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Select Committee Business

Select Committee Business
From 13 October to 20 October 2000
Committee meetings
There were 26 committee meetings this week, two of which were outside Wellington. Six of the meetings were of subcommittees.

Reports presented (9)
Finance and Expenditure
 Public Audit Bill (9-2)

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
 International treaty examination of the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement with Singapore

Local Government and Environment
 Interim report on the inquiry into Auckland City Council’s management of statutory responsibilities in the Hauraki Gulf

Officers of Parliament
 Petition 1999/41 of Walter Clive Clark

Transport and Industrial Relations
 Petition 1996/1934 of Pam Corkery

Law and Order
 Petition 1999/99 of Graham Hamilton Reddell for Richmond Neighbourhood Cottage Incorporated

Social Services
 Social Welfare (Transitional Provisions) Amendment Bill (21-2)
 Student Loan Scheme Amendment Bill (38-2)
 Petition 1996/2022 of Darel Johannes Hall and 5551 others


Bills referred to select committees

The Government Superannuation Fund Amendment Bill was referred to the Finance and Expenditure Committee.

The Tutae-Ka-Wetoweto Forest Bill was referred to the Maori Affairs Committee.

The previous referral to the Local Government and Environment Committee of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Maori Constituency Empowering) Bill was rescinded and the bill referred to the Justice and Electoral Committee.

The Taxation (Beneficiary Income of Minors, Services-Related Payments and Remedial Matters) Bill was referred to the Finance and Expenditure Committee.


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

Commerce (Alan Witcombe, SC-Commerce@parliament.govt.nz)
Hearing of evidence on the Commerce Amendment Bill and Supplementary Order Paper No 37 was completed this week on 19 October. Submissions were presented by the Law Society, Russell McVeagh, the Port Company Reform Working Group, Jumpjet Airlines Limited and Simpson Grierson. The committee also gave consideration to three members' bills currently before it, the Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Bill, the Shop Trading Hours (Abolition of Restrictions) Bill and the Imported Used Cars (Commission of Inquiry) Bill.

The committee is not meeting next week but will hold one meeting over the adjournment, on 2 November, when it will continue consideration of the Commerce Amendment Bill in the morning and undertake a short visit to the Commerce Commission in the afternoon.

Education and Science (Clare Sullivan, SC-ES@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee and its subcommittees met a total of four times this week.

On Wednesday the subcommittee inquiring into tertiary education had its first meeting, and elected Liz Gordon as its chairperson. On Thursday the tertiary subcommittee heard its first oral submissions in Wellington. Four submitters were heard, including Te Mana Akonga (the New Zealand Maori University Students Association) and the Central Institute of Technology.

On Thursday morning the subcommittee inquiring into the teaching of reading in New Zealand met to further consider its inquiry. The full committee also considered the Apprenticeship Training Bill. In a busy meeting, evidence was heard from the Ministry of Education, Department of Labour, Skill New Zealand, New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Industry Training Federation of New Zealand, Ministry of Youth Affairs, Angela Foulkes, New Zealand Employers Federation and the Council of Trade Unions. Submissions for the Apprenticeship Training Bill will be closing on Tuesday 24 October.

The committee will not meet again until 2 November.

Finance and Expenditure (Graham Hill, SC-FE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on 18 October to consider the Taxpayers’ Charter bill. This meeting was followed by a meeting of the sub-committee on Controller and Auditor-General's reports. At the next meeting on 8 November the committee will hear evidence on its inquiry into the preparation of the 2001 Budget Policy Statement.

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (David Sanders, SC-FD@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee presented its report on its examination of the Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) agreement with Singapore. This is a bilateral treaty between New Zealand and Singapore to establish the terms of a free trade area. The committee's report is available on the internet at www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/Publications.

Government Administration (Louise Sparrer, SC-GA@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee has decided to call for public submissions on the issues raised in the terms of reference for the inquiry into New Zealand’s adoption laws. The closing date for submissions is 31 January 2001.

The inquiry is intended:

 To consider the Law Commission’s final report on the legal framework for adoption in New Zealand as set out in the Adoption Act 1955 and the Adult Adoption Information Act 1985, having regard to –
(a) changes in attitudes towards adoption, including an increased focus on children’s interests;
(b) the unique character of New Zealand society, including Maori and other cultural values and needs;

 to consider whether any other changes to the current law are desirable in light of issues arising from past adoption practices;

 to review the provisions of the Adoption (Intercountry) Act 1997 that allow for the approval of accredited organisations and the delegation of functions under the Act to those organisations and to recommend what changes to the adoption laws should be considered to better address contemporary social needs and to improve the operation of those laws.

The Law Commission’s final report on the legal framework for adoption in New Zealand can be accessed at the Law Commission’s website, www.lawcom.govt.nz.

The committee also continued its consideration of the Gaming Law Reform Bill. The committee will not meet again until 2 November 2000.

Health (Nick Aldous, SC-Health@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee is meeting at the Auckland Airport Centra from 10.00 am on Wednesday, 25 October, to continue to hear evidence on the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Bill. This is likely to be the final public hearing on this bill.

Justice and Electoral (Wendy Proffitt, SC-JE@parliament.govt.nz)
This week the committee considered further the Matrimonial Property Amendment Bill, Supplementary Order Paper 25 and related petitions, and the De Facto Relationships (Property) Bill. It also considered its inquiry into the 1999 General Election, the Local Elections (Single Transferable Vote Options) Bill and the 1999/2000 financial reviews. The committee is not meeting in the adjournment weeks.

The subcommittee met several times this week to consider the inquiry into matters relating to the visit of the President of China to New Zealand.

