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Select Committee Business 12-20 April 2001

Select Committee Business
From 12 April to 20 April 2001
Committee meetings
There were three committee meetings this week: Two in the parliamentary complex and one in Auckland.

Reports presented (2)
Commerce
* Takeovers Code (Implementation and Enforcement) Bill (83-2)

Transport and Industrial Relations
* 1999/2000 financial review of Airways Corporation of New Zealand Limited


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)
The committee has called for written public submissions on its review of the Radio New Zealand Charter. The terms of reference for the review are as follows:

“An inquiry to review the Radio New Zealand Charter and report to the House of Representatives with reference to the following matters:
1) the relevancy of the Charter to New Zealanders, with particular regard to the impact of changing audience and technologies
2) the adequacy of the Charter's existing provisions in meeting demands for programming
3) the delivery of functions by Radio New Zealand in accordance with the Charter, including regional and audience diversity issues and public approval
4) the suitability of the principles within the Act in fulfilling the Charter
5) the costs and benefits to Radio New Zealand of implementing the Charter
6) the need or otherwise for the statutory requirement for the House of Representatives to review the Charter and the adequacy of present accountability arrangements
7) any other matters relating to the Charter the committee sees fit to inquire into, investigate and report upon.”

The closing date for submissions is 25 May 2001. The committee is also inviting written and oral submissions from selected organisations and individuals.

The committee has presented its report on the Takeovers Code (Implementation and Enforcement) Bill. The bill aims to amend the Securities Act 1978 and the Takeovers Act 1993 to enable the effective implementation and enforcement of a takeovers code. The bill precedes the Takeovers Code, which comes into force on 1 July 2001, and facilitates the Takeovers Panel to effectively implement and enforce the Takeovers Code when it comes into force.

The committee recommends a number of changes to the bill, including:

* amending clause 4 to ensure the definition of Takeovers Panel in the Securities Act is consistent with current wording in the Takeovers Act
* the addition of a new clause 12A to clarify that the panel is exempt from taxation
* the addition of a new clause 11A to limit the panel from delegating its exemption power under section 45(1) of the Takeovers Act to ensure consistency
* the addition of a new clause 14(4) to clarify that the panel is required to give the reasons why it is appropriate that an exemption be granted and how the exemption is consistent with the objectives of the code
* amending clause 6(3) of the schedule to the Takeovers Act to ensure the panel is able to act quickly and within its statutory timeframes.

The report is available from Bennetts Government Bookshops.

The committee is meeting next week on 26 April to hear evidence on the Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Bill, the New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Amendment Bill and the Electronic Transactions Bill. All hearings are open to the public. The committee will also consider the 1999/2000 financial review of Transpower New Zealand Limited and consider the Commerce Amendment Bill (No 2).

Education and Science (Louise Gardiner, SC-ES@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee did not meet this week, and will not meet during the remainder of the adjournment. The committee will next meet on Thursday, 3 May, when it will conduct a hearing on the 1999/2000 financial review of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. The meeting will be open to the public.

The committee has called for submissions on Supplementary Order Paper 133 (the SOP), which contains proposed amendments to the Education Amendment Bill (No 2), which is currently before the committee. Matters addressed in the SOP are:

* the disestablishment of Specialist Education Services (SES)
* validation of previous Crown payments to Te Kohanga Reo National Trust Board
* amendments to the Enrolment Scheme legislation that was introduced with the Education Amendment Act 2000
* clarification of the power of the Education Review Office to inspect school hostels
* an amendment to authorise the Ministry of Education to undertake an information matching exercise for student loans when the Inland Revenue Department is unable to do so.

Submissions on the SOP will be accepted until Monday 14 May, and should be addressed to Louise Gardiner, Education and Science Committee Secretariat, Parliament House, Wellington. Copies of the SOP can be purchased from Bennetts Government Bookshops.

Finance and Expenditure (Julian Kersey, SC-FE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee is met in Auckland on 20 April to hear submissions on the New Zealand Superannuation Bill. The committee will continue to hear evidence from submitters on the New Zealand Superannuation Bill in Wellington on 26 April. The meeting is from 9 am to 5 pm and will be open to the public.

Justice and Electoral (Wendy Proffitt, SC-JE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee did not meet this week.

Next week the committee will meet all day on Thursday 26 April 2001 to consider the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Maori Constituency Empowering) Bill, the Local Electoral Bill and the Local Elections (Single Transferable Vote Option) Bill. The committee is required to report on all these bills by early May. It will also consider the inquiry into the 1999 General Election and commence hearings on the Prostitution Reform Bill that day.

Submissions on the Electoral Amendment Bill (No 2) close on Monday 30 April. As the committee intends to commence hearings the following week it is important that submissions are received in time.

Please contact the Clerk of the Committee for further information about the committee’s meetings for the next month.

MMP Review (Louise Sparrer, SC-MMP@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee is not meeting over the adjournment. Its next meeting is scheduled for 9 May.

Transport and Industrial Relations (Lyn Main, SC-TI@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee has completed its 1999/2000 financial review of Airways Corporation of New Zealand. In its report the committee noted Airways’ improved financial performance and that it had been effective in improving previous staffing problems and in closing the air traffic controller gaps. The committee, however, remained concerned about the high annual leave liabilities that the corporation still has. Airways said this financial liability is around $6.5 million (approximately 40 days per person).

Airways told the committee that its international business ventures provide staff with confidence and opportunity to train and develop further operational and software skills, but the company is also aware of the risks of losing key staff to overseas enterprises.

A significant capital investment programme is required by Airways over the next three years as it replaces its domestic radar system (Aircat). While there has been adverse publicity when Airways decided to use the technology of its major business partner, Lockheed Martin Air Traffic Management, the committee is now satisfied with the evidence provided by Airways after the decision was subjected to independent review and audit. The committee says it will monitor and examine progress on the development of the replacement SkyLine system.

Other business before the committee this week included hearing evidence on the 1999/2000 financial review of the Civil Aviation Authority.

The committee next meets on Wednesday, 2 May, when it will consider the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill (No 2) and begin hearing of evidence on the Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation Bill.


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)
Review of the Radio New Zealand Charter (25 May 2001)

Education and Science
Supplementary Order Paper 133, relating to the Education Amendment Bill (No 2) (14 May 2001)

Finance and Expenditure
New Zealand Stock Exchange Restructuring Bill (2 May 2001)
Taxation (Annual Rates, Taxpayer Assessment and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill (11 May 2001)

Government Administration
Inquiry into the operation of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 (4 May 2001)
Dog Control (Hearing Dogs) Amendment Bill is Friday (4 May 2001)

Health
Smoke-free Environments (Enhanced Protection) Amendment Bill (23 April 2001)

Justice and Electoral
Electoral Amendment Bill (No 2) (30 April 2001)

Law and Order
Criminal Investigations (Blood Samples – Burglary Suspects) Amendment Bill (30 June 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, 20 April 2001

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