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Select Committee Business - Weekly Bulletin

SELECT COMMITTEE BUSINESS

From 18 August to 25 August 2000
Committee meetings
There were 20 committee meetings this week, all in the parliamentary complex. Six of these meetings were of subcommittees.

Reports presented
Local Government and Environment
 Forests (West Coast Accord) Bill (26-2)

Health
 Petition 1999/35 of Brian, Yvonne, Dianne and Marilyn Beggs and 13 360 others

Law and Order
 Petition 1999/53 of Gordon Kuggeleijn and others

Transport and Industrial Relations
 Petition 1999/10 of Cameron Moray-Smith and 13 others and two petitions of a similar nature (1999/11 and 1999/14)

Government Administration
 Archives, Culture, and Heritage Reform Bill (47-1)
 Petition 1999/12 of Rod Donald and others and Petition 1999/13 of Keith Locke and others


Bills referred to select committees
No bills were referred.

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


Finance and Expenditure (Graham Hill, SC-FE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on 23 August to be briefed by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue and the Acting Solicitor-General on the 'Magnum transaction' and consider further the Taxation (Annual Rates, GST and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill. At the next meeting on 6 September the committee will receive a briefing from a delegation from the United Kingdom, consider further the Taxation (Annual Rates, GST and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill and hear evidence on the Public Audit Bill.

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (David Sanders, SC-FD@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee heard evidence from the New Zealand Whaling Commission in relation to a petition from Hon Sandra Lee for the establishment of a global whale sanctuary. The committee also began hearing submissions on its inquiry into New Zealand's economic and trade relationship with Australia. The committee heard from Federated Farmers, the Retail Merchants' Association and the Manufacturers Federation.

Next week a subcommittee will travel to East Timor to view New Zealand's participation in the United Nations Transitional Authority in East Timor (UNTAET). The committee envisages making a report to the House on its visit.

Government Administration (Fiona McLean, SC-GA@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee presented its report on the Archives, Culture, and Heritage Reform Bill and recommended that the bill be passed without amendment. The bill provides for the transfer of heritage responsibilities from the Department of Internal Affairs to a new department with responsibility for National Archives. It also provides for historical and heritage property responsibilities to be transferred from the Department of Internal Affairs to the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. The bill seeks to ensure that National Archives has independent status as a Government department from 1 October 2000. The committee commented that, while it was aware that there might have been public interest in the bill, it was unable to call for submissions due to the short timeframe within which the bill had to be reported back to the House.

The committee also reported to the House on the 1999/0012 Petition of Rod Donald and others and the 1999/0013 Petition of Keith Locke and others. The petition of Rod Donald and others calls for an inquiry into whether the Security Intelligence Service should be abolished. The petition of Keith Locke and others calls for the abolition of the Government Communications Security Bureau along with its bases at Waihopai and Tangimoana. The committee drew the attention of the House to the fact that both petitions appeared to be out of order because both petitions had been signed by the member presenting the petition, in contravention of Standing Order 353(2).

The committee commenced consideration of the Film, Videos, and Publications Classification (Prohibition of Child Pornography) Amendment Bill, a Member’s bill in the name of Anne Tolley. The bill is intended to protect children under New Zealand’s censorship legislation by ensuring that publications that exploit children are deemed objectionable under the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993. It does this by amending section 3 of the Act.

Consideration of the Gaming Law Reform Bill continued.

The committee will not meet next week. The next meeting of the committee is scheduled for Thursday, 7 September 2000.

Health (Nick Aldous, SC-Health@parliament.govt.nz)
Last week the House referred the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Bill to the committee with an instruction to report it back by 14 November 2000. A closing date of 22 September has been set for submissions. An electronic copy of the bill can be found at:
http://www.gp.co.nz/wooc/bills/public-health/health.html

Justice and Electoral (Tracey Conlon, SC-JE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on Wednesday to consider the Legal Services Bill and the Matrimonial Property Amendment Bill and SOP No 25.

The committee is not scheduled to meet next week.

The date by which the committee must make its report to the House on the Matrimonial Property Amendment Bill and SOP 25 has been extended to 1 November 2000.

The subcommittee met on Wednesday and Thursday mornings to further consider the inquiry into matters relating to the visit of the President of China to New Zealand in 1999.

Law and Order (Wendy Proffitt, SC-LO@parliament.govt.nz)
This week the committee heard evidence on the petition of Steven Ching. He requested that the House of Representatives call upon the Government to take steps to implement the measures called for in Norm Withers' Citizen Initiated Referendum. The petition describes Norm Withers' referendum as calling for tougher penalties for violent offenders and more rights for victims and supported by over 90% on New Zealand voters in the 1999 election.

The committee also considered two other petitions and the Habeas Corpus Bill and the Crimes (Publication) Bill, both members' bills.

The committee will not meet next week.

Local Government and Environment (David Bagnall, SC-LGE@parliament.govt.nz)
On Monday 21 August the committee presented its report on the Forests (West Coast Accord) Bill. By majority the committee recommended that the bill be passed, because it will enable the Government to implement its policy of ceasing as soon as possible the logging of indigenous forest on Crown-managed land.

