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Select Committee Business 22-29 June 2001

Select Committee Business

From 22 June to 29 June 2001

Committee meetings

There were 24 committee meetings, all in the parliamentary complex.

Reports presented (6)


- New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Amendment Bill (100-2)

- Estimates for 2001/02 for Vote Consumer Affairs

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

- Estimates for 2001/02 for Vote Immigration

Maori Affairs

- Estimates for 2001/02 for Vote Maori Affairs

Local Government and Environment

- Auckland City Endowments and Reserves Amendment Bill (22-2)

Transport and Industrial Relations

- Civil Aviation Amendment Bill (No 2) (104-2)

Bills referred to select committees

The Dairy Industry Restructuring Bill was referred to the Primary Production Committee with a report due by 11 September 2001.

The Apple and Pear Industry Restructuring Act Repeal Bill was referred to the Primary Production Committee with a report due by 6 September 2001.

The Construction Contracts Bill was referred to the Finance and Expenditure Committee.

The Recreation and Sport Agency Bill was referred to the Government Administration Committee.

The Minimum Wage Amendment Bill was referred to the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee.

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 met twice. On Tuesday afternoon and evening it heard evidence on the Telecommunications Bill from submitters including Federated Farmers, Transit New Zealand, Human Rights Commission and Local Government New Zealand. The committee will hold its final round of hearings on this bill in Auckland on 19 July, and will hear from the major players in the telecommunications market in particular.

On Thursday the committee considered and heard evidence on the 2001/02 Estimates for Vote Economic Development and Vote Industry and Regional Development. Witnesses before the committee were the Minister for Economic Development and the chief executives of the Ministry of Economic Development and Industry New Zealand. The committee must report by 23 July on these votes.

The committee also gave further consideration to the 2001/02 Estimates for Vote Energy and presented a report on Vote Consumer Affairs. The committee reported that it was unable to reach agreement on the appropriations sought for Vote Consumer Affairs.

The committee gave further consideration to the Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Bill, a members' bill in the name of Dr Hon Nick Smith.

Education and Science (Louise Gardiner, SC-ES@parliament.govt.nz)

On Thursday, 28 June, the committee heard evidence on the 2001/02 Estimates for Vote Education (Tertiary Education). The committee discussed the tertiary education portion of the vote with the Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education) and the Secretary for Education.

On Wednesday, 27 June, the committee considered the Education Amendment Bill (No 2) and Supplementary Order Paper 133. The committee will next meet on Thursday, 12 July.

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

The committee met on 27 June to consider the Estimates for 2001/02 for Votes Finance and State-Owned Enterprises. The committee heard evidence from the Minister of Finance and the Treasury for Vote Finance. For Vote State-Owned Enterprises the committee heard from the Minister for State-Owned Enterprises and the Crown Company Monitoring Advisory Unit (CCMAU).

The Construction Contracts Bill was referred to the committee with a six-month deadline for reporting to the House. The bill is intended to facilitate prompt and regular payments within the construction industry. It also provides for resolution of disputes and provides remedies for recovery of payments under a construction contract. The committee has not yet called for submissions but is likely to do so within the next week.

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

The Racing Bill and the Recreation and Sport Agency Bill have been referred to the committee for consideration. The committee has called for public submissions on these bills.

The Racing Bill would repeal and replace the Racing Act 1971. The underlying philosophy of the bill is that racing should be given greater control over, and responsibility for, its own affairs. The bill seeks to disestablish the Racing Industry Board and the Totalisator Agency Board and simplify the governance of the industry by establishing the New Zealand Racing Board. The primary objectives of the board would be to promote the sport of racing, facilitate and promote racing and sports betting, and maximise its profits for the long-term benefit of New Zealand racing. Other key functions would be to make the rules of betting, conduct betting, distribute funds obtained from betting, and administer the horse-racing judicial system. The board would also be required to develop, implement or arrange programmes aimed at reducing problem gambling. The betting rules, rules of racing and the board’s procedural rules will be “deemed regulations’ under the Regulations (Disallowance) Act 1989 and subject to scrutiny by the Regulations Review Committee.

The Recreation and Sport Agency Bill seeks to establish a new Crown entity, the Recreation and Sport Agency, to promote, encourage, and support physical recreation and sport as a means of achieving a healthier and more active nation. The agency would take over the functions of the Hillary Commission and the recreation and sport policy role currently carried out by the Office of Tourism and Sport in the Ministry of Economic Development. The Crown entity form is proposed as the most appropriate one for combining the non-government resources and interests of the physical recreation and sport sector with the agency’s involvement in areas of public policy such as health and education. It is proposed that an eight-member board, appointed by the Minster of Sport, woul lead the new agency.

