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Select Committee Weekly News - 11 August

4 to 11 August 2000
Committee meetings
There were 16 committee meetings, all in the parliamentary complex. In addition, one meeting (Commerce Committee) is scheduled for tomorrow morning (Saturday).

Reports presented (8)

Law and Order
 Estimates for 2000/01 Vote Corrections
 Estimates for 2000/01 Vote Police
 Truth in Sentencing Bill (276-1)

 Petition 1996/10 of Jim Anderton

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
 International Crimes and International Criminal Court Bill (34-2)

 Sale of Liquor Amendment Bill (No 3) (333-2)

Finance and Expenditure
 Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s Monetary Policy Statement, May 2000

Maori Affairs
 Estimates for 2000/01 Vote Maori Affairs

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, SC-Commerce@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee is scheduled to meet this Saturday morning to consider Votes Consumer Affairs, Government Superannuation Fund, and Industry and Regional Development with respect to the 2000/01 Estimates of appropriations.

The committee has presented its report on the Sale of Liquor Amendment Bill (No 3). The bill:

 removes the monopoly trading rights of the seven licensing trusts that still have them
 enables licensing trusts to carry on business outside their districts
 provides for licensing trusts to be able to reconstitute as community trusts
 makes other minor changes to the Sale of Liquor Act 1989.

“The committee has reported the bill with recommended amendments but could not agree that the bill be passed as amended. The committee was unable to agree on the monopoly trading rights of licensing trusts,” said the Chairperson, David Cunliffe.

Government members believe that licensing trusts that retain exclusive retailing rights in the main return significant benefits to their communities.

Government members support the other amendments in the bill that will lead to significant operational benefits for the licensing trusts. Government members believe that any decision to change trust trading rights should be made by the residents of the trust areas affected but do not believe that triennial polls are necessary.

National and ACT members believe that the retention of the exclusive retailing rights of the trusts constitute a significant restraint on the freedoms of residents within the remaining trust districts.

National and ACT members agree with the recommendation of the Liquor Advisory Committee that forms the basis of the proposal to remove the exclusive trading rights.

Education and Science (Clare Sullivan, SC-ES@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met to consider two of its Estimates. Next week the committee will receive a briefing from the Wellington Community Law Centre on its report on the "Communities Support Schools and Parents" Project.

Also next week, the subcomittee considering the Inquiry into reading in New Zealand will begin hearing evidence in Christchurch. It will meet Thursday afternoon and evening and Friday.

Finance and Expenditure (Graham Hill, SC-FE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on 9 August to consider further the estimates and meet a parliamentary delegation from the People's Republic of China. At its next meeting on 16 August the committee will consider further the Taxation (Annual Rates, GST and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill.

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (David Sanders, SC-FD@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met yesterday between 1 pm and 2 pm. It heard one submision on its inquiry into the role of human rights in foreign policy. The rest of the meeting was spent on the Estimates before the committee. Earlier this week, the committee reported on its consideration of the International Crimes and International Criminal Court Bill.

The next meeting is 17 August. The committee will be briefed by a delegation of parliamentarians from South Korea. It will also hear another submission on its inquiry into the role of human rights in foreign policy. Finally, it will hear evidence on a petition in respect of Mordechai Vanunu.

Government Administration (Fiona McLean, SC-GA@parliament.govt.nz
The committee further considered the 2000/01 Estimates.

The committee gave initial consideration to the Casino Control (Poll Demand) Amendment Bill, a member’s bill in the name of Willie Jackson. The committee has called for submissions on the bill, with a closing date of 23 September 2000. The bill seeks to amend the Casino Control Act 1990. Under the Act, the Casino Control Authority may not grant or renew a casino premises licence to an applicant until it has received a social impact report from the applicant and satisfied itself that the proposed casino will not have unduly negative social impacts on the place or region. The bill seeks to amend the Act in the following ways:

 In order “to satisfy itself”, the Casino Control Authority would be required to conduct its own independent social impact report.
 The people of the affected region would be given the opportunity to demand a poll on the question of whether to grant or renew a casino premises licence. The result of this poll would be binding on the Casino Control Authority.

The committee will meet next week to continue its consideration of the Gaming Law Reform Bill.

Health (Nick Aldous, SC-Health@parliament.govt.nz)
This week the committee completed its consideration of 2000/01 Health Estimates. Next week it will consider the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care) Bill and its companion bill, the Criminal Justice Amendment Bill (No 7).

Justice and Electoral (Tracey Conlon, SC-JE@parliament.govt.nz)
At its meeting on Wednesday, 9 August, the committee considered the Referenda (Postal Voting) Bill, the Legal Services Bill, the Matrimonial Property Amendment Bill and Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) No 25, and several petitions on the subject of the SOP. It also considered the Inquiry into the 1999 General Election.