The committee recommended that the bill be amended to provide for consultation prior to declarations about additions to national parks and to allow for the addition of land to existing reserves. It also proposed a number of amendments relating to the saving of existing encumbrances, relating to indigenous production forest under the management of Timberlands West Coast Limited, that were in force or under negotiation on 15 May 2000. Among these amendments are:

 inclusion of a sunset clause for encumbrances with unspecified terms
 provision for minor variations to be made without requiring encumbrances to be exchanged for concessions issued under conservation legislation
 inclusion of the power to grant easements required to implement the Ngai Tahu Deed of Settlement.

Copies of the committee's report on the bill are available from Bennett's Government Bookshops.

Most of this week's meeting (on Wednesday 23 August) was spent in consideration of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Amendment Bill (No 2). The Business Committee has extended the deadline for the committee's report on that bill to 11 September. The committee also considered the 2000/01 Estimate for Vote Conservation. This vote has been referred back to the committee by the House for further consideration, as recommended by the committee in its report of 14 August. The committee will consider the vote further next Wednesday, and its final report must be presented by 4 September.

Also this week the committee heard one submission on the Resource Management Amendment Bill, from ICOMOS New Zealand (International Council for Monuments and Sites). The committee will meet next Tuesday and Wednesday (29 and 30 August) to hear most of the remaining submissions on the bill.

Maori Affairs (Kia Paranihi, SC-MA@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee was briefed by the Office of Treaty Settlements at its last meeting. A further briefing was provided by Dan Te Kanawa, creator and initiator of the Maori Registration Service. The service has aspects that link it to particular provisions within the Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993, amendments for which are currently being considered by the committee. The Te Ture Whenua Maori Amendment Bill presently remains before the committee with the final hearing of submissions expected to take place on 14 September.

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 on Thursday, 24 August, to hear further evidence in its inquiry into organic agriculture in New Zealand. Evidence from New Zealand LifeSciences Network, BioDynamic Farming and Garden Association of New Zealand and Pesticide Action Network along with two individual submissions was heard. Further consideration was given to the inquiry into the sale of Property Services Division of Terralink New Zealand Limited to its former employees.

The committee has initiated an inquiry into sustainable forestry management. A primary objective of this inquiry is to examine how confidence in New Zealand's indigenous wood industry can be secured and maintained. Damien O’Connor, Chairperson of the committee said, “The Government's recent decisions on West Coast forests have raised important questions about the future of sustainable indigenous forest management in New Zealand. We said in our report on the 1998/99 Financial Review of Timberlands West Coast Limited, that we consider the wider issue of sustainable management of privately owned forests needs to be examined. The halting of Timberlands’ harvesting of beech and rimu and the subsequent loss of experience and expertise will leave a gap in the institutional knowledge of sustainable forestry management.” The terms of reference for the inquiry are:

1. To examine the sustainable management of privately owned indigenous forests and within this examination to consider:

a) The scope and range of sustainable management plans.
b) The processes and procedures for developing sustainable management plans.
c) The relationship between sustainable management plans and sustainable management permits.
d) The inter-relationship between sustainable management plans, the Resource Management Act 1991 and local government.
e) The international credibility of sustainable management plans for privately owned indigenous forests in New Zealand.
f) Conditions or requirements placed on those wishing to harvest or market timber from native forests.

2. To examine what restrictions, if any, should be placed on those wishing to completely remove native forests in favour of other land uses.

3. To examine whether indigenous forest managers, regardless of whether they are producing timber, should be required to demonstrate that they are managing their forests in a sustainable manner.

4. To examine what the future role of the State should be in relation to indigenous forest management and research, given the potentially wide role of native forest management (including planting) in relation to such objectives as landscape protection, erosion prevention, biodiversity conservation and timber production.

5. To consider what policy or legislative mechanisms should be used to give effect to any findings of the inquiry.

6. To report its findings and recommendations, if any, to the House of Representatives.

The next few weeks will see the committee travel to hear more evidence on the inquiry into organic agriculture. On 31 August the committee goes to Auckland with the hearings at the Centra Airport Hotel from 10.00 am to 3.30 pm. On 7 September the committee travels to Palmerston North while on 14 September it will be going to Nelson.

Social Services (Tim Cooper, SC-SS@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee did not meet this week. It will next meet on 6 September.

Transport and Industrial Relations (Lyn Main, SC-TI@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee is not meeting next week.

Closing dates for submissions on bills
Committees are receiving submission on the following bills with the closing date shown:

Commerce
Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Bill (27 October 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)

Health
New Zealand Public Health and Disability Bill (27 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
Children, Young Persons and Their Families Amendment Bill (No 3) (20 October 2000)
Student Loan Scheme Amendment Bill (8 September 2000)


General
A compendium of 2000/01 Estimates reports is now available from Bennetts Government Bookshps. The shoulder number is I. 19A.

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
carol.rankin@parliament.govt.nz
Compiled in the Select Committee Office, Office of the Clerk, 25 August 2000

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