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Select Committee Business 9-16 Feb

Select Committee Business
From 9 February to 16 February 2001

Committee meetings
There were 15 committee meetings, all within the parliamentary complex.

Reports presented (19)
Health
„h 1999/2000 financial review of the Ministry of Health
„h Child Mortality Review Board Bill (271-1)

Primary Production
„h 1999/2000 financial review of the Ministry of Fisheries
„h 1999/2000 financial review of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

Education and Science
„h 1999/2000 financial review of the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited
„h 1999/2000 financial review of the New Zealand Pastoral Agriculture Research Institute Limited
„h 1999/2000 financial review of the Careers Service
„h 1999/2000 financial review of the New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited
„h 1999/2000 financial review of the Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand Limited
„h 1999/2000 financial review of the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited
„h 1999/2000 financial review of Landcare Research New Zealand Limited
„h 1999/2000 financial review of Learning Media Limited
„h 1999/2000 financial review of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited
„h 1999/2000 financial review of the Teacher Registration Board

Government Administration
„h Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Prohibition of Child Pornography) Amendment Bill (45-1)

Maori Affairs
„h Inquiry into the auditing and monitoring of ¡¥Closing the Gaps¡¦ programmes

Transport and Industrial Relations
„h 1999/2000 financial review of Transit New Zealand
„h 1999/2000 financial review of the Maritime Safety Authority of New Zealand
„h 1999/2000 financial review of Transfund New Zealand

Bills referred to select committees
No bills were referred.

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

Commerce (Alan Witcombe, SC-Commerce@parliament.govt.nz)
This week the committee began consideration of the Electricity Industry Bill and the Takeovers Code (Enforcement and Implementation) Bill. Next week the committee will be hearing evidence on both these bills.

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (David Sanders, SC-FD@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee had its first meeting for the year yesterday. It heard evidence from the New Zealand Defence Force and other submitters on the Volunteers Employment Protection Amendment Bill. The committee also heard submissions from Sir Frank Holmes, the Dairy Board and the Export Institute in relation to its inquiry into New Zealand's economic and trade relationship with Australia. Further evidence will be heard on both these items of business at the next meeting on 22 February.

Government Administration (Louise Sparrer, SC-GA@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee concluded its consideration of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Prohibition of Child Pornography) Amendment Bill, and has reported that it was unable to make a recommendation on whether the bill should be passed. The main area dividing the committee was whether the bill was the best means for ensuring that child pornography becomes less freely available. The committee did, however, agree that the issues it considered during its examination of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Prohibition of Child Pornography) Amendment Bill need further examination and that a parliamentary inquiry would be justified.

The committee has called for public submissions on the Statutes Amendment Bill. It is an omnibus bill that would make miscellaneous amendments to 26 Acts of Parliament. The closing date for submissions is 31 March 2001.

Next week the committee meets on three occasions. On Tuesday, 20 February it will continue consideration of the Crimes (Criminal Appeals) Amendment Bill. On Thursday, 22 February it will hear evidence on the inquiry into New Zealand¡¦s adoption laws. On Friday, 23 February it will hear evidence on the Summit Road (Canterbury) Protection Bill. The venue for the hearings on the bill is the Sign of the Takahe restaurant in Cashmere, Christchurch.

Health (Kia Paranihi, SC-Health@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee continued its consideration on the Criminal Justice Amendment Bill (No 7) and Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care) Bill this week and will do so again at its meeting next week on Wednesday 21 February. Also scheduled for that meeting is the hearing of evidence on the 1999/2000 financial review of Auckland Healthcare Services. This hearing is open to the public.

There is some interest in the fertility bills currently before the committee. These are the Human Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill and the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill. In the short term the committee must give its attention to a number of financial reviews and is therefore unlikely to consider the bills this month. The cannabis inquiry represents a substantial workload with hearings likely to begin late March.

Justice and Electoral (Wendy Proffitt, SC-JE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee held its first meeting for the year on 14 February. At that meeting it considered the Local Elections (Single Transferable Vote Option) Bill, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Maori Constituency Empowering) Bill, its inquiries into the 1999 General Election and into the Law Commission, and the 1999/2000 financial review of the Legal Services Board.

Next week it will further consider the Local Elections (Single Transferable Vote Option) Bill, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Maori Constituency Empowering) Bill, the inquiry into the 1999 General Election and the 1999/2000 financial review of the Legal Services Board.

There is still time to make submissions on the Local Electoral Bill and the Prostitution Reform Bill. The due date for both is 26 February.

Law and Order (Tracey Rayner, SC-LO@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on 15 February from to consider the Arms Amendment Bill (No 2). The committee next meets on 22 February from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm to consider the same bill.

Local Government and Environment (David Bagnall, SC-LGE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on Wednesday to consider the Resource Management Amendment Bill. Next Wednesday the committee will consider the bill further, and will hear evidence on the petition of Rosemary Godwin on asbestos contamination in East Tamaki.

The committee has set two closing dates for bills. Submissions on the Auckland Aotea Centre Empowering Amendment Bill close on 2 April 2001. The purpose of the bill is to allow the Aotea Centre Board of Management to manage other similar premises or facilities owned or controlled by the Auckland City Council. The bill also provides that other Auckland territorial authorities will not be required to contribute to the operating costs of the facilities other than the Aotea Centre itself and will not be entitled to share the profits of those facilities.

Submissions on the Taranaki Regional Council Empowering Bill also close on 2 April 2001. The bill proposes that the Taranaki Regional Council be empowered to undertake, implement, encourage or maintain any services, works or facilities that are for:

„h the recreation or cultural well-being of the residents and ratepayers of the Taranaki Region
„h preserving, or encouraging the reasonable enjoyment of, the physical and cultural heritage of the Taranaki Region.