The closing date for submissions on these bills is 10 August 2001. Please send 20 copies of your submission to Lesley Ferguson, Clerk of the Government Administration Committee, Select Committee Office, Parliament Buildings, Wellington.

Next week the committee is to examine the 2001/02 Estimates for Vote Internal Affairs, Vote State Services and Vote National Archives. The committee will hear evidence from the responsible Ministers.

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

This week Hon Margaret Wilson, as responsible Minister, appeared before the committee on Vote Attorney-General, Vote Treaty Negotiations and Vote Justice for the 2001/01 Estimates. Most of the time was spent on Vote Treaty Negotiations. She will return next week on Tuesday, 3 July, to answer questions on Votes Attorney-General and Justice. The committee also considered the Victims’ Rights Bill and Supplementary Order Paper No 112, the Crimes (Criminal Appeals) Amendment Bill, the Electoral Amendment Bill (No 2) and the inquiry into the 1999 General Election at an all-day meeting.

On 3 July the committee will also consider the Prostitution Reform Bill. On 4 July it will consider Vote Attorney-General and Vote Justice of the 2001/02 Estimates, the Victims’ Rights Bill and Supplementary Order Paper No 112, the Electoral Amendment Bill (No 2) and the inquiry into the 1999 General Election. The committee will also meet on 18 July during the adjournment period.

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

Local Government and Environment (David Bagnall, SC-LGE@parliament.govt.nz)

The committee met on Tuesday to hear evidence from Hon Pete Hodgson on the 2001/02 Estimates for Vote Energy Efficiency and Conservation. On Wednesday Hon Sandra Lee gave evidence on Vote Conservation and Vote Local Government. The committee also considered the Auckland City Endowments and Reserves Amendment Bill.

Next week the committee meets on Wednesday morning and afternoon. Further evidence will be heard on the 2001/02 Estimates for Vote Environment, with officials from the Environmental Risk Management Authority in attendance (the committee has already heard from Hon Marian Hobbs and the Ministry for the Environment). The committee will consider the Local Government (Elected Member Remuneration and Trading Enterprises) Amendment Bill and two local bills, the Auckland Aotea Centre Empowering Amendment Bill and the Auckland Improvement Trust Amendment Bill.

Most of the afternoon will be spent hearing evidence on the inquiry into the role of local government in meeting New Zealand's climate change target. Officials will attend from the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry for the Environment and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority. The submission of Local Government New Zealand will be heard, and a briefing will be received from Dr Morgan Williams, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

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

On Thursday the committee reported on its examination of the 2001/02 Estimates for Vote Maori Affairs. In its report the committee highlighted the following issues:

- changes to output class funding

- spending on reducing disparities

- capacity building

- direct resourcing of local level solutions

- tourism

- Maori television channel

- progress of legislation

- the Estimates process.

Last week the committee presented its report on the 2000/01 Supplementary Estimates for Vote Maori Affairs. This report focussed on changes in departmental output classes during the 2000/01 financial year and issues relating to the 'Reducing Inequalities' programmes.

MMP Review (Louise Sparrer, SC-MMP@parliament.govt.nz)

The committee met this week to continue its consideration of the issues raised in submissions on the review of MMP. The committee will not meet during the coming adjournment.

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

The committee continued its Estimates examination on Thursday, 28 June, with hearing evidence from the Hon Pete Hodgson, as Minister of Fisheries for Vote Fisheries and as Minister of Forestry for Vote Agriculture and Forestry.

The committee also considered a number of bills, including the Dairy Industry Restructuring Bill, the Apple and Pear Industry Restructuring Act Repeal Bill and the Misuse of Drugs (Industrial Hemp) Amendment Bill.

The committee will be busy during the three-week adjournment with two full day meetings on 5 and 19 July. On 5 July, examinations will continue with the hearing of evidence from the Minister for Land Information New Zealand on Vote Lands. The hearing of evidence on the 1999/2000 financial review of Terralink Limited will also commence along with further hearing of evidence on the inquiry into sustainable forestry management. The committee will also further consider the Dairy Industry Restructuring Bill and the 2001/02 Estimates (Vote Agriculture and Forestry and Votes Biosecurity).

