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Select Committee Business 24 to 31 August 2001

From 24 August to 31 August 2001

Committee meetings

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

Reports presented (3)

Local Government and Environment

- Inquiry into the infestation of subterranean termites in Otorohanga (I. 9B)

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

- New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone Extension Bill (32-1)

Government Administration

- Inquiry into New Zealand’s adoption laws

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)

The committee did not meet this week. It will next meet on Thursday, 6 September, when it will receive a briefing relating to its review inquiries into Victoria University of Wellington and Southern Institute of Technology, from the Ministry of Education’s Tertiary Advisory Monitoring Unit. The meeting will be open to the public, in Room G.011, Parliament House.

On the same day, the subcommittee on the inquiry into student fees, loans, allowances and the overall resourcing of tertiary education will meet to continue consideration.

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

The committee met on Wednesday, 29 August. It considered the New Zealand Stock Exchange Restructuring Bill, the Taxation (Annual Rates, Taxpayer Assessment and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, allocations of the 2000/01 financial reviews, and its inquiry on the briefing from the Minister for State Owned Enterprises on the Crown Company Monitoring Advisory Unit. The committee received a visit from the New Zealand Business and Parliament Trust.

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 committee will meet again on Wednesday, 5 September.

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

The committee met this week to hear submissions on its inquiry into the role of human rights in foreign policy. Further submissions will be scheduled next week. The committee gave further consideration to the International Treaties Bill. It reported on the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone Extension Bill, recommending it not proceed.

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

The committee reported back on the inquiry into New Zealand’s adoption laws. While the committee conducted this inquiry and spent time considering the issues raised by submitters, it was unable to provide the House with a substantive report that details the committee’s considerations and conclusions. The committee noted that the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Social Policy are each conducting preliminary work to determine the boundaries of an integrated framework which includes legislation, policy, and practice for the care of children. The committee has placed the papers relating to this inquiry in the Parliamentary Library where they are available for viewing by the public.

Next week the committee meets to hear evidence on the Racing Bill. This bill would merge the Racing Industry Board and the Totalisator Agency Board into a single statutory body to simplify the governance of the racing industry. The new statutory body would take over the functions of the Racing Industry Board and the Totalisator Agency Board. The racing industry would be responsible for its own affairs and industry bodies would be accountable to Parliament for the use of their statutory powers.

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

This week the committee heard evidence from the Ministry of Health on the petition of Jack Gunner. This petition requests an upgrading of services at Thames Hospital in the Coromandel. The ministry informed the committee about a review that the Waikato District Health Board has initiated on the subject.

The committee also received a visit from Clare Ward MP (UK), the Parliamentary Permanent Secretary to the Minister of State for Health.

The committee will consider a number of petitions next Wednesday. On Friday the committee will travel to Christchurch to hear submissions on the cannabis inquiry.

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

This week the committee heard evidence on the Court Fees (Waiver) Bill, which is due for report by 10 September. It also considered the Crimes (Criminal Appeals) Amendment Bill, the Human Rights Amendment Bill, the Electoral Amendment Bill (No 2) and the inquiry into the 1999 General Election. The committee also heard submissions on the Prostitution Reform Bill. There will be one further meeting on 12 September to complete hearing evidence on this bill. Next week the committee will continue to consider the same bills and inquiry as this week (except for the Prostitution Reform Bill).

Both the Human Rights Amendment Bill (for which submissions are due by 28 September) and the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill (for which submissions are due by 5 October) will now be available on the Ministry of Justice website www.justice.govt.nz.

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 met this week to consider the Police Amendment Bill (No 2), which is due for report by 2 October 2001. The bill amends the Police Act 1958 and the Police Regulations 1992. It clarifies aspects of the Police’s governance and accountability arrangements, including the constitutional relationship between the Commissioner and the Minister of Police and introduces proposals for improving the Police’s effectiveness in managing its human resources, including the development of a code of conduct for sworn officers.

The committee next meets on Thursday, 6 September, to further consider the Police Amendment Bill (No 2) (oral submissions will be heard from 3.30 pm to 6.00 pm), as well as the Crown Organisations (Criminal Liability) Bill.

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

The committee heard evidence from the Audit Office on the results of the 1999/2000 audits of local authorities. The briefing was based on a report published by the Controller and Auditor-General. Matters discussed include the timeliness of annual reporting by local authorities, meeting of defamation costs of elected members and council officers, competition with the private sector, management of and accounting for infrastructural assets, and reviewing long-term financial strategies and funding policies.

The committee also considered the Taranaki Regional Council Empowering Bill and the inquiry into the role of local government in meeting New Zealand's climate change target.

Next week the committee will hold a short meeting to look at the inquiry into the role of local government in meeting New Zealand's climate change target. Members will also conduct a site visit to the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary.

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

This week the committee received a briefing from Hon Steve Maharey and staff from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet on changes to reporting on “reducing inequalities’ programmes.

The committee is still seeking submissions on its inquiry into the Crown Forestry Rental Trust. Submissions close on 21 September 2001. For more information see: www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/publications/mainquir.html.

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

This week the committee scrutinised 11 new statutory regulations (SR 2001/204 to SR 2001/215) and investigated nine more, including the Hazardous Substances (Fireworks) Regulations 2001 and the Local Electoral Act Commencement Order 2001. The committee also considered regulation-making powers in the Court Fees (Waiver) Bill.

Next Wednesday afternoon, the committee will hear more evidence on two complaints relating to the Sharemilking Agreements Order 2001. In the morning it will consider further the Local Electoral Act Commencement Order, and continue with its regular scrutiny of new regulations.

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

The committee considered the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill at its meeting on 29 August. It is required to report on this bill by 14 September.

Today is the closing date for submissions on the Minimum Wage Amendment Bill. This bill repeals the existing training exemption in the Minimum Wage Act 1983 and replaces it with a training minimum wage. The committee will start hearing submissions on this bill on Wednesday, 5 September.

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)

Health

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

Justice and Electoral

Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill (5 October 2001)

Human Rights Amendment Bill (28 September 2001)

Local Government and Environment

Rodney District Council (PENLINK Toll Road) Empowering Bill (20 September 2001)

Local Government (Rating) (26 September 2001)

Maori Affairs

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

Primary Production

Biosecurity Amendment Bill (24 September 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. 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, 31 August 2001


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