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Select Committee Business 1-8 June 2001

Select Committee Business

From 1 June to 8 June 2001

Committee meetings

There were 12 committee meetings this week. The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee met four times in Canberra, Australia. Two other committees and one subcommittee met outside Wellington. The remainder met in the parliamentary complex.

Reports presented

Government Administration Committee

- Statutes Amendment Bill (97-2)

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)

Finance and Expenditure (Julian Kersey, SC-FE@parliament.govt.nz)

The committee met on Wednesday, 6 June to consider the Supplementary Estimates of Appropriations for 2000/2001, the New Zealand Superannuation Bill, the Government Superannuation Fund Amendment Bill, and the New Zealand Stock Exchange Restructuring Bill.

The committee will meet on Wednesday, 13 June to consider further the New Zealand Stock Exchange Restructuring Bill. The committee will also be hearing evidence on two votes as part of its consideration of the Estimates of Appropriations for 2001/2002. It will hear from the Minister of Revenue and the Commissioner of Inland Revenue on Vote Revenue, and the Minister for State-Owned Enterprises and the Crown Company Monitoring Advisory Unit on Vote State-Owned Enterprises.

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (David Sanders, SC-FD@parliament.govt.nz)

The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has travelled to Australia this week to participate in the joint committee exchange with the Australian Parliament. In Canberra, the committee held meetings with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australia New Zealand Food Authority, the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, and the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties. On Thursday the committee travelled to Sydney to participate in meetings related to its inquiry into New Zealand's economic and trade relationship with Australia.

Government Administration (Lesley Ferguson, SC-GA@parliament.govt.nz)

On Friday, 8 June, the committee reported back to the House the Statutes Amendment Bill. The bill makes miscellaneous amendments to 30 different Acts. During its consideration of the bill, the committee agreed to recommend the following amendments to Acts that were not amended by the bill as introduced:

Juries Act 1981 - The committee recommends that section 5(3) of the Juries Act 1981 be amended to extend the district court jury district for Kaikohe to include all places within 45 kilometres from the courthouse. Currently, section 5(3) of the Juries Act provides that every jury district shall include all places within 30 kilometres from the courthouse in the town in which jury trials may be held. The Minister for Courts indicated that steps are to be taken to amend the Juries Act to extend all jury district boundaries from 30 kilometres to 45 kilometres from the courthouse. However, the Department for Courts wanted to extend the boundary for Kaikohe immediately because of problems in that area.

Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act 1995 and the Citizenship Act 1977 - The committee recommends that these Acts be amended to allow for authorised disclosure by the Registrar-General and the Secretary of Internal Affairs, respectively, of specific information recorded under these Acts to the:

- Department of Work and Income Support

- Department of Internal Affairs

- Land Transport Safety Authority

- Inland Revenue Department.

Amendments to these Acts will add new information-matching provisions. These amendments will allow work to begin on a key e-government project that will enable government departments to provide a more efficient and convenient service to the public, and reduce customer compliance costs.

Police Act 1958 - The committee recommends that section 27(5) of the Police Act be amended to allow sworn police members that reach the compulsory retirement age of 60 years to continue to work as sworn officers. Currently, section 27(5) prohibits sworn police members working beyond 60 years of age.

Next week the committee begins its examination of the 2001/02 Estimates by meeting with the Minister of Internal Affairs to examine Vote Internal Affairs.

Health (Matthew Andrews, SC-Health@parliament.govt.nz)

The Health Committee met from 10.00 am to 9.30 pm on Wednesday, 6 June to continue hearing submissions on its inquiry into health strategies related to cannabis use. The committee heard 18 submissions from individuals and organisations from around the Wellington region. The committee will decide within the next weeks when it will travel to hear submitters in other parts of the country.

The terms of reference for this inquiry are:

- To inquire into the most effective public health and health promotion strategies to minimise the use of and the harm associated with cannabis and consequently the most appropriate legal status of cannabis.

The committee will meet on Wednesday, 13 June and continue its consideration of the Medical Practitioners (Foreign Qualified Medical Practitioners) Amendment Bill. The committee will also begin consideration of the 2000/01 Supplementary Estimates for Vote Health.

Justice and Electoral (Wendy Proffitt, SC-JE@parliament.govt.nz)

This week the committee heard the last submissions on the Victims’ Rights Bill and Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) No 112 and continued hearing submissions on the Prostitution Reform Bill. Further submissions on the Prostitution Reform Bill will be heard in the evening of Wednesday, 20 June.

Next week the Minister of Justice will appear before the committee on the 2001/2002 Estimates for Vote Justice. The committee will also be considering the Electoral Amendment Bill (No 2) and the Inquiry into the 1999 General Election.

For the rest of the month the committee will be focusing on the 2001/2002 Estimates for Votes Justice, Attorney-General and Treaty Negotiations, and its consideration of the Electoral Amendment Bill (No 2), the Inquiry into the 1999 General Election and the Victims’ Rights Bill and SOP No 112.

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

Maori Affairs (Marcus Ganley, SC-MA@parliament.govt.nz)

At its next meeting, on Thursday 14 June, the Maori Affairs Committee will hear evidence from Te Puni Kokiri on the 2001/02 Estimates for Vote Maori Affairs and the 2000/01 Supplementary Estimates for Vote Maori Affairs. The Minister of Maori Affairs will be giving evidence on the 2001/02 Estimates separately on 21 June.

Primary Production (Bob Bunch, SC-PP@parliament.govt.nz)

The Primary Production Committee had a very productive trip to the West Coast of the South Island on Wednesday 6 June, and Thursday, 7 June 2001 for its inquiry into sustainable forestry management. The committee heard evidence on Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon and evening in Hokitika from sixteen West Coaster submitters. On Thursday morning the committee visited Inchbonnie to see first hand a useful example of a forest being sustainably managed according to the Forestry Amendment Act 1993.

Next week, the committee will be meeting on Thursday, 14 June 2001 to further consider the inquiry, the 2001/02 Estimates for Vote Fisheries and Vote Lands and the Foreign Fishing Crew Wages and Repatriation Bond Bill.

Closing dates for submissions

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

Commerce

Telecommunications Bill (13 June 2001)

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Terrorism (Bombing and Financing) Bill (13 July 2001)

Law and Order

Criminal Investigations (Blood Samples - Burglary Suspects) Amendment Bill (30 June 2001)

Crown Organisations (Criminal Liability) Bill (30 June 2001)

General

You can find further information about select committees on our website at www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz.


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