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Select Committee Business - 14 to 21 September

Select Committee Business

From 14 September to 21 September 2001

Committee meetings

There were 17 meetings this week. Two meetings were outside Wellington. The remaining meetings were in the parliamentary complex.

Reports presented (2)

Commerce

- Telecommunications Bill (124-2)

Justice and Electoral

- Crimes (Criminal Appeals) Amendment Bill (76-2)

Bills referred to select committees

The Commerce (Clearance Validation) Amendment Bill was referred to the Commerce Committee with a report due by 8 October 2001.

Committee notes

(for further information on an item, please contact the committee staff noted in brackets)

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

On Thursday, 20 September, the committee conducted a site visit and public hearing on its review of the performance and operation of Invercargill’s Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) in 2000. The committee was welcomed with a powhiri in the Maori Studies department, examined SIT’