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Weekly Select Committee News - 17th November

SELECT COMMITTEE BUSINESS
From 10 November to 17 November 2000
Committee meetings
There were 20 meetings, all in the parliamentary complex, and one site visit.

Reports presented (3)
Health
 New Zealand Public Health and Disability Bill (48-2)

Business
 Recommended sitting programme for 2001

Finance and Expenditure
 Inquiry into specific activities of the Inland Revenue Department surrounding Jan and Murray Willis’s taxation matters


Bills referred to select committees
The New Zealand/Singapore Closer Economic Partnership Bill was referred to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee.

The Subordinate Legislation (Confirmation and Validation) Bill was referred to the Regulations Review Committee.

Supplementary Order Paper No 85 relating to the Crimes Amendment Bill (No 6) was 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 committee considered the Commerce Amendment Bill. In addition the committee has called for submissions on the Electronic Transactions Bill and set a closing date of 1 February 2001.

Next week the committee will meet twice to further consider the Commerce Amendment Bill.

Education and Science (Clare Sullivan, SC-ES@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met and considered the Apprenticeship Training Bill. The subcommittee on the inquiry into reading met. The subcommittee on the inquiry into student fees, loans, allowances and the overall resourcing of tertiary education met and heard evidence over two days in Wellington.

Next week the committee will hear evidence on the 1999/2000 financial review of the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology. The subcommittee on the inquiry into student fees, loans, allowances and the overall resourcing of tertiary education will meet and hear evidence over two days in Christchurch on the afternoon and evening of 23 and 24 November.

Finance and Expenditure (Graham Hill, SC-FE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on 15 November to hear evidence from the Controller and Auditor-General on the 1999/2000 financial review of the Audit Office, hear evidence on an inquiry into the specific activities of the Inland Revenue Department surrounding Jan and Murray Willis's taxation matters and consider further the Taxpayers' Charter Bill. The inquiry was reported to the House with a recommendation that a financial settlement be reached.

At its next meeting on 22 November the committee will hear evidence on the 1999/2000 financial reviews of the Treasury, the Inland Revenue Department and the Crown financial statements. The committee will also hear evidence on its inquiry into the powers and operations of the Auditor-General in relation to community trusts.

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (David Sanders, SC-FD@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee will meet in Auckland on 23 November to hear evidence on two inquiries: New Zealand’s economic and trade relationship with Australia; and the role of human rights in foreign policy.

Government Administration (Louise Sparrer, SC-GA@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee heard evidence from the State Services Commission on the 1999/2000 financial review.

The Crimes (Criminal Appeals) Amendment Bill was referred to the committee last week. This bill has a report date of 23 November. The committee has decided to invite submissions on this bill. The purpose of the bill is to reform and clarify the case management procedure for dealing with criminal appeals in the Court of Appeal. The removal of the processing of legal aid applications from the Court of Appeal will change the way in which cases are handled by the Court. The bill also provides for the validation of Court of Appeal decisions under the current legislative framework (except for two proceedings that commenced before the bill’s introduction).

The committee has also been referred the Summit Road (Canterbury) Protection Bill. This is a local bill in the name of Hon David Carter. This bill provides for the consolidation and amendment of the law relating to the protection of the scenic amenities for the Summit Road and other roads in the Port Hills of Canterbury. The deadline for submissions on this bill is 31 January 2001.

Health (SC-Health@parliament.govt.nz)
On 14 November the committee presented its report on the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Bill. The majority of the committee has recommended a number of amendments. The bill as introduced contained separate clauses and provisions for health outcomes for Maori and for other groups. The committee's report states that “The majority recommends that subclauses 17(1)(d) and (e) be collapsed to create a new subclause (1)(d) with a single objective relating to health disparities. The new provision makes it clear that the [District Health Boards’] objective is to reduce health disparities by improving health outcomes for Maori and other population groups.”

Justice and Electoral (Wendy Proffitt, SC-JE@parliament.govt.nz)
This week the committee heard submissions on the Local Elections (Single Transferable Vote Option) Bill, a member’s bill in the name of Rod Donald. The committee also initiated an inquiry into the Law Commission, for which there will be a hearing of evidence next week. Next week the committee will also hear evidence on the 1999/2000 financial review of the Crown Law Office and complete the hearing of evidence on the 1999/2000 financial review of the Ministry of Justice.

The committee is calling for submissions on the Prostitution Reform Bill, a member’s bill in the name of Tim Barnett. The closing date is 26 February 2001. The aims of the bill are to decriminalise prostitution, to safeguard the human rights of sex workers and protect them from exploitation, to promote the welfare and occupational health and safety of sex workers, to create an environment which is conducive to public health, and to protect children from exploitation in relation to prostitution.

Law and Order (Tracey Rayner, SC-LO@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on Thursday, 16 November. The morning session was open to the public, from 10.30 am to 12 noon during a hearing of evidence on the 1999/2000 financial review of the Department of Corrections.

