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Select Committee Business 3-10 August 2001

Select Committee Business

From 3 August to 10 August 2001

Committee meetings

There were 18 committee meetings, all within the parliamentary complex.

Reports presented (6)

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

- International treaty examination of the ILO Convention 63 Concerning Statistics of Wages and Hours of Work, 1938

MMP Review

- Inquiry into the review of MMP (I.23A)

Regulations Review

- Complaint relating to the Domestic Violence (Programmes) Regulations 1996 (I.16E)

Health

- Petition 1996/2069 of Jeanette Fitzsimmons and 91,071 others

- Petition 1996/1969 of Eric McLaughlin and 2853 others

Local Government and Environment

- Inquiry into the response of the Manukau City Council to the report of the Local Government and Environment Committee on Petition 1996/1628 of Rosemary Godwin and others

Bills referred to select committees

The Rodney District Council (PENLINK Toll Road) Empowering Bill was referred to the Local Government and Environment Committee. This is a local bill.

The Court Fees (Waiver) Bill was referred to the Justice and Electoral Committee with a report due by 10 September 2001.

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 on Tuesday and Thursday. On both days it gave further consideration to the Telecommunications Bill. In addition, on Thursday it heard more evidence on the Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Bill and considered it further. The committee also released supplementary information it had requested from the Minister for Industry and Regional Development with regard to the Estimates for 2001/02.

Next week the committee will meet again on Tuesday and Thursday to consider the Telecommunications Bill. It will meet on Thursday to further consider the Sydenham Money Club Bill and the Chartered Professional Engineers of New Zealand Bill.

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

The committee met on Wednesday, 8 August. It considered the Taxation (Annual Rates, Taxpayer Assessment and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, the New Zealand Stock Exchange Restructuring Bill, the Construction Contracts Bill and the Trustee Companies Amendment Bill.

The committee has called for submissions on the Trustee Companies Amendment Bill. The deadline for submissions is 7 September 2001. The bill provides for trustee companies to charge management fees against group investment funds, which are a form of managed fund that only trustee companies and the Public Trust Office are authorised to operate. The ability to charge a management fee will be subject to proper disclosure and reporting of specified information to beneficiaries or clients. The bill also provides increases in some value thresholds relating to the administration of estates. These increases are in line with the Public Trust Bill currently before Parliament.

The deadline for submissions on the Construction Contracts Bill passed this week. The committee will consider the timing of hearings and those who wish to be heard will be contacted.

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

The committee met this week to give further consideration of the International Treaties Bill and the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone Extension Bill. The committee also considered its inquiry into New Zealand's economic and trade relationship with Australia. Next week the committee will begin its consideration of the Terrorism (Bombings and Financing) Bill.

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

The House gave the committee an extension to the report date for the inquiry into New Zealand’s adoption laws. The report date for the inquiry is now 3 September 2001.

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

The committee considered a number of petitions this week. It reported on the petition of Jeanette Fitzsimons and 91,071 others (requesting a Royal commission be established on genetic engineering), and the petition of Eric McLaughlin and 2853 others (about funding for sexual health clinics). The committee had no matters to bring to the attention of the House on these two petitions.

The committee also agreed on the following terms of reference for the up-coming inquiry:

The committee will conduct an inquiry into the adverse effects on women as a result of treatment by Dr Graham Parry. The committee will:

- review the concerns of the women affected

- assess if there is a pattern to the adverse effects

- assess quality assurance processes at:

a) individual levels

b) institutional levels

c) specialist college level

and at the interfaces between each of these levels.

- identify improvements that can be made in the clinical environment that will encourage an open and transparent clinical review process focussed on continuous quality improvement and prevention of harm.

The committee hopes to meet in Northland to hold hearings within the next two months. Making a submission will be open to all people who want to come forward and be heard on the subject of the inquiry. The committee will advertise for submissions on the inquiry with a closing date of Monday, 10 September 2001.

