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Select Committee Business 17-24 Nov

Select Committee Business From 17 November to 24 November 2000

Committee meetings
There were 23 committee meetings, six of which were of subcommittees. Four meetings were outside Wellington. The remainder were in the parliamentary complex.

Reports presented (7)
Education and Science
 Apprenticeship Training Bill (50-2)

Finance and Expenditure
 Taxpayers’ Charter Bill (24-1)

Social Services
 1999/2000 financial review of the Ministry of Social Policy
 Petition 1999/8 of Warren Desmond Heap for the Separated Fathers Support Trust and 2337 others

Government Administration
 1999/2000 financial review of the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives
 1999/2000 financial review of the Ministry of Youth Affairs

Justice and Electoral
 1999/2000 financial review of Parliamentary Counsel Office

Bills referred to select committees
The Hawke’s Bay Endowment Land Empowering Bill was referred to the Local Government and Environment Committee. This is a local bill.

The Medical Practitioners (Foreign Qualified Medical Practitioners) Amendment Bill was referred to the Health Committee. This is a member’s bill in the name of Hon Ken Shirley.

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

Commerce (Alan Witcombe, SC-Commerce@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met twice this week to consider the Commerce Amendment Bill and will consider it further next week.

Education and Science (Clare Sullivan, SC-ES@parliament.govt.nz)
This week the committee heard evidence from the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology on the 1999/2000 financial review. Next week the committee will hear evidence on the 1999/2000 financial review of the Ministry of Education.

On Thursday 23rd November (afternoon) and Friday 24th November the subcommittee on the inquiry into student fees, loans, allowances and the overall resourcing of tertiary education has been meeting in Christchurch.

Finance and Expenditure (Graham Hill, SC-FE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on 22 November to hear evidence on the financial review of the Treasury and the Crown financial statements. The committee also heard evidence on its inquiry into the powers and operations of the Auditor-General in relation to community trusts. At the next meeting on 29 November the committee will hear evidence from the Commissioner of Police on its inquiry into Jan and Murray Willis's taxation matters and related investigations by organisations other than the Inland Revenue Department. It will also consider further its inquiry into the powers of the Auditor-General in relation to community trusts.

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (David Sanders, SC-FD@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met in Auckland to hear evidence on two inquiries: New Zealand’s economic and trade relationship with Australia; and the role of human rights in foreign policy. Next week the committee will meet with a French parliamentary delegation and conduct the 1999/2000 financial review of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It will also consider two international treaty examinations and the New Zealand/Singapore Closer Economic Partnership Bill.

Government Administration (Louise Sparrer, SC-GA@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee continued its consideration of the Crimes (Criminal Appeals) Amendment 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 also has 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.

The committee reported on its 1999/2000 financial reviews of the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Ministry of Youth Affairs.

Health (SC-Health@parliament.govt.nz)
On 22 November the committee heard evidence from the Ministry of Health on the 1999/2000 financial review of the ministry. On 29 November the committee will be hearing evidence from the Health Funding Authority (HFA) on its financial review. This may be the last time the committee reviews the HFA as the provisions of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Bill, which has now had its second reading in the House, disestablishes the HFA . The Ministry of Health and the proposed district health boards will carry out the functions previously performed by the HFA.

Justice and Electoral (Wendy Proffitt, SC-JE@parliament.govt.nz)
This week the new Solicitor-General, Terence Arnold QC, appeared before the committee on the 1999/2000 financial review of the Crown Law Office. Further evidence was also heard from the Ministry of Justice and the Office of Treaty Settlements on the 1999/2000 financial review of the Ministry of Justice. The ministry will appear before the committee again next week. In addition, the full Law Commission appeared before the committee on the Inquiry into the Law Commission. The committee discussed with the commission the implementation of Law Commission reports.

Next week the committee will consider the inquiry into matters relating to the visit of the President of China to New Zealand in 1999.

Law and Order (Tracey Rayner, SC-LO@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee heard evidence on the 1999/2000 financial reviews of the Department for Courts and the Serious Fraud Office. It also considered the Crimes Amendment Bill (No 6). Next week the committee will further consider two financial reviews and two bills (Arms Amendment Bill (No 2) and Habeas Corpus.

Local Government and Environment (David Bagnall, SC-LGE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on Wednesday to consider the Tauranga District Council (Route K Toll) Empowering Bill, the Auckland City Endowments and Reserves Amendment Bill and the petition of Rosemary Godwin, which relates to asbestos in East Tamaki. The committee also commenced work on the financial reviews of the Department of Conservation and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

Next week, the committee will meet on Tuesday afternoon to consider further the Tauranga District Council (Route K Toll) Empowering Bill. On Wednesday the committee will hear evidence from the Manukau City Council on the petition of Rosemary Godwin, and will then hear evidence from Local Government New Zealand on the Inquiry into the role of local government in meeting New Zealand's climate change target. Consideration of the Resource Management Amendment Bill and Resource Management (Costs) Amendment Bill will also resume on Wednesday.

