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Select Committee Business 16-23 March

Select Committee Business
From 16 March to 23 March 2001
Committee meetings
There were 23 committee meetings, four of which were outside Wellington. The remainder were in the parliamentary complex.

Reports presented (3)
Education and Science
„h 1999/2000 financial review of Industrial Research Limited

Justice and Electoral
„h Interim report on the Local Elections (Single Transferable Vote Option) Bill

Officers of Parliament
„h Alterations to the 2000/01 appropriations for Vote Audit and Vote Ombudsmen and the 2001/02 draft budgets for the Audit Office, the Office of the Ombudsmen, and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

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)
Next week the committee will meet on Tuesday to further consider the Electricity Industry Bill. On Thursday it will further consider the Takeovers Code (Implementation and Enforcement) Bill and consider the 1999/2000 financial reviews of Genesis Power Limited, Meridian Energy Limited, Mighty River Power Limited, Radio New Zealand Limited, New Zealand On Air and Solid Energy New Zealand Limited.

Education and Science (Louise Gardiner, SC-ES@parliament.govt.nz)
On Tuesday, the committee presented its report on the 1999/2000 financial review of Industrial Research Limited (IRL). In the report, the committee discussed recent government proposals for Crown Research Institutes to take on debt to provide funds for venture capital grants, and encouraged the development of plans to accommodate regular dividends in future. The committee also commended IRL for its constructive attitude towards this proposal and its willingness to assist. The report discussed issues surrounding safeguarding the intellectual property of IRL¡¦s staff. The committee sees this issue as critical to IRL¡¦s ongoing success, and encouraged IRL to make every effort to produce a viable means of safeguarding staff intellectual property rights; progress in this area will be examined in future reviews. In other matters addressed in the report, the committee supported IRL continuing to remain vigilant that salary packages are attractive to key individuals, and encouraged further development of innovative business ideas to further IRL¡¦s science and business goals.

The committee has begun hearing evidence on the Education Amendment Bill (No 2). On Tuesday afternoon the following organisations presented oral evidence: Association of Polytechnics in New Zealand, NZPPTA, New Zealand Polytechnics Programmes Committee, Independent Schools Council, Principals' Council, New Zealand Council for Educational Research and the Office of the Commissioner for Children. The committee is in Auckland on Friday 23 March. Evidence will be heard from 1.00 pm - 4.30 pm at the Centra Auckland Airport, corner Kirkbride and Ascot Roads, Mangere. Organisations appearing in Auckland include: the University of Auckland, Auckland College of Education, Human Rights Commission, New Zealand Boarding Association, Albany School, St Mary's School, Wycliffe Christian Schools and Carey College, Christian Heritage Party, Te Wharekura O Rakaumangamanga, Auckland Primary Principals Association, Kauri Park Primary, QPEC, Kingsway School, and Campbells Bay School. The committee is hearing evidence in Wellington on Tuesday, 27 March and Wednesday, 28 March from 3.30 pm to 6.00 pm, and 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm. A list of oral submitters will be publicly available prior to those times.

The committee has agreed to accept late submissions on the Education Amendment Bill (No 2). Please send 20 copies of written submissions to the Clerk of the Committee.

At its meeting on Thursday, 22 March, the committee heard evidence on the 1999/2000 financial reviews of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. There will be a further hearing of evidence on the financial review of the Foundation.

Finance and Expenditure (Tim Cooper, SC-FE@parliament.govt.nz)
This week the committee received a briefing on the independent review of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, recently completed by Professor Lars Svensson. It also considered the Public Trust Bill. It will hear evidence on this bill next week.

The New Zealand Stock Exchange Restructuring Bill has been referred to the committee. The bill provides a mechanism for the conversion of the New Zealand Stock Exchange into a company if its members choose. The closing date for submissions is 2 May 2001. Finally, the committee further considered the 1999/2000 financial reviews of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand the Public Trust Office. The committee will consider the 1999/2000 financial review of the Public Trust Office again next week.

