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Select Committee Weekly News - To 8 September

SELECT COMMITTEE BUSINESS
From 1 September to 8 September 2000
Committee meetings
There were 21 committee meetings, many of which were of subcommittees.

Reports presented (1)

Law and Order
 Petition 1999/52 of Frank Louis Miessen and 4 others

Bills referred to select committees
The Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Maori Constituency Empowering) Bill was referred to the Local Government and Environment 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)
At its meeting on Thursday, 7 September, the committee met with members of the Standing Committee on Civil Law of the Parliament of Sweden. Then the committee heard evidence on the Business Law Reform Bill from the New Zealand Law Society and the Financial Services Federation, and gave further consideration to the Commerce Amendment Bill and SOP No 37.

Education and Science (Claire Sullivan, SC-ES@parliament.govt.nz)
The subcommittee is currently in Auckland visiting primary schools on the inquiry into reading in New Zealand.

Finance and Expenditure (Graham Hill, SC-FE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on 6 September to 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. At its next meeting on 13 September the committee will hear more evidence on the Public Audit Bill.

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (David Sanders, SC-FD@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee received a briefing from a delegation of parliamentarians from the United Kingdom. The rest of the meeting was spent hearing evidence on the inquiry into the role of human rights in foreign policy. Submissions were presented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Te Puni Kokiri, and Save the Children.

Next week the committee will be briefed by the Minister for Trade Negotiations on the Closer Economic Partnership treaty with Singapore (10.30 am to 11.15 am). Then the committee will hear a submission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on the inquiry into New Zealand's economic and trade relationship with Australia.

Government Administration (Fiona McLean, SC-GA@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met to consider the Gaming Law Reform Bill, the Casino Control (Poll Demand) Amendment Bill and the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Prohibition of Child Pornography) Amendment Bill.

Next week the committee will meet to continue its consideration of the Gaming Law Reform Bill and the Films, Videos and Publications Classification (Prohibition of Child Pornography) Amendment Bill.

Health (Nick Aldous, SC-Health@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee is currently considering the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Bill. The bill makes major changes to the public health and disability sector. Copies of the bill are available from Bennetts Government Bookshops. The closing date for submissions to the committee on the bill is 22 September. It is expected that the committee will commence hearing oral submissions from late September.

Justice and Electoral (Tracey Conlon, SC-JE@parliament.govt.nz)
At its meeting on Wednesday, 7 September, the committee considered the Matrimonial Property Amendment Bill and Supplementary Order Paper No 25, the Legal Services Bill, and the Inquiry into the 1999 General Election. The subcommittee met on Thursday, 8 September, 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 committee will meet again next Wednesday to further consider its examination of the Legal Services Bill and the Matrimonial Property Amendment Bill and Supplementary Order Paper No 25.

Law and Order (Wendy Proffitt, SC-LO@parliament.govt.nz)
This week the committee heard evidence from the Law Commission on the Habeas Corpus Bill, a member's bill. It also considered the Crimes Amendment Bill (No 6), Arms Amendment Bill (No 2) and Undercover Agents Exemption Bill.

Next week the committee will again consider the Crimes Amendment (No 6), Arms Amendment (No 2) and Undercover Agents Exemption Bills.

Local Government and Environment (David Bagnall, SC-LGE@parliament.govt.nz)
On Wednesday the committee considered the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Amendment Bill (No 2). The House has since extended the deadline for the committee's report on the bill from 11 September to 18 September. The committee will consider the bill further next week.

Submissions were heard on the Resource Management Amendment Bill and Resource Management (Costs) Amendment Bill. The committee heard evidence from the New Zealand Archaeological Association on Wednesday, and on Thursday a subcommittee heard a number of submissions. These included Campaign for a Better City, Barry Rumball, Genesis Power Limited, Southern Environmental Association (Wellington), Pacific Ecologic Limited and the Wellington Botanical Society. The committee will consider the bills next Wednesday.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Maori Constituency Empowering) Bill was referred to the committee. It is a local bill in the name of Mita Ririnui. The committee has not yet set a closing date for submissions.

Maori Affairs (Kia Paranihi, SC-MA@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee has now completed public hearings on the Te Ture Whenua Maori Amendment (Maori Land Amendment) Bill and will begin its consideration of the many issues raised by submitters next week. Included among the key issues are;
 the processes through which land alienation might be decided
 the provision of access to Maori-owned land-locked land
 the voting rights of incorporated owners of land included in a Maori incorporation under Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993
 mandate and representation for Maori groupings, governance and management of trusts and incorporations.

MMP Review (Louise Sparrer, SC-MMP@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee will commence public hearings on MMP at its next meeting on 14 September. The hearings will take place in the Legislative Council Chamber at Parliament from 8.00am to 10.30am. Those appearing on Thursday are the political parties that have made submissions to the committee. The order of appearance is United New Zealand Party, the New Zealand National Party, the New Zealand Labour Party, the Green Party, the Alliance and the ACT New Zealand Party.

Officers of Parliament (Adrian Carpinter, SC-OP@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on Thursday, 7 September, to consider various items. These included the budget of the Office of the Ombudsmen for investigation and resolution of complaints about government administration and the budget of the Audit Office for an information technology capital proposal. The committee is also reviewing the Code of practice for provision of assistance by the Controller and Auditor-General to select committees and members of Parliament.

Primary Production (Bob Bunch, SC-PP@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee heard evidence on its inquiry into organic agriculture in New Zealand on Thursday, 7 September, in Palmerston North. Submissions from the Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University, AgResearch and a number of organic farmers were heard.

The committee will be further considering its inquiry into the sale of the Property Services Division of Terralink New Zealand Limited to its former employees on 14 and 21 September 2000.

Social Services (Tim Cooper, SC-SS@parliament.govt.nz)
This week the committee heard evidence on Petition 1999/8 of Warren Desmond Heap, on the issue of shared parenting and family law legislation. The petitioners request a review of this legislation to better protect the rights of children and fathers. The committee also received a briefing on the Social Welfare (Transitional Provisions) Amendment Bill. This bill aims to provide for New Zealand's international social security agreements to include mutual assistance provisions for the recovery of social security debts of either country. Next week the committee will begin to consider the Student Loan Scheme Amendment Bill. This bill aims to give effect to the Government's intention not to charge interest on student loans for full-time, full-year students and low-income, part-time students while they are studying.

Standing Orders (Ailsa Salt)
This committee has now been established. Committee members are Rick Barker, John Carter, Hon Dr Michael Cullen, Rod Donald, Hon Peter Dunne, Grant Gillon, Rt Hon Jonathan Hunt (Chairperson), Ron Mark, Hon Richard Prebble (Deputy Chairperson) and Hon Roger Sowry.

Transport and Industrial Relations (Lyn Main, SC-TI@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee has three petitions before it requesting the construction of the Transmission Gully Road. The committee, as part of its consideration of these petitions, visited the Transmission Gully area on Wednesday 6 September. Officials from Transit New Zealand briefed the committee on the proposed route during the visit.

At its next meeting on Wednesday, 13 September, the committee is hearing evidence from petitioners on their petition requesting that the provision of seats on school buses be compulsory so that students are not standing on school buses. The committee is also hearing evidence on petitions requesting that safety belts on school buses be provided.


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 (22 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

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, 8 September 2000

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