The committee will meet again next Wednesday to further consider the Legal Services Bill, the Inquiry into the 1999 General Election, and the Matrimonial Property Amendment Bill and SOP No 25.

The subcommittee did not meet this week, but will meet next Tuesday to continue its consideration of the inquiry into matters relating to the visit of the President of China to New Zealand in September 1999.

Law and Order (Wendy Proffitt, SC-LO@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee presented reports on Votes Police and Corrections and on the Truth in Sentencing Bill. The committee has recommended that the Truth in Sentencing Bill not proceed. The report sets out the views of those members who wanted the bill to proceed and those who did not.

At its meeting this week the committee considered Vote Serious Fraud and the Crimes Amendment Bill (No 6).

Local Government and Environment (David Bagnall, SC-LGE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on Wednesday in the morning to consider the 2000/01 Estimates for Vote Conservation and Vote Local Government and the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Amendment Bill (No 2). That afternoon and also on Thursday afternoon the committee continued its consideration of the Forests (West Coast Accord) Bill.

Next week the committee will meet on Wednesday 16 August in the morning and afternoon to do further work on these two bills.

MMP Review (Louise Sparrer, SC-MMP@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee next meets on 16 August. At this meeting, it is expected the committee will confirm its schedule of hearings on MMP. In total, 251 submissions have been received. Of these just over 70 people have asked to be heard, mostly in Wellington. The committee is likely to travel to Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin.

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.

Maori Affairs (Kia Paranihi, SC-MA@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee considered the Estimates for Vote Maori Affairs.

Primary Production (Bob Bunch, SC-PP@parliament.govt.nz)
Because of urgency in the House, the committee met on Thursday during the parliamentary lunch break, 1.00 pm to 2.00 pm. Being an abbreviated meeting, the committee considered only a few items. These were the Estimates for Votes Biosecurity and Vote Lands and the inquiry into the sale of the Property Services Division of Terralink New Zealand Limited.

Next Thursday, 17 August, the committee commences hearing evidence on its inquiry into organic agriculture in New Zealand. Submissions to be heard include Federated Farmers, Bio-Gro New Zealand, AGCARM, Meat New Zealand and the New Zealand Dairy Board. The hearings will be open to the public and commence just after 10.00 am in Room G.010, Parliament House.

Further hearing dates on the inquiry are as follows:

24 August 2000 - Parliament, Wellington
31 August 2000 - Centra (Auckland Airport)
7 September 2000 - Palmerston North (venue to be advised)
14 September 2000 - Nelson subject to the House not taking urgency (venue to be advised)
28 September 2000 - Christchurch (venue to be advised)

The hearings will be open to the public unless otherwise advised.

Regulations Review (Shelley Banks, SC-RR@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on Wednesday 9 August. In the afternoon the committee heard evidence from the Department of Conservation and the New Zealand Fish and Game Council regarding notices setting fishing and gaming fees under the Wildlife Act 1953, the Conservation Act 1987 and the Maori Land Amendment and Maori Land Claims Adjustment Act 1926.

The committee next meets on Wednesday 16 August from 8.30 am to 9.20 am.

Social Services (Tim Cooper, SC-SS@parliament.govt.nz)
The Social Services Committee received a briefing on the issue of the administration of special benefits. It heard evidence from the authors of two recent reports on the subject by the Downtown Community Ministry and the Wellington People's Centre. It also heard evidence from the Department of Work and Income (which administers the benefit) and the Ministry of Social Policy (which oversees the policy for it). The committee will not meet next week.

Transport and Industrial Relations (Lyn Main, SC-TI@parliament.govt.nz)
The Ministry of Transport and the Land Transport Safety Authority briefed the committee at its meeting on Wednesday on the additional expenditure allocated to the Safety (Administration) Programme and the Driver Licensing Review. The additional expenditure is for a number of initiatives aimed at improving road safety. It has been estimated that these initiatives will save from between 63 lives per year (lower limit of estimate) to 105 lives per year (upper limit of estimate). The Driver Licensing Review is being conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The final report on the review should be with the Minister of Transport by the end of October 2000.

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

Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Bill (1 September 2000)
Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) No 37 relating to the Commerce Amendment Bill (15 September 2000)

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone Extension Bill (2 October 2000)

Government Administration
Casino Control (Poll Demand) Amendment Bill (23 September 2000)
Justice and Electoral
Local Elections (Single Transferable Vote Option) Bill (1 September 2000)

Local Government and Environment
Tauranga District Council (Route K Toll) Empowering Bill (1 September 2000)

Primary Production
Foreign Fishing Crew Wages and Repatriation Bond Bill (4 September 2000)

Social Services
Social Welfare (Transitional Provisions) Amendment Bill (11 August 2000)
Children, Young Persons and Their Families Amendment Bill (No 3) (20 October 2000)
Student Loan Scheme Amendment Bill (8 September 2000)


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, 11 August 2000

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