The committee next meets on Thursday, 23 November. The morning session will be open to the public, from 10.30 am to 12.15 pm, during a hearing of evidence on the 1999/2000 financial review of the Department for Courts. The afternoon session will be open to the public, from 3.30 pm to 6.00 pm, during a hearing of evidence on the 1999/2000 financial review of the Serious Fraud Office.

Local Government and Environment (David Bagnall, SC-LGE@parliament.govt.nz)
On Wednesday the committee received evidence from Transfund New Zealand on the Tauranga District Council (Route K Toll) Empowering Bill. An official from the Tauranga District Council who was in attendance also answered questions from the committee. The committee then considered the bill in closed session, and will continue to do so next Wednesday. At next week's meeting the committee will also consider the Auckland City Endowments and Reserves Vesting Amendment Bill.

The subcommittee on Otorohanga Termites will meet twice next week. The first meeting will be in Room G.001, Parliament House, on 22 November 2000, from 3.15 pm to 4.15 pm to receive a briefing from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on the termite situation. This is open to the public.

On Friday, 24 November, the subcommittee will travel to Otorohanga for a site visit in the morning, followed by hearing of evidence in the afternoon including submissions from the Residents Against Subterranean Termites (RASTS) at the Otorohanga Council Chambers.

Maori Affairs (SC-MA@parliament.govt.nz)
This week the committee heard evidence from Te Puni Kokiri as part of its 1999/2000 financial review. The committee asked questions about the capability of the department in terms of closing the gaps, evaluating the effectiveness of its policy advice and outcomes for Maori in education. Next week the committee will further consider the Te Ture Whenua Maori Amendment Bill.

Primary Production (Bob Bunch, SC-PP@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on Thursday, 16 November, to consider and hear evidence on its inquiry into organic agriculture in New Zealand. The Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand Limited appeared before the committee. The committee also considered its 1999/2000 financial reviews of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry Fisheries.

Next week, on 23 November, the committee will hear evidence on the 1999/2000 financial reviews of Land Information New Zealand and Timberlands West Coast Limited. It will also receive a briefing from ENZAFRUIT about the forthcoming pipfruit export season.

Regulations Review (Fiona McLean, SC-RR@parliament.govt.nz )
At its meeting on 15 November, the committee heard evidence on a complaint relating to the Survey (Departmental Fees and Charges) Regulations 1998 and the Survey Regulations 1998. Evidence was heard from the complainant and from the department responsible for administering the regulations, Land Information New Zealand.

The committee will next meet on 22 November and will hear evidence on a complaint relating to the Meat (Residues) Regulations 1996. Any person can make a complaint to the committee if he or she is aggrieved at the operation of any regulation. The committee will hear from the complainant and from the department responsible for administering the regulations, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The hearing is open to the public from 3.15 pm to 4.30 pm.

At its meeting on 22 November, the committee will also hear evidence from the Minister of Immigration, together with officials from the Department of Labour, as part of its examination of the Immigration (Special Regularisation) Regulations 2000. This hearing is open to the public from 5.00 pm to 5.30 pm.

Social Services (Tim Cooper, SC-SS@parliament.govt.nz)
This week the committee finished hearing evidence on the 1999/2000 financial review of the Ministry of Social Policy and on the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Amendment Bill (No 3). The bill transfers powers of search and seizure from regulations into primary legislation. Next week the committee will hear evidence from the Department of Work and Income on its 1999/2000 financial review. This hearing (10.00 am to 10.30 am, Room 11.03 Bowen House) will focus only on student services (that is, loans and allowances). The committee will also hear evidence on the financial review of the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services (11.00 am to 12.15 pm).

Transport and Industrial Relations (Lyn Main, SC-TI@parliament.govt.nz)
On 15 November the committee heard evidence from the Department of Labour as part of its examination of the 1999/2000 financial review of the department. The committee will continue this hearing of evidence on 29 November 2000.

At its next meeting on Wednesday, 22 November, the committee will hear evidence on the 1999/2000 financial review of the Ministry of Transport.


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

Commerce
Electronic Transactions Bill (1 February 2001)

Finance and Expenditure
Taxation (Beneficiary Income of Minors, Services-Related Payments and Remedial Matters) Bill (30 November 2000)
Government Superannuation Fund Amendment Bill (15 December 2000)

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
Volunteers Employment Protection Amendment Bill (30 November 2000)
International Treaties Bill (31 March 2001)

Government Administration
Inquiry into New Zealand’s adoption laws (31 January 2001)
Summit Road (Canterbury) Protection Bill (31 January 2001)

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

Justice and Electoral
Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Maori Constituency Empowering) Bill (12 February 2001)
Prostitution Reform Bill (26 February 2001)

Maori Affairs
Tutae-Ka-Wetoweto Forest Bill (31 January 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)

Standing Orders
Procedures of the House and select committees (30 November 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, 17 November 2000

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