Select Committee Business
From 8 December to 15 December 2000
There were 18 committee meetings, all in the parliamentary complex. Some of Thursday’s meetings were disrupted due to the House being in urgency.
1. 1999/2000 financial review of the Broadcasting Standards Authority
2. 1999/2000 financial review of the Meteorological Service of New Zealand Limited
3. 1999/2000 financial review of the Takeovers Panel
4. 1999/2000 financial review of the Testing Laboratory Registration Council of New Zealand
Finance and Expenditure
5. Inquiry into Jan and Murray Willis’s taxation matters and related investigations by organisations other than the Inland Revenue Department
6. 1999/2000 financial review of the Inland Revenue Department
7. 1999/2000 financial review of the Audit Office
8. 1999/2000 financial review of The Treasury
9. Financial review of the Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the year ended 30 June 2000
Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
10. 1999/2000 financial review of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
11. 1999/2000 financial review of the New Zealand Defence Force
Justice and Electoral
12. Inquiry into matters relating to the visit of the President of China to New Zealand in September 1999 (I. 7A)
13. 1999/2000 financial review of the Crown Law Office
14. 1999/2000 financial review of the Ministry of Maori Development
15. 1999/2000 financial review of Land Information New Zealand
16. 1999/2000 financial review of Timberlands West Coast Limited
17. Children, Young Persons and Their Families Amendment Bill (No 3)
18. 1999/2000 financial review of the Department of Work and Income
19. 1999/2000 financial review of the Ministry of Housing
Transport and Industrial Relations
20. 1999/2000 financial review of the Ministry of Transport
21. 1999/2000 financial review of the Department of Labour
22. Petition 1999/32 of Elena Joan Leask and Valda Cousins and 5602 others
23. Petitions 1996/170 of Julienne Rose and 232 others and 1996/2063 of M Hargreaves
24. Petition 1999/4 of Hon Peter Dunne and 24 155 others and two petitions of a similar nature (1996/1861 and 1996/2017)
Bills referred to select committees
The Civil Defence Emergency Management Bill was referred to the Government Administration Committee.
The Electricity Industry Bill was referred to the Commerce Committee with a requirement to report by 15 May 2001.
The Takeovers Code (Implementation and Enforcement) Bill was referred to the Commerce Committee.
The Local Electoral Bill was referred to the Justice and Electoral Committee.
The Local Government (Elected Member Remuneration and Trading Enterprises) Amendment Bill was referred to the Local Government and Environment Committee.
The New Zealand Superannuation Bill was referred to the Finance and Expenditure Committee.
The Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation Bill was referred to the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee. Sue Bradford and Peter Brown were authorised to participate in committee proceedings in addition to the committee’s established membership but without voting rights.
The Civil Aviation Amendment Bill was referred to the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee.
The Education Amendment Bill (No 2) was referred to the Education and Science Committee.
The Housing Corporation Amendment Bill was referred to the Social Services Committee.
The Statutes Amendment Bill was referred to the Government Administration Committee.
The Public Trust Bill was referred to the Finance and Expenditure Committee.
(for further information on an item, please contact the committee staff noted in italics)
Commerce (Alan Witcombe,
The committee met twice this week to consider some of its 1999/2000 financial reviews.
Education and Science (Clare Sullivan,
The committee’s meeting was cancelled due to the House sitting in urgency.
Administration (Louise Sparrer,
The committee has called for public submissions on the Civil Defence Emergency Management Bill. The bill will repeal and replace the Civil Defence Act 1983. It updates and redefines central and local government duties about civil defence emergency management, and will:
provide for appropriate planning and
preparation for emergencies
provide for appropriate response and recovery in the event of an emergency
improve and promote sustainable management of hazards and risks in a way that contributes to the wellbeing and safety of the public and property.
The bill requires:
the appointment of a director of
civil defence emergency management who will co-ordinate
national implementation and promotion of civil defence
the appointment of national controllers to deal with specific states of national emergency
local authorities to establish civil defence emergency management groups that will improve clarity and integration among agencies involved in civil defence emergency management at the local level
the Minister of Civil Defence to complete a national civil defence emergency management strategy
the civil defence emergency management groups to complete their own plans that do not conflict with any national civil defence strategy.
The bill also sets out certain powers in relation to civil defence emergency management, and prescribes offence and penalty provisions consistent with the seriousness of emergency management. Provisions for paying compensation to persons affected by any civil defence emergency are also contained in the bill.