The committee will travel to Auckland on Wednesday. 15 August, to continue to hear submissions in relation to the cannabis inquiry. Submitters will be heard at the Gateway Hotel, 206 Kirkbride road, Mangere, Auckland. 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.

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

This week the committee considered the Prostitution Reform Bill, the Electoral Amendment Bill (No 2), the inquiry into the 1999 General Election, and the Victims’ Rights Bill and Supplementary Order Paper No 112. The Victims’ Rights Bill is now due to be reported back by 23 August.

Next week on Wednesday, 15 August, the committee will consider the Victims’ Rights Bill and Supplementary Order Paper No 112, the Electoral Amendment Bill (No 2), the inquiry into the 1999 General Election, and the Court Fees (Waiver) Bill referred to the committee on Thursday. It will also hear submissions on the Prostitution Reform Bill in the late afternoon and evening. On Wednesday, 22 August, it will hear submissions on this bill in Christchurch and complete hearing submissions in Wellington on Wednesday, 29 August.

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 did not meet this week. It is meeting next week on Thursday, 16 August, from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm, to consider eight petitions relating to police undercover operations and the impact of drug use on undercover officers. It will also consider petitions of John Louis Dean and three others, and of Graeme Easte and 870 others.

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

The committee presented a report on a response received from the Manukau City Council to the committee's previous report on Petition 1996/1628 of Rosemary Godwin and others. The petition relates to asbestos contamination in East Tamaki. The committee's previous report made seven recommendations to the Manukau City Council (the council) that would address the concerns expressed by petitioners. The council has accepted five of the committee's recommendations and rejected two of them.

The committee considers the council has overlooked the objectives of the recommendations. In particular, the committee intended not to attribute blame for the situation. The council’s decision to adopt only those recommendations it considered were already being carried out only serves to diminish the overall effectiveness of the committee’s suggested measures, and could potentially prolong efforts to resolve the concerns of the residents. The committee stands by all of its recommendations on the petition.

The committee emphasises it has not explicitly or implicitly endorsed the council’s actions as being “best practice’, as the council’s response suggests. The council is seeking a contribution from the Government of up to $1 million towards the costs of preparing its assessment and management control strategy. The committee does not support this request.

The committee’s previous report on the petition also addressed some recommendations to the Government. The Government’s response is due by 29 August 2001.

At this week’s meeting, the committee considered the Local Government (Elected Member Remuneration and Trading Enterprises) Amendment Bill and the Taranaki Regional Council Empowering Bill. The committee also looked at the Kerikeri National Trust Bill, and considered an inquiry into Otorohanga termites.

Next Wednesday, the committee will further consider the Local Government (Elected Member Remuneration and Trading Enterprises) Amendment Bill and the inquiry into the role of local government in meeting New Zealand’s climate change target.

The committee will travel to New Plymouth on Friday, to hear submissions in public on the Taranaki Regional Council Empowering Bill.

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

This week the committee resolved to inquire into the Crown Forestry Rental Trust. The inquiry has the following terms of reference:

To inquire into the operations and performance of the Crown Forestry Rental

Trust. Matters that the committee will consider in its inquiry include:

1. whether the Crown Forestry Rental Trust is fulfilling the purpose for which it was established

2. an assessment of the performance of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust to date

3. the progress the Crown Forestry Rental Trust has made towards determining the ownership of Crown forestry assets

4. what impediments exist to prevent the final determination of the ownership of the Crown forestry assets

5. the relationship between the Crown Forestry Rental Trust and other parties including claimants, the Waitangi Tribunal, the Office of Treaty Settlements and other institutions in the treaty settlement process and the impact of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust's “New Direction” on these relationships

6. the criteria used by the Crown Forestry Rental Trust to determine the allocation of funding to claimants

7. the appropriateness of the current legislative framework of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust

8. the appropriateness of the current lines of accountability of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust.

The committee has called for public submissions on the inquiry. The closing date for submissions is 21 September 2001. The committee requires 20 copies of each submission. Those wishing to include any information of a private or personal nature in a submission should first discuss this with the clerk of the committee, as submissions

are usually released to the public by the committee.