On 19 July, the committee will give further consideration to all four 2001/02 Estimates votes under examination (Vote Agriculture and Forestry, Votes Biosecurity, Vote Fisheries and Vote Lands). It will also consider the Foreign Fishing Crew Wages and Repatriation Bond Bill, the Dairy Industry Restructuring Bill, the Apple and Pear Industry Restructuring Act Repeal Bill and the inquiry into sustainable forestry management.

The deadline for submissions on the Dairy Industry Restructuring Bill, the Apple and Pear Industry Restructuring Act Repeal Bill has been set at 5.00 pm, on 20 July.

The committee expects to concentrate its efforts on the Dairy Industry Restructuring Bill, the Apple and Pear Industry Restructuring Act Repeal Bill over the next couple of months.

Regulations Review (Fiona McLean, SC-RR@parliament.govt.nz )

The committee met on Wednesday, 27 June. It heard evidence on a complaint about the Domestic Violence (Programmes) Regulations 1996 (SR 1996/174). Evidence was heard from both the complainant and the government departments responsible for administering the regulations: the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Courts. The complainant is the Inner City Group for Men - The Manukau Group for Men. The Ministry of Justice administers the regulations, and the Department for Courts is responsible for appointing members to Domestic Violence Approval Panels.

The complainant considers the regulations are inadequate because they contain no provision for a review or appeal process. The closest the regulations come to such a provision is regulation 64(1), which states that an approval panel must observe the rules of natural justice. The complainant argues that the Regulations Review Committee should draw the regulation to the special attention of the House under Standing Order 382(2)(d), on the ground that the regulation “unduly makes the rights and liberties of persons dependent upon administrative decisions which are not subject to review on their merits by a judicial or other independent tribunal.”

The Ministry of Justice and the Department for Courts told the committee the regulations are currently under review, and the issue of a lack of a review or an appeal process is one of the terms of reference for this review. This review is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The committee will not meet during the adjournment.

Transport and Industrial Relations (Lyn Main, SC-TI@parliament.govt.nz)

The committee has reported on the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill (No 2) and recommended it be passed with a number of amendments. The bill, in amending the Civil Aviation Act 1990, alters the present aviation medical certification process.

Harry Duynhoven, Chairperson, said, “We are pleased that, after considering information from the aviation industry and advice from the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation Authority, we have recommended substantial changes to the bill. We believe that the amended bill is greatly improved from that which was introduced.

“It is important that the Director of Civil Aviation has clear legal responsibility for the medical certification system and can issue, impose conditions and revoke medical certificates. However, the committee does not support the centralisation of all operational functions as originally planned.”

Belinda Vernon, Deputy Chairperson of the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee commented, “We believe that the Director of Civil Aviation must delegate his power to issue medical certificates for standard medical assessments to medical examiners outside of the Civil Aviation Authority. We anticipate that this amendment means only a small number of medical assessments will not be delegated. This is a significant change from the centralisation originally provided in the bill.”

The committee recommends that Director of Civil Aviation must designate medical and aviation examiners by way of issuing an aviation document. The chairperson said, “This will require the selection criteria and removal of examiners to be spelt out in a forthcoming civil aviation rule and ensure consultation is carried out. In the meanwhile transitional provisions will apply.”

The committee recommends the inclusion of review procedures. The chairperson said, “We recommend that the Minister of Transport appoint a convener and deputy convenor who are experienced and suitably qualified medical practitioners. An applicant who has received an unfavourable medical certification decision will be able to approach the convener for a review of the decision. The convener must draw on advice of people with expertise relevant to the case being considered. The Director of Civil Aviation may also, with the prior agreement of an applicant refer cases to the convener for advice.”

The committee is next meeting on Wednesday, 18 July.

Closing dates for submissions

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

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

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

Australia New Zealand Social Security Agreement (20 July 2001)

Government Administration

Racing Bill (10 August 2001)

Recreation and Sport Agency Bill (10 August 2001)

Law and Order

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

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

Primary Production

Apple and Pear Restructuring Act Repeal Bill (20 July 2001)

Dairy Industry Restructuring Bill (20 July 2001)

Regulations Review

Inquiry into the principles determining whether delegated legislation is given the status of regulations (27 July 2001)

Social Services

Child Support Amendment Bill (13 July 2001)


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

Compiled in the Select Committee Office, Office of the Clerk, 29June 2001

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