The closing date for submission on the Civil Defence Emergency Management Bill is 28 February 2001. Please send 15 copies of your submission to Louise Sparrer, Clerk of the Government Administration Committee, Select Committee Office, Parliament Buildings, Wellington.
The committee also continued its consideration of the Crimes (Criminal Appeals) Amendment Bill and the Films, Videos and Publications Classification (Prohibition of Child Pornography) Amendment Bill. The committee will not meet again until early February 2001.
Justice and Electoral (Wendy Proffitt,
This week’s meeting was the committee’s last for the year. It next meets on 14 February 2001. The committee considered the 1999/2000 financial reviews of the Ministry of Justice and the Crown Law Office and heard evidence on the financial review of the Legal Services Board. This was the last time for the Board to appear before the committee before it is replaced by the new Legal Services Agency on 1 February 2001. The committee also considered the inquiry into the Law Commission.
The committee is calling for submissions on the Victims’ Rights Bill and Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) No 112. The closing date for submissions is 12 March 2001. The bill was introduced in October 1999. It aims to improve provisions for the treatment of victims of crimes, and to replace the Victims of Offences Act 1987. The SOP, released on 12 December 2000, proposes to replace almost all of the bill with new provisions. It recasts most of the principles in the Act as rights, and introduces a number of new rights. It also sets out complaints procedures that victims can follow when their rights are breached.
The committee is also calling for submissions on the Local Electoral Bill. The closing date is 26 February 2001. This bill aims to modernise provisions for the conduct of local elections and polls, and to provide sufficient legislative flexibility to accommodate new technologies and processes. This includes providing for diversity (through local decision-making) in relation to the particular electoral system and voting method to be used.
The report on the inquiry into matters relating to the visit of the President of China to New Zealand in September 1999 was presented. The inquiry was undertaken by a subcommittee consisting of Janet Mackey (Chairperson), Kevin Campbell, Stephen Franks, Dr Wayne Mapp and Nandor Tanczos. The subcommittee spent over 22 hours hearing evidence from 69 submitters and over 27 hours considering the inquiry. The subcommittee reported its findings to the main committee, which then reported to the House. The committee makes the following recommendations to the Government:
1 Consideration should be given to
clarifying the constitutional status of the Police, as it is
set out in New Zealand law. In particular, consideration
should be given to examining the current legislative
framework governing the Police, namely the Police Act 1958
and the Police Regulations 1992, to establish whether
greater clarity could be achieved in defining the
constitutional boundaries between the Police and the
2 Consideration should also be given to enacting regulation 3 of the Police Regulations 1992 in primary legislation, and removing it from secondary legislation. This would be in accordance with the fundamental constitutional principle that regulations should be confined to dealing with matters of implementation and detail, whereas matters of policy and principle are dealt with in primary legislation.
3 The police policy on
demonstrations, as contained in Police General Instructions
titled “Demonstrations” (D031), should be re-drafted taking
into account our suggestions and emphasising that freedom of
expression and freedom of peaceful assembly are the starting
point for the Police in making operational decisions about
policing protests. A suggested amendment to Police General
Instruction D031 (1) is attached as Appendix M.
4 The police policy on demonstrations should be stated in clear language and should be well-publicised so that both police officers and the public have a clear understanding of where their rights and responsibilities lie.
5 There should be a further Police General Instruction about visiting foreign dignitaries. The Police should draft this instruction on the basis of the general principles set out in Appendix N.
6 When foreign dignitaries are scheduled to visit New Zealand, high priority should be given to full, frank and conclusive discussions occurring between government agencies and the Police at an early stage in the process. Written acknowledgement should be obtained from the visiting delegation of the principles on which protests will be policed.
7 Particular care should be taken to communicate clearly to visiting delegations, in advance of their visit, the limitations placed on the New Zealand Government by the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990. These limitations should be explained to all foreign delegations, both prior to and during their visit to New Zealand, as defining the parameters of police operational decisions in relation to protestors.
The committee also makes the following findings:
The committee is concerned that
evidence submitted by the Police was internally inconsistent
and that the Police took a more casual approach to the need
for accuracy than the committee would have expected. The
committee is not impressed with the attitude of some senior
police officers to the discrepancies in their evidence, and
contradictions with video evidence, all given under
In relation to the protests held in Christchurch on 14 September 1999, the committee considers there was no evidence of members of the Government or their officials making either express or implied threats to the Police to move the protestors, nor was there any evidence that the Police felt their authority was being overridden. In particular, the committee considers that there was no evidence that Mrs Shipley attempted to direct the Police in the performance of their duties. The committee is satisfied that the decision to move the protestors back out of sight of the entrance of the Hotel Grand Chancellor was a judgment made by the venue commander at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, Inspector Lawry.