Law and Order (Tracey Rayner, SC-LO@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on Thursday, 19 October, from 10.00 am to 12.40 pm. The morning session was open to the public during a 45-minute hearing on the Habeas Corpus Bill.

On 20 October the committee presented a report on the petition of Graham Hamilton Reddell for Richmond Neighbourhood Cottage Incorporated.

The committee next meets on Thursday 9 November. The meeting will be open to the public from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm for a hearing of evidence from the New Zealand Police on the 1999/2000 financial review.

Local Government and Environment (David Bagnall, SC-LGE@parliament.govt.nz)
On 18 October the committee started hearing evidence on its inquiry into the role of local government in meeting New Zealand's climate change target. The committee heard from scientists from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, who discussed the impact of climate change both in New Zealand and world-wide.

On 19 October the committee presented an interim report on the Audit Office investigation into the Auckland City Council's management of its statutory responsibilities in the Hauraki Gulf. The investigation followed concerns by some residents of Hauraki Gulf islands, particularly Great Barrier Island and Waiheke Island, about the council's management of the islands. The council provided a number of proposals to improve its management of the islands. The committee will take an ongoing interest in the outcome and may finally report to the House next year.

MMP Review (Louise Sparrer, SC-MMP@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee travelled to both Dunedin and Christchurch to hear evidence this week. It also had its final hearing of evidence in Wellington. The committee will now commence its consideration phase of the MMP review.

Officers of Parliament (Shelley Banks, SC-OP@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee presented a report on the petition of Walter Clive Clark on 19 October 2000. The petition requested that the House of Representatives investigate the decisions of the Auditor-General, an Officer of Parliament, who having found in his enquiries that the Mayor of Waimakariri had breached the Local Authorities (Members' Interests) Act 1968, decided not to prosecute the Mayor of Waimakariri and further requested that the House note that 51 people have signed a petition to this effect. The committee had no matters to draw to the attention of the House.

Primary Production (Bob Bunch, SC-PP@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee did not meet this week, but has called for submissions on its inquiry into sustainable forestry management. The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, 23 January 2001. A primary objective of this inquiry is to examine how confidence in New Zealand's indigenous wood industry can be secured and maintained.

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) The 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 committee will not meet again until 9 November 2000 when it will continue hearing evidence on its inquiry into the sale of Property Services Division of Terralink New Zealand Limited to its former employees.

Social Services (Tim Cooper, SC-SS@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee has presented reports on the Student Loan Scheme Amendment Bill and the Social Welfare (Transitional Provisions) Amendment Bill. The committee has also reported on a petition, which sought a lower interest rate on student loans while students are studying. The Student Loan Scheme Amendment Bill goes further than the petitioners’ request.

The major focus of the committee at the moment is the Social Security Amendment Bill, which removes all references to the community wage and restores a separate unemployment benefit and sickness benefit. The committee heard evidence on the bill this week in Wellington, and will hear evidence in Auckland next Wednesday, 25 October. The hearing will be held in the Fergusson Rooms of the Copthorne Hotel on Anzac Avenue, between 11.00 am and 1.30 pm.

Transport and Industrial Relations (Lyn Main, SC-TI@parliament.govt.nz)
On 19 October the committee presented its report on the petition of Pam Corkery. The petition requested that the House of Representatives note that 7785 citizens have signed a petition requesting that the House take action to ban the use of space-saver tyres in automobiles and other vehicles.

The parents of the two women who died as a result of a car accident in Auckland on 11 July 1997 launched a campaign to gain signatures for this petition to ban space-saver tyres. The coroner who investigated the accident attributed the cause of the accident to the use of a temporary-use spare tyre, commonly called space-saver tyres.

The committee is concerned that space-saver tyres be used correctly but did not agree that they should be banned.

It recommended that the Government ensure that:

 the draft rule for tyres and wheels is implemented

 the Land Transport Safety Authority (LTSA) includes in the rule for tyres and wheels, in the section on temporary-use spare tyres, that the warning notice be sprayed on the outside on the wheel

 the LTSA includes in the rule for tyres and wheels that a maximum of one space-saver tyre be used at a time.

The majority of the committee also recommended that the Government ensure that:

 once the rule for tyres and wheels is implemented, the New Zealand Police actively enforce the provisions of the rule that relate to temporary-use spare tyres

 the LTSA ensure that a car with a space-saver tyre not be issued a warrant of fitness unless all the conditions outlined in the rule concerning space saver tyres are met

 the Ministry of Transport and the LTSA promote the correct usage of the space-saver tyre through an extensive publicity campaign.


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

Commerce
Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Bill (27 October 2000)

Education and Science
Apprenticeship Training Bill (24 October 2000)

Finance and Expenditure
Inquiry into the preparation of the 2001 Budget Policy Statement (3 November 2000)
Taxation (Beneficiary Income of Minors, Services-Related Payments and Remedial Matters) Bill (30 November 2000)

Government Administration
Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Prohibition of Child Pornography) Amendment Bill (15 November 2000)
Inquiry into New Zealand’s adoption laws (31 January 2001)

Health
Inquiry into health strategies relating to cannabis use (7 February 2001)

Primary Production
Inquiry into sustainable forestry management (23 January 2001)

Regulations Review
Inquiry into regulation-making powers that authorise international treaties to override any provisions of New Zealand enactments (17 November 2000)

Social Services
Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Amendment Bill (No 3) (20 October 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
ph: 471 9534, fax: 499 0486, or at carol.rankin@parliament.govt.nz
Compiled in the Select Committee Office, Office of the Clerk, 20 October 2000

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