The bill also gives the council wider funding powers for these particular purposes.

People or organisations wishing to make submissions on the Inquiry into the role of local government in meeting New Zealand¡¦s climate change target should do so by 15 March 2001. The committee¡¦s interim report on the inquiry is available at the following website address: http://www.gp.co.nz/wooc/whatsnew/ipapers.html.

Maori Affairs (Marcus Ganley, SC-MA@parliament.govt.nz)
On Thursday, 15 February the committee reported on its inquiry into auditing and monitoring of closing the gaps. The text of this report can be soon found via the ¡¥publications¡¦ link at http://www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz. Next week the committee will hear evidence from Te Mangai Paho (Te Reo Whakapuaki Irirangi) on its 1999/2000 financial review.

MMP Review (Louise Sparrer, SC-MMP@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee meets this coming week (22 February). This will be its first meeting for the year. Hearing of evidence has been completed and the committee moves into its consideration stage. The committee is required to report to the House by 1 June 2002.

Primary Production (Bob Bunch, SC-PP@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee was busy in its first week back at work, with two full committee meetings and a subcommittee meeting.

On Monday, 12 February the committee met to consider the 1999/2000 financial reviews of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of Fisheries. The committee's reports on these reviews were presented on 13 February.

The main focus of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) review concerned biosecurity risk management. The committee examined issues such as border control and infrastructure, biosecurity strategy and funding, and pest surveillance and eradication. The committee is very concerned about some aspects of biosecurity risk management. The committee agrees with the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) who believes that biosecurity is every bit as important as national security and that, while managing the risks has become more sophisticated, it is not providing the level of protection needed to match the nature and extent of the invasion of unwanted organisms. The committee is disappointed there is no national biosecurity strategy yet in place. The committee strongly urges the Government to implement a biosecurity strategy as soon as possible. The varroa mite calamity is a telling example of what can happen when there is no strategy, with the consequences still unfolding.

¡§We strongly believe that ¡¥an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure¡¦ and that vigilance at the border should be the highest priority of biosecurity risk management. We commend the planned biosecurity awareness promotion as the high incidence of matter seized at international airports indicates that the public awareness of biosecurity is not as good as it should be.¡¨

The committee is also concerned about the lack of planned biosecurity response funding and support the Biosecurity Council's view of having a centrally managed incursion contingency fund. Any delayed response because of bureaucratic efforts to resolve funding issues runs the risk that the default option could end up being to manage, rather than eradicate, an unwanted organism. A contingency fund will also mean that important work, such as the development of exotic pest and disease management strategies, does not risk having to be continually deferred. The committee
will be closely monitoring the ministry's biosecurity efforts over the coming year and will follow up in the next financial review as well.

The committee noted that food safety is an important public issue with the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) scare in Europe raising doubt about adequate food safety standards. The committee is concerned that progress on a single food administration agency appears stalled.

The committee welcomes the establishment of the Rural Affairs portfolio and the watchdog role of MAF. The committee recommends that MAF develop appropriate performance measures for its rural affair activities for the current financial year.

On Wednesday afternoon, the subcommittee on the inquiry into organic agriculture in New Zealand met to further consider the inquiry.

The following day, the full committee met to hear further evidence from the Seafood Industry Council and the New Zealand Vessel Owners Association on the Foreign Fishing Crew Wages and Repatriation Bond Bill. The committee also considered the 1999/2000 financial reviews of AgriQuality New Zealand Limited, Asure New Zealand Limited and Quotable Value New Zealand Limited. It then considered its two other inquiries: the sale of Property Services Division of Terralink New Zealand Limited to its former employees and sustainable forestry management.

Next week promises to be a busy one as well. The committee will consider the Foreign Fishing Crew Wages and Repatriation Bond Bill. This will be followed by a public briefing from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment on his recent publication, New Zealand under siege: a review of the management of biosecurity risks to the environment. The committee will then consider the 1999/2000 financial reviews of Animal Control Products Limited, Crown Forestry Management Limited and Landcorp Limited.

Regulations Review (Fiona McLean, SC-RR@parliament.govt.nz )
At its meeting on 21 February 2001, the committee will hear evidence from the Ministry of Economic Development on the regulation-making powers in the Electricity Industry Bill. Evidence will be heard from 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm and the meeting is open to the public. The committee may consider any regulation-making power in a bill before another committee and report on it to the committee. The Electricity Industry Bill is currently being considered by the Commerce Committee.

Transport and Industrial Relations (Lyn Main, SC-TI@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee heard evidence from the Accident Compensation Corporation on the 1999/2000 financial review at its meeting this week. At its meeting on Wednesday, 21 February the committee is examining the 1999/2000 financial review of the Land Transport Safety Authority and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission.

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

Commerce
New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Amendment Bill (2 March 2001)

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

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
International Treaties Bill (31 March 2001)

Government Administration
Cigarettes (Fire Safety) Bill (31 March 2001)
Civil Defence Emergency Management (28 February 2001)
Statutes Amendment Bill (31 March 2001)

Health
Medical Practitioners (Foreign Qualified Medical Practitioners) Amendment Bill (31 March 2001)
Smoke-free Environments (Enhanced Protection) Amendment Bill (23 April 2001)

Justice and Electoral
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
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)
Auckland Aotea Centre Empowering Amendment Bill (2 April 2001)
Taranaki Regional Council Empowering Bill (2 April 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, 16 February 2001

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