The Hawke's Bay Endowment Land Empowering Bill has been referred to the committee for consideration, but a closing date for submissions has not yet been set for that bill or for the Auckland Improvement Trust Amendment Bill.

The subcommittee on Otorohanga termites met twice this week. On Wednesday, 22 November, it had a briefing from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry about the termite infestation and the ministry's efforts to eradicate it. On Friday, 24 November, the subcommittee travelled to for a site visit in the morning and in the afternoon, heard evidence from residents and the ministry's Australian termite expert.

Maori Affairs (SC-MA@parliament.govt.nz)
This week the committee further considered the Te Ture Whenua Maori Amendment Bill. Next week it will hear further evidence from Te Puni Kokiri on its financial review. That hearing will take place in Room G.006 of Parliament House. It will begin shortly after 10.00 am.

Primary Production (Bob Bunch, SC-PP@parliament.govt.nz)
On 23 November the committee heard evidence on the 1999/2000 financial reviews of Timberlands West Coast Limited and Land Information New Zealand Limited. Issues covered in the Timberlands hearing included: the impact of cessation of indigenous forestry on the company's operations and viability; the impact of the cessation of indigenous forestry on the West Coast timber industry; and the proportion of logs being milled off the West Coast.

Issues covered in the Land Information New Zealand hearing included: Landonline Dunedin trial; Landonline Phase 2; and Continental Shelf Project. The committee was also briefed by ENZAFRUIT witnesses on the pipfruit export strategy for 2001.

Next week, the subcommittee on the organic agriculture in New Zealand inquiry will meet on Tuesday, 28 November 2000. The meeting is not open to the public.

The full committee will meet on Thursday, 30 November, to be briefed by the New Zealand Dairy Board on its organic dairy strategy (part of the organic agriculture in New Zealand inquiry) and hold hearings on the 1999/2000 financial reviews of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of Fisheries. The meeting will be open to the public for the briefing and the hearings.

Regulations Review (Fiona McLean, SC-RR@parliament.govt.nz )
At its meeting on 22 November, the committee heard evidence on a complaint relating to the Meat (Residues) Regulations 1996 (SR 1996/199). Evidence was heard from the complainant and from the department responsible for administering the regulations, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

The committee will next meet on 29 November, and will hear evidence from the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors on a complaint relating to the Survey (Departmental Fees and Charges) Regulations 1998 and Survey Regulations 1998. The hearing is open to the public from 4.15 pm to 5.00 pm. Any person or organisation can make a complaint to the committee if he or she is aggrieved at the operation of any regulation.

At its meeting on 29 November, the committee will also hear evidence from the Minister of Immigration, together with officials from the Department of Labour, as part of the committee’s examination of the Immigration (Special Regularisation) Regulations 2000. This hearing is open to the public from 8.30 am to 9.00 am.

Social Services (Tim Cooper, SC-SS@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee reported on two items this week. The petition of Warren Desmond Heap requested a review of family law legislation to give greater emphasis to the rights of fathers and children. The report captures the concerns of the petitioners and recommends to the Government that they be taken into account during the Government review of the Guardianship Act 1968. The committee's report on the 1999/2000 financial review of the Ministry of Social Policy covers such issues as housing policy (including mental health and housing), notifications to the department of Child, Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and the Government's Closing the Gaps strategy.

The committee also heard evidence on the financial reviews of CYFS and the Department of Work and Income, which gave evidence on the issue of its administration of student loans and allowances. Next week the Department of Work and Income will give evidence on other issues. This will take place in Room 11.03 of Bowen House, from 11.00 am to 12.30 pm.

Transport and Industrial Relations (Lyn Main, SC-TI@parliament.govt.nz)
On Wednesday, 22 November, the committee heard evidence from the Ministry of Transport on its 1999/2000 financial review.

At its meeting next week on Wednesday, 29 November, the committee will receive a briefing from the Land Transport Safety Authority on the Road Safety Strategy to 2010. The committee is also hearing further evidence on the 1999/2000 financial review of the Department of Labour, concentrating on issues concerning Occupation Safety and Health and the Immigration Service.


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)

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
ph: 471 9534, fax: 499 0486, or at carol.rankin@parliament.govt.nz

Compiled in the Select Committee Office, Office of the Clerk, 24 November 2000

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