Those wishing to appear before the committee to speak to their submissions should state this clearly and provide a daytime telephone contact number. The committee may not be able to hear all those who wish to appear to make submissions. For further guidance on making a submission, our publication Making a Submission to a Parliamentary Select Committee can be found on our website at www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz.

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

The committee presented its report on 8 August. It has now concluded its business and will not meet again. The committee reported that it was unable to reach a unanimous view on the major issues of whether we should keep MMP, whether there should be another referendum on MMP, and on the appropriate number of members of Parliament. Members noted that many would be disappointed that recommendations on these points could not be achieved. However, the committee was required to reach conclusions on the basis of unanimity or near-unanimity and this was not possible with a majority of the issues before members. Where the committee was able to reach unanimity, the recommendation was for the status quo to remain. The committee received 290 submissions on the review, 70 of which were heard in person in Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin. The committee's report is available from Bennetts Bookshops or on the Office of the Clerk's website in the publications section: www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz.

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

The committee met on Tuesday through toThursday, hearing evidence on the Dairy Industry Restructuring Bill and the Apple and Pear Industry Restructuring Act Repeal Bill. The hearing of evidence on the pipfruit legislation has been completed, while next week the committee concludes the hearings on the dairy legislation. For both bills the committee will now consider the issues raised in the evidence. The committee will also be considering the Foreign Fishing Crew Wages and Repatriation Bond Bill.

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

The committee met on Wednesday, 8 August. It will next meet on Wednesday, 15 August, when it will hear evidence on two complaints relating to the Sharemilking Agreements Order 2001. Evidence will be heard from one of the complainants, the Department of Labour (the government department responsible for administering the order), and from other interested parties. The hearing will be open to the public from 3.15 pm to 5.00 pm.

The committee presented a report on 8 August on a complaint relating to the Domestic Violence (Programmes) Regulations 1996. The committee found that the Domestic Violence (Programmes) Regulations 1996 are not in accordance with Standing Order 382(2)(d), in that they unduly make the rights and liberties of persons dependent upon administrative decisions that are not subject to review on their merits by a judicial or other independent tribunal. The Ministry of Justice administers these regulations.

Regulation 64(1) of the Domestic Violence (Programmes) Regulations 1996 states that an approval panel must observe the rules of natural justice. Domestic Violence Approval Panels are responsible for approving agencies to provide programmes for protected persons and for respondents to protection orders, and associated respondents. Providers of such programmes must reapply for approval every three years. The committee found it was reasonable to expect that in order to “observe the rules of natural justice”, there should be a review or appeal mechanism for the decisions of approval panels. This does not exist under the current regulations.

The committee noted that the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Courts (which is responsible for appointing members to approval panels) had already begun a review of the regulations.

The committee recommended to the Government that the Domestic Violence (Programmes) Regulations 1996 be amended to:

- provide for an appeal process against a decision made by an approval panel

- ensure that the appeal process provides for an independent review of the merits of a decision of an approval panel

- ensure that the appeal authority has sufficient expertise to review the merits of a decision subject to appeal

- provide sufficient guidance to a panel on how to regulate its procedure.

The report is available from Bennetts Government Bookshops. The reference number is I.16E.

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

The committee considered the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill. It will continue with this consideration at its next meeting on 15 August.

Closing dates for submissions

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

Commerce

Trade Marks Bill (21 September 2001)

Finance and Expenditure

Trustee Companies Amendment Bill (7 September 2001)

Government Administration

Racing Bill (10 August 2001)

Recreation and Sport Agency Bill (10 August 2001)

State Sector Amendment Bill (13 August 2001)

Health

Inquiry into the adverse effects on women as a result of treatment by Dr Graham Parry (10 September 2001)

Maori Affairs

Inquiry into the operations and performance of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust (21 September 2001)

Transport and Industrial Relations

Minimum Wage Amendment Bill (31 August 2001)


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