The committee finds that police actions against the protestors could not be described as justified limitations in terms of section 5 of the Bill of Rights Act. The committee considers primacy must be given to the fundamental rights of New Zealanders, including their rights to freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly. The committee finds that the Police failed to place sufficient weight on the need to uphold the protestors’ rights under the Bill of Rights in the face of the international law requirement to protect dignity and that many of the police actions therefore exceeded reasonable limits on protestors’ rights and were not demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society.
The committee considers that New Zealand’s requirement to protect freedom of expression means that a visiting dignitary can reasonably be expected to face a robust expression of views when visiting this country. The committee considers that, in the New Zealand context, protection of dignity does not require that a Head of State be prevented from seeing messages opposed to his or her political beliefs or from being offended by protests. The committee believes that protection of dignity would require that a Head of State is not humiliated or subjected to messages that would be defamatory or otherwise illegal. The committee concludes that any international law obligation to protect dignity was not a sufficient rationale for the Police’s actions in using buses to block protestors, in moving protestors out of sight of the President or in using sirens to drown out the noise made by protestors.
The full report is available from Bennetts Government Bookshops and can be found through the “Select Committee Reports” link in the publications section of our web site (www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz).
Local Government and
Environment (David Bagnall, SC-LGE@parliament.govt.nz)
On Wednesday the committee heard evidence in public from the Ministry for the Environment, as part of the 1999/2000 financial review of that ministry. Topics discussed included the establishment earlier this year of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification, biodiversity on private land, progress on developing standards, guidelines and indicators, contaminated sites, and overall trends in the ministry's funding.
The committee then considered the inquiry into the role of local government in meeting New Zealand's climate change target, and did further work on the Resource Management Amendment Bill and the Resource Management (Costs) Amendment Bill. The committee will meet for about six hours next Wednesday to continue its consideration of these items.
The Local Government (Elected Member Remuneration and Trading Enterprises) Amendment Bill has now been referred to the committee for consideration. The committee has not yet set a closing date for submissions on the bill.
Maori Affairs (Marcus Ganley,
As the House was sitting on Thursday the Maori Affairs Committee had a short lunch-time meeting in which it finalised its report on the 1999/2000 financial review of Te Puni Kokiri (Ministry of Maori Development). The scheduled briefing from the Minister of Maori Affairs, Hon Parekura Horomia will now occur early next year. The committee does not plan to meet again until 15 February. Early next year it expects to consider its inquiry into the auditing and monitoring of the closing the gaps programmes as well as its inquiry into the Maori Trust Office.
Primary Production (Bob Bunch,
The committee met for the last time in 2000 on Thursday, 14 December. It considered the 1999/2000 financial review of Timberlands West Coast Limited and the 1999/2000 financial review of Land Information New Zealand, and has now reported to the House on these reviews.
The committee also considered two of its inquiries, Organic agriculture in New Zealand and the Sale of the Property Services Division of Terralink New Zealand Limited to its former employees.
The committee's next meeting will be on Monday, 12 February, 2001 to consider the 1999/2000 financial review of Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the 1999/2000 financial review of the Ministry of Fisheries.
The committee wants to remind anyone interested in making a submission on its inquiry into sustainable forestry management the deadline is 23 January 2001.
Privileges (Fay Paterson,
A matter of privilege was referred in respect of the disclosure of proceedings of the Law and Order Committee’s meeting of 30 November 2000.
Social Services (Tim Cooper,
The committee presented three reports this week. The report on the 1999/2000 financial review of the Ministry of Housing commended the ministry for the quality and consistency of its performance. The report on the 1999/2000 financial review of the Department of Work and Income expressed concern about the department's administration of student loans this year but looks for improvement in the next. The committee noted that the department appears to have emerged from the turbulence of its establishment phase. The committee's report on the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Amendment Bill recommends several amendments to the bill to tighten some of the provisions for searching children and young persons in CYFS's residences and the regulation-making powers in the bill.
