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Select Committee Business 13-20 July 2001

Select Committee Business

From 13 July to 20 July 2001

Committee meetings

There were 13 committee meetings this week, three of which were outside Wellington. The remainder were in the parliamentary complex.

Reports presented (19)

Government Administration

- Estimates for 2001/02 for Vote State Services

Justice and Electoral

- Estimates for 2001/02 for Vote Attorney-General

- Estimates for 2001/02 for Vote Justice

Social Services

- Estimates for 2001/02 for Vote Employment

- Estimates for 2001/02 for Vote Senior Citizens

- Estimates for 2001/02 for Vote Housing

- Estimates for 2001/02 for Vote Community and Voluntary Sector

- Estimates for 2001/02 for Vote Work and Income

- Estimates for 2001/02 for Vote Child, Youth and Family Services

- Estimates for 2001/02 for Vote Social Policy

Transport and Industrial Relations

- Estimates for 2001/02 for Vote Accident Insurance

- Estimates for 2001/02 for Vote Labour

- Estimates for 2001/02 for Vote Transport

Education and Science

- Estimates for 2001/02 for Vote Crown Research Institutes

- Estimates for 2001/02 for Vote Research, Science and Technology

- Estimates for 2001/02 for Vote Education

Law and Order

- Crimes Amendment Bill (No 6) and Supplementary Order Paper No 85 (322-2)

Local Government and Environment

- Estimates for 2001/02 for Vote Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

- Estimates for 2001/02 for Vote Conservation

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)

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

On Thursday, 12 July, the committee considered the Education Amendment Bill (No 2).

The committee has also presented reports on the 2001/02 Estimates for Vote Education, Vote Research, Science and Technology, and Vote Crown Research Institutes.

In its report on Vote Education the committee discusses numerous issues relating to tertiary education. These include: the Government’s fee stabilisation offer to tertiary education providers and its linking to the new Centres of Research Excellence funding; relative expenditure on tertiary education in comparison with similar countries; the ongoing shape of the tertiary sector as influenced by the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission’s reports; provisions relating to Government intervention in at-risk tertiary education institutions contained within the Education Amendment Bill (No 2); issues surrounding the roles of polytechnics and private training establishments in tertiary education; and private investment in university research and development. The report also addresses the effect of decile funding on schools, and recommends the Ministry of Education studies the impact and level of success of such funding.

In the report on Vote Research, Science and Technology, the committee discusses the implementation of the new Crown Seed Capital Fund (also known as the Venture Investment Fund); the size of appropriations to the vote; the role of the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology (the ministry) in augmenting the public profile of research, science and technology; the ministry’s role in assisting the creation of a suitable graduate profile; the use of intellectual property arrangements to stimulate innovation; Maori participation in science; the Government’s Centres of Research Excellence funding; funding for Technology New Zealand; and Health Research Council grants. In the Crown Research Institutes report, the committee discusses changes in appropriations to the vote, and the speed with which Crown Research Institute directors are appointed.

Next week, the subcommittees on the inquiries into the teaching of reading and into tertiary education resourcing will meet to consider their reports.

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

The committee met three times this week. It met in Christchurch on 17 July to hear evidence on the Taxation (Annual Rates, Taxpayer Assessment and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill (the bill). The majority of the evidence heard addressed amendments relating to GST proposed by the Minister of Revenue.

The committee met in Wellington on 18 July and in Auckland on 19 July for further hearings of evidence on the bill.

The committee has called for submissions on the Construction Contracts Bill. The deadline for submissions is 8 August 2001. The bill is intended to facilitate prompt and regular payments within the construction industry. It will also provide for the resolution of disputes and provide remedies for the recovery of payments under a construction contract.

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

The committee met on Wednesday, 18 July. The committee continued to hear submissions on the cannabis inquiry. The committee still has a number of submissions to hear.

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

This week the committee considered the 2001/02 Estimates for Vote Attorney-General, Vote Treaty Negotiations and Vote Justice. The reports for these have been presented. The committee also visited the Office of Treaty Settlements. In addition, it considered the Victims’ Rights Bill and Supplementary Order Paper No 112 and the Prostitution Reform Bill.

Nest week the committee will continue to consider the Victims’ Rights Bill, which is due to be reported back to the House on 16 August, and Supplementary Order Paper No 112. It will also consider the Crimes (Criminal Appeals) Amendment Bill, the Electoral Amendment Bill (No 2) and the Inquiry into the 1999 General Election.

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

Law and Order (Tracey Rayner, SC-LO@parliament.govt.nz)

The committee presented its report on the Crimes Amendment Bill (No 6) and Supplementary Order Paper No 85.

The committee next meets on Thursday, 26 July, from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm. From 10.00 am to 11.30 am the meeting will be open to the public during a briefing from the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services from the Republic of South Africa. The objectives for the visit to New Zealand include site visits to New Zealand prisons, discussions with government officials (particularly those from the Department for Courts and the Department of Corrections) regarding reintegrative shaming experiments, restorative justice and the management of the New Zealand prison population and meeting with its New Zealand counterpart, the Law and Order Committee.

From 11.30 am to 1.00 pm the meeting will be closed to the public for consideration of the Crown Organisations (Criminal Liability) Bill and the eight long-standing petitions about issues relating to undercover police and their exposure to drug use.

