent report of the Commissioner for Children and capital projects.

For Vote Courts, the issues examined included: court workloads, possible court reforms, court services and security, and progress with information technology developments.

The committee is not meeting again until 27 July.

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

Primary Production (Bob Bunch, SC-PP@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met yesterday to further consider the four votes it is examining on the Estimates of Expenditure (Votes Agriculture and Forestry, Fisheries, Biosecurity and Lands).

It also received two briefings in its inquiry into organic agriculture in New Zealand. Prof A Neil Macgregor, Massey University, presented a briefing on comparing dairy farms moving to organic farming with conventional farming and from Prof Steve Wratten, Lincoln College, about organic farming at the college and key constraints on organic production in New Zealand. The committee has received approximately 112 submissions in its inquiry, of which half want to appear before the committee to give oral evidence.

The committee's next meeting will be on 20 July 2000. It will consider the budget for three votes (Votes Fisheries, Agriculture and Forestry and Biosecurity). The Ministers of Fisheries, Forestry and Biosecurity will be appearing to answer committee questions. Their appearances before the committee are open to the public.

Regulations Review (Shelley Banks, SC-RR@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on Wednesday, 5 July, to examine a number of regulations and to further consider the Biosecurity (Ruminant Protein) Regulations 1999. The committee will next meet on Wednesday, 26 July.

Social Services (Tim Cooper, SC-SS@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee heard evidence on the Housing Restructuring (Income-Related Rents) Amendment Bill in Wellington on Wednesday and in Auckland on Friday. The hearing of evidence is complete. The committee will now begin to consider the issues raised. The bill is due back in the House by Monday 24 July.

Transport and Industrial Relations (Lyn Main, SC-TI@parliament.govt.nz)
The Airport Authorities Amendment Bill (No 2) has been reported back, with the recommendation that it be passed without amendment. The bill amends the Airport Authorities Act 1966 to ensure that local authorities obtain the consent of the Minister of Transport before transferring to airport companies land the Crown vested in the local authorities for airport purposes.

As part of its examination of the Estimates, the committee heard evidence on Vote Labour from the Minister of Labour and officials. The Minister was questioned on a range of issues, including outcomes arising from policies in the Employment Relations Bill, the department’s role in preventing workplace injuries, and future ratification of International Labour Organisation conventions.

The committee will next meet after the adjournment to consider Vote Transport, when it will hear evidence from the Minister and officials. The examinations of the Estimates are due to be reported back to the House by 14 August 2000.


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 (1 September 2000)

Education and Science
Inquiry into student fees, loans, allowances and the overall resourcing of tertiary education (24 July 2000)

Finance and Expenditure
Taxpayers’ Charter Bill (31 July 2000)

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone Extension Bill (1 October 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)

Social Services
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, 7 July 2000

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