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Select Committee Business 15- 22 Dec

Select Committee Business
From 15 December to 22 December 2000
Committee meetings
There was one committee meeting, held in the parliamentary complex.

Reports presented (9)
Justice and Electoral
 1999/2000 financial review of the Ministry of Justice

Commerce
 1999/2000 financial review of the Ministry of Economic Development
 1999/2000 financial review of New Zealand Post Limited

Finance and Expenditure
 Inquiry into the powers of the Controller and Auditor-General in relation to community trusts

Law and Order
 1999/2000 financial review of the Department of Corrections
 1999/2000 financial review of the Department for Courts
 1999/2000 financial review of the New Zealand Police
 1999/2000 financial review of the Abortion Supervisory Committee

Local Government and Environment
 Interim report on the inquiry into the role of local government in meeting New Zealand’s climate change target (I. 9A)

Bills referred to select committees
The Auckland Aotea Centre Empowering Amendment Bill was referred to the Local Government and Environment Committee. Standing Orders provide for local bills to stand referred to this committee during an adjournment of the House.

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

Education and Science (Louise Gardiner, SC-ES@parliament.govt.nz)
The Education Amendment Bill (No 2) has been referred to the Education and Science Committee. Closing date for submissions is Wednesday 14 March 2001. The bill amends the Education Act 1989 with some consequential amendments to other Acts. The bill replaces the Teacher Registration Board with the New Zealand Education Council. It extends registration requirements, to be administered by the Council, to Kura Kaupapa Maori and early childhood education and care services. The bill gives the council a variety of powers, including the power to receive complaints about, and impose sanctions on, teachers. It introduces police vetting of all non-registered and non-teaching employees in early childhood education services and schools. It also introduces mandatory reporting, by employers, of teacher misconduct or incompetence.

The bill contains provisions relating to school planning and reporting requirements. Under the proposed legislation school boards of trustees will be required to prepare and annually update a school plan. The plans will have a long-term strategic planning section and an annual planning section.

The bill amends and consolidates the statutory interventions available to the Minister of Education and Secretary for Education in response to poorly performing schools.

Other provisions in the bill relate to a monitoring and intervention regime for tertiary education institutions at risk; extending the scope of the NZQA's functions; removing the discretion that boards of trustees and school principals currently have to exclude sexuality education from a school's health education programme; the safety of school students who board in school hostels; pastoral care of international students; Human Rights Act 1993 compliance; school risk management; and information gathering.

Finance and Expenditure (Graham Hill, SC-FE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee will meet again on 14 February 2001. The week before this meeting two members from the committee (the Chairperson and Annabel Young) will attend the Sixth Australasian Council of Public Accounts Conference in Canberra. The Chairperson will present a paper on accrual accounting and its impact on accountability measures in the New Zealand public sector.

Justice and Electoral (Wendy Proffitt, SC-JE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee next meets on 14 February 2001. It has presented reports on the 1999/2000 financial reviews of the Ministry of Justice and the Crown Law Office.

The following points were among those made by the committee in its report on the financial review of the Ministry of Justice:

 The committee expressed some misgivings about the ministry’s discussion paper titled Re-evaluation of the Human Rights Protections in New Zealand, which proposes that New Zealand’s human rights institutions be restructured into a single body.

 The committee noted that the Ministry of Justice has a particularly high staff turnover, which might affect the ministry’s ability to deliver expert and independent policy advice to the Government. The committee expects the Government will do what is necessary to stem the turnover at the ministry.

 The committee expressed concern that the Office of Treaty Settlements has not established a robust, systematic and fully documented process to test the governance structures of settlement recipients. It said that such a process is necessary to maintain public confidence in settlements, and to protect the Crown from future claims for fresh compensation.

 The committee expressed concern that some key appointments to Crown entities had been delayed.

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, 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 for submissions is 26 February 2001. This bill aims to modernise the 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.

Law and Order (Tracey Rayner, SC-LO@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee is next scheduled to meet on Thursday, 1 February 2001 at 10.00 am. This meeting is not open to the public as there is no evidence being heard.

Local Government and Environment (David Bagnall, SC-LGE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met in the morning and afternoon of Wednesday 20 December, and will meet again on 24 and 31 January. The main items for consideration at these meetings include the Resource Management Amendment Bill and the financial reviews of the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for the Environment. Evidence from the Department of Conservation will be heard in public in the morning on 24 January.

Submissions are being received on three bills at present: Hawke's Bay Endowment Land Empowering Bill (1 February 2001), Auckland Improvement Trust Amendment Bill (8 February 2001) and Local Government (Elected Member Remuneration and Trading Enterprises) Amendment Bill (19 February 2001). Another local bill has now also been referred to the committee, the Auckland Aotea Centre Empowering Amendment Bill. No closing date for submissions has yet been set for that bill.

The Local Government and Environment Select Committee has presented an interim report on its inquiry into the role of local government in meeting New Zealand’s climate change target.

Right now the Government is considering how to translate into action New Zealand’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change policy options are being considered that may have significant implications for everyday life and business.

The committee presented this interim report to highlight the importance of central and local government taking a proactive, co-operative approach to the implementation of climate change policy.

The report notes that the main contribution local authorities can make to New Zealand’s response to climate change is in the reduction of CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels in transport, for electricity generation and in industry and homes, and also in their own activities.

The report looks at how local government can achieve reductions, including through processes under the Resource Management Act 1991, and through transport planning, education and reducing in-house energy use. The committee considers how the Government could better provide guidance and assistance to local authorities. The report also emphasises the value of sharing best practice and draws attention to the significant role local government plays overseas in climate initiatives.

A number of recommendations to the Government are made in the report.

The committee is now calling for submissions on the inquiry, with a closing date of 15 March 2001. Submitters can respond to a number of questions set out in the interim report.

Copies of the report may be purchased from Bennetts Government Bookshops or viewed at the following website address: http://www.gp.co.nz/wooc/whatsnew/ipapers.html , which is linked to the parliamentary website http://www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz .


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

Commerce
Electronic Transactions Bill (1 February 2001)
Electricity Industry Bill (14 February 2001)
Takeovers Code (Implementation and Enforcement) Bill (1 February 2001)

Education and Science
Education Amendment Bill (No 2) (14 March 2001)

Finance and Expenditure
New Zealand Superannuation Bill (9 February 2001)
Public Trust Bill (2 February 2001)

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
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)
Cigarettes (Fire Safety) Bill (31 March 2001)
Civil Defence Emergency Management (28 February 2001)

Health
Inquiry into health strategies relating to cannabis use (7 February 2001)
Medical Practitioners (Foreign Qualified Medical Practitioners) Amendment Bill (31 March 2001)

Justice and Electoral
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)
Local Government (Elected Member Remuneration and Trading Enterprise) Amendment Bill (19 February 2001)
Inquiry into the role of local government in meeting New Zealand’s climate change target (15 March 2001)

Maori Affairs
Tutae-Ka-Wetoweto Forest Bill (31 January 2001)

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

Social Services
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)


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, 22 December 2000

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