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (David Sanders, SC-FD@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met yesterday, beginning with the 1999/2000 financial review of the New Zealand Trade Development Board (Tradenz). Submissions on the inquiry into New Zealand's economic and trade relationship with Australia were heard from Hon Hugh Templeton and Dr Arthur Grimes. The committee also began its consideration of the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone Extension Bill.

Government Administration (Lesley Ferguson, SC-GA@parliament.govt.nz)
This week the committee heard evidence from Tourism New Zealand and the Hillary Commission for Sport, Fitness and Leisure on the 1999/2000 financial review. It also continued to hear evidence on the Civil Defence Emergency Management Bill. The committee has now concluded hearings on the adoption inquiry.

Next week the committee is to hear evidence from the New Zealand Fire Service Commission on the 1999/2000 financial review. It will also hear further evidence on the Civil Defence Emergency Management Bill.

Health (Kia Paranihi, SC-Health@parliament.govt.nz)
On 21 March the committee heard evidence from Taranaki Health Care on the 1999/2000 financial review. The committee questioned the board on its performance for that financial year and current operations. The committee is required to report to the House by 5 May.

Justice and Electoral (Wendy Proffitt, SC-JE@parliament.govt.nz)
This week the committee decided that it would publicly release its draft timetables covering the business of the committee¡¦s meetings one month in advance. Please contact the Clerk of the Committee for this information (contact details above). Further steps will be taken to disseminate this information in the near future.

On 22 March the committee presented an interim report on the Local Elections (Single Transferable Vote Option) Bill, a member¡¦s bill in the name of Rod Donald. The purpose of the bill is to establish an alternative voting procedure ¡V single transferable vote (STV) ¡V to the first-past-the-post (FPP) system in local elections. While there was general support in principle for the bill, the majority of submissions wanted consideration of the bill to be deferred until the Local Electoral Bill was introduced and considered. As the Local Electoral Bill, due to be reported to the House by 30 April, provides for an STV option based on this bill, the committee will defer reporting on the bill until after considering this aspect of the Local Electoral Bill. The committee also spent time considering the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Maori Constituency Empowering) Bill and continued hearing submissions on the Local Electoral Bill.

Next week on 28 March the committee will continue to hear submissions on the Local Electoral Bill. It will then spend an extended time considering the inquiry into the 1999 General Election. On 29 March the committee will travel to Christchurch to complete the hearing of submissions on the Local Electoral Bill and to commence hearing submissions on the Victims¡¦ Rights Bill and Supplementary Order Paper No112.

The committee is currently calling for submissions on the Electoral Amendment Bill (No 2), the due date for which is 30 April 2001. This bill is intended to streamline electoral enrolment and improve the administration of General Elections.

Among the significant changes being proposed to the administration of General Elections are the following:

„h There will be continuous enrolment of voters, meaning that voters will not have to re-enrol at each election
„h The count will be simplified, with the count of special votes starting before close of polls on Election Day
„h Public opinion polls will be banned for the 28 days before a General Election
„h For the first time people on the Maori roll will be able to vote in every polling place, removing the need for Tangata Whenua votes
„h Officials will be authorised to release electoral information to create comprehensive and accurate registers of members for iwi and Maori organisations
„h There will be a new regional management structure to help improve election administration.

Submitters should send 20 copies of their submissions to the Clerk of Committee, Justice and Electoral Committee, Bowen House, Parliament Buildings, Wellington. For more information on this bill or other matters, including the draft timetable, please call Wendy Proffitt on (04) 471-9539, or e-mail as above.

Law and Order (Tracey Rayner, SC-LO@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on Thursday, 22 March to consider the Habeas Corpus Bill,
the petition of John Louis Dean and three others, and the Degrees of Murder Bill.

The committee next meets on Thursday, 29 March. From 10.00 am to 10.30 am the meeting will be open to the public during a hearing of evidence from the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions on the Crimes Amendment Bill (No 6) and Supplementary Order Paper No 85. The remainder of the session will be closed to the public during consideration of the petition of John Louis Dean and three others, and the Degrees of Murder Bill.