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

The committee presented its report on the 2001/02 Estimates for Vote Conservation. Points raised in the report include the following:

- The strategy for dealing with the Mr Ruapehu lahar risk must be finalised and implemented urgently. The work must be completed before the actual risk period starts.

- The department should be open and inclusive in developing and implementing its strategy for dealing with the lahar risk. It is especially important to ensure all potentially affected people or organisations remain fully informed of the situation.

- The committee looks forward to seeing the visitor asset management strategy as soon as it is available, and urges there be local public consultation over the priorities established in each area.

- The committee considers the department has a mandate under the New Zealand Walkways Act 1990 in the development of this country’s walkways network.

- The committee welcomes the continuation of the Conservation Awareness Programme, and notes the Minister’s statement that a significant part of the programme will focus on school groups and developing conservation awareness and participation of specific ethnic communities.

- The department should improve its performance measures for the processing of concessions, to make them more meaningful.

On Wednesday, the committee heard submissions on the inquiry into the role of local government in meeting New Zealand’s climate change target. The committee also considered the 2001/02 Estimates for all the five votes before it, and looked at the Local Government (Elected Member Remuneration and Trading Enterprises) Amendment Bill and two local bills promoted by Auckland City. The committee will consider the latter two bills further next week, and will hear further submissions on the inquiry. A public briefing will also be received from the Audit Office on its recent report, Meeting International Environmental Obligations.

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

The next meeting of the committee will be on 26 July. It will receive a briefing on the government response to recommendations in the committee's report on its inquiry into the possible collapse of Lake Ompare. The committee's report can be found at http://www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/publications/omapere.pdf. A briefing from Trustees of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust will follow.

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

The committee did not meet in the adjournment. Its next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, 25 July.

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

The committee met on Thursday, 19 July, and considered all four votes it is examining for the 2001/02 Estimates. Vote Agriculture and Forestry, Votes Biosecurity, Vote Fisheries and Vote Lands all came under the committee's scrutiny. The committee has until 23 July to report on the votes.

The committee also commenced hearing evidence on the Dairy Industry Restructuring Bill. It heard from two expert witnesses, Sir Dryden Spring and Warren Larsen in the morning. The afternoon was devoted to a briefing and hearing of evidence from the Global Dairy Company on the future of the dairy industry and the bill.

The committee gave further consideration to two other bills: the Foreign Fishing Crew Wages and Repatriation Bond Bill, and the Misuse of Drugs (Industrial Hemp) Bill.

Next week the committee has hearings scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday as it gets underway with hearings on the Dairy Industry Restructuring Bill and the Apple and Pear Industry Restructuring Act Repeal Bill. The committee commences hearings on the latter on Tuesday evening, from 7.30 pm onwards. Hearings continue on the former on Wednesday afternoon and evening, and on Thursday afternoon and evening.

On Thursday morning, the committee has called together the four main players in the pipfruit industry to brief the committee on the apple debt issue and their vision for the future of the industry. This will take place from 11.15 am to 1.00 pm and is open to the public.

Regulations Review (Andrew Fieldsend, SC-RR@parliament.govt.nz )

The committee did not meet this week. Its next meeting is on Wednesday, 25 July, when it will scrutinise a large number of regulations and deemed regulations including regulations setting new court fees and Statutory Regulations 2001/134 to 2001/182, which have been recently gazetted.

The committee will consider several other items of business including: regulation-making powers in the Terrorism (Bombings and Financing) Bill and the Racing Bill; and the inquiry into regulation-making powers that authorise international treaties to override any provisions of New Zealand enactments.

The committee is currently receiving submissions on its inquiry into the principles determining whether delegated legislation is given the status of regulations. The terms of reference for the inquiry and a discussion paper are available from the Clerk of the Committee or can be found at www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/publications. The closing date for submissions is 27 July 2001. The committee would prefer to receive 20 copies of any submission.

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

The committee has reported its 2001/02 Estimates for Vote Transport, Vote Labour and Vote Accident Insurance. In its reports the committee commented in particular on the following matters.

Vote Transport: generic enabling legislation to construct new roads; Environment Court delays for roading projects; air services liberalisation; review of the new driver licensing regime; application of the re-licensing regime for older drivers; finalising the lease for the Auckland rail network; vehicle impounding regime; patronage funding to encourage public transport; road safety programmes for Maori and Pacific communities; and vehicle emissions control.

Vote Labour: performance standards for the Mediation Service; and employment disputes and cross-examination.

The committee next meets on Wednesday, 25 July, when it will hear further evidence on the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill. The bill was introduced in December 2000 and has had its report date extended to 3 September 2001.

Submissions on the Minimum Wage Amendment Bill close on 31 August. The bill implements government policy to repeal the existing training exemption in the Minimum Wage Act 1983 and replace it with a training minimum wage. Its reporting deadline is 27 December 2001.

Closing dates for submissions

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

Finance and Expenditure

Construction Contracts Bill (8 August 2001)

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Australia New Zealand Social Security Agreement (20 July 2001)

Government Administration

Racing Bill (10 August 2001)

Recreation and Sport Agency Bill (10 August 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)

Transport and Industrial Relations

Minimum Wage Amendment Bill (31 August 2001)

General

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


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