The Housing Corporation Amendment Bill has been referred to the committee. The purpose of the bill is to enable the merger of the Housing Corporation of New Zealand, Housing New Zealand Limited and the housing policy function of the Ministry of Social Policy. The closing date for submissions on this bill is 23 February 2001.
and Industrial Relations (Lyn Main,
Reports by the committee on the 1999/2000 financial review of the Department of Labour and the Ministry of Transport were presented. Reports on three petitions were also presented.
The committee noted in the conclusion of its report on the Ministry of Transport:
“We will follow with interest the ministry’s proposals on how the transport sector could contribute to the reduction of the greenhouse gas emissions.
“Although the ministry nearly reached its targets for Road User Charges (RUC), we would like to see continued improvement.
“We look forward to seeing the results of the various reviews the ministry is involved in, especially the driver licensing review, the shipping review and the review of the Civil Aviation Authority.”
The committee noted in the conclusion of its report on the Department of Labour:
“We will continue to review the operations of the new institutions established under the Employment Relations Act 2000 and look forward to the development of the performance measurements.
“We are interested in following the progress made on the review of the Health and Safety in employment Act 1992 (HSE).
“We have noted a number of areas where we expect improvement in the performance of the NZIS. We will follow with interest the number of people who apply under the October 2000 Transitional Policy.”
The committee reported on petition 1999/4 of Hon Peter Dunne and 24 155 others, requesting that the House of Representatives take action to ensure that the Government sets aside the funding to enable the construction of Transmission Gully, and two petitions of a similar nature.
The committee made the following recommendations in its report:
that the Government continue purchasing the properties required along the Transmission Gully route.
that the Government ensure that the preliminary testing along the route that is required for compliance with the Resource Management Act 1991 be undertaken as soon as possible.
that the Government urgently commences the environmental planting required to reduce silt runoff into the Pauatahanui Inlet.
that the Government urgently establish a regime for prioritising roading projects that combines weighting for strategically important roads and the BCR.
that the Government enable private investment involvement, in addition to government funding, in the construction of the Transmission Gully motorway so that it is built as soon as possible.
that the Government should consider introducing legislation that would allow tolls to be collected on the Transmission Gully motorway that will generate partial funding for the project.
The committee reported on petition 1999/32 of Elena Leask and Valda Cousins and 5602 others, requesting the House of Representatives give consideration to making the provision of seating on buses carrying school students compulsory. It recommended that the Government ensure, wherever practical, that the school bus contracts are designed so that there are sufficient seats for all students, especially for routes that include the open road.
The committee reported on petition 1996/1970 of Julienne Rose and 232 others and petition 1996/2063 Petition of M Hargreaves requesting that the House of Representatives recommend to the Government that all school buses should have safety belts fitted to at least the front four rows of seats. It recommended that the Government ensure that modern, three-point safety belts are fitted to the three to four exposed seats on school buses (that is the front two seats, the seat in the centre of the back row and the single seat alongside the driver if this seat exists).
One of the bills referred to the committee this week, the Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation Bill, is available on www.executive.govt.nz.
Closing dates for
Committees are receiving submissions on the following items with the closing date shown:
Electronic Transactions Bill (1 February 2001)
Finance and Expenditure
Government Superannuation Fund Amendment Bill (15 December 2000)
Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
International Treaties Bill (31 March 2001)
Inquiry into New Zealand’s adoption laws (31 January 2001)
Summit Road (Canterbury) Protection Bill (31 January 2001)
Cigarettes (Fire Safety) Bill (31 March 2001)
Civil Defence Emergency Management (28 February 2001)
Inquiry into health strategies relating to cannabis use (7 February 2001)
Medical Practitioners (Foreign Qualified Medical Practitioners) Amendment Bill (31 March 2001)
Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Maori Constituency Empowering) Bill (12 February 2001)
Prostitution Reform Bill (26 February 2001)
Local Electoral Bill (26 February 2001)
Victims’ Rights Bill and Supplementary Order Paper No 112 (12 March 2001)
Local Government and Environment
Auckland Improvement Trust Amendment Bill (8 February 2001)
Hawke’s Bay Endowment Land Empowering Bill (1 February 2001)
Tutae-Ka-Wetoweto Forest Bill (31 January 2001)
Inquiry into sustainable forestry management (23 January 2001)
Housing Corporation Amendment Bill (23 February 2001)
Transport and Industrial Relations
Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation Bill (23 March 2001)
Civil Aviation Amendment Bill (2 March 2001)
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:
Senior Parliamentary Officer
ph: 471 9534, fax: 499 0486, or at email@example.com
Compiled in the Select Committee Office, Office of the Clerk, 15 December 2000