Local Government and Environment (David Bagnall, SC-LGE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee heard evidence on the 1999/2000 financial review of the Environmental Risk Management Authority, which is responsible for assessing applications to import or develop hazardous substances and new organisms. Witnesses included Jill White, who was recently appointed as Chairperson of the authority, and Dr Basil Walker, Chief Executive. The committee also considered the Resource Management (Costs) Amendment Bill.

Next week the committee will consider the Resource Management Amendment Bill, the Resource Management (Costs) Amendment Bill and the Local Government (Elected Member Remuneration and Trading Enterprises) Amendment Bill.

Maori Affairs (Marcus Ganley, SC-MA@parliament.govt.nz)
On Thursday 22 March the committee met in Wellington to receive a briefing from Hon Steve Maharey as Chair of the Cabinet Social Equity Committee. It then considered further the Tutae-ka-Wetoweto Forest Bill.

On Friday 23 March the committee travelled to Kaikohe to hear evidence on its inquiry into the possible collapse of Lake Omapere. The hearing of evidence was followed by a site visit to Lake Omapere.

Next week the committee will receive a briefing from Te Puni Kokiri on its inquiry into mainstreaming.

MMP Review (Louise Sparrer, SC-MMP@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee did not meet this week. The next meeting is 28 March.

Primary Production (Bob Bunch, SC-PP@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on Thursday, 22 March. It received a briefing from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on the recent biosecurity measures and heard evidence on the Fisheries (Remedial Issues) Amendment Bill from two fishing organisations and one individual. The committee then considered the Foreign Fishing Crew Wages and Repatriation Bond Bill and the Inquiry into Organic Agriculture in New Zealand.

Next week there will be two meetings. On Tuesday, 27 March, the subcommittee on the inquiry into organic agriculture in New Zealand will meet from 3.15 pm to 4.30 pm. On Thursday, 29 March, the full committee will meet to complete the evidence on the Fisheries (Remedial Issues) Amendment Bill, followed by consideration of the evidence and issues raised. The committee will further consider the Foreign Fishing Crew Wages and Repatriation Bond Bill before hearing evidence on the 1999/2000 financial review of Quotable Value New Zealand Limited. This will be followed by consideration of the 1999/2000 financial reviews of AgriQuality New Zealand Limited and Asure New Zealand Limited and the inquiry into organic agriculture in New Zealand.

Regulations Review (Fiona McLean, SC-RR@parliament.govt.nz )
The committee met on Wednesday, 21 March. It heard evidence on its inquiry into regulation-making powers that authorise international treaties to override any provisions of New Zealand enactments. The committee may consider any matter relating to regulations and report on it to the House.

The committee heard from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Inland Revenue Department, the Ministry of Social Policy, the Ministry of Justice, and from the Crown Law Office. The witnesses discussed existing regulation-making powers of relevance to the inquiry.

The committee will next meet on Wednesday, 28 March. It will hear evidence from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry relating to the Commodity Levies (Pipfruit) Order 2000 (SR 2000/258). Evidence will be heard from 3.15 pm to 3.45 pm and the meeting will be open to the public.

Social Services (Graham Hill, SC-SS@parliament.govt.nz)
This morning the committee heard evidence in Auckland on the Housing Corporation Amendment Bill. It is now undertaking a site visit around Auckland with Housing New Zealand.

Transport and Industrial Relations (Lyn Main, SC-TI@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee continued hearing evidence on the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill (No 2) at its meeting on Wednesday, 21 March. It will continue considering and hearing evidence on this bill at its meetings next week.


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

Commerce
Supplementary Order Paper No 123 relating to the Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Bill (20 April 2001)

Finance and Expenditure
New Zealand Stock Exchange Restructuring Bill (2 May 2001)

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

Government Administration
Cigarettes (Fire Safety) Bill (31 March 2001)
Statutes Amendment Bill (31 March 2001)
Inquiry into the operation of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 (4 May 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
Electoral Amendment Bill (No 2) (30 April 2001)

Local Government and Environment
Auckland Aotea Centre Empowering Amendment Bill (2 April 2001)
Taranaki Regional Council Empowering Bill (2 April 2001)

Transport and Industrial Relations
Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation Bill (23 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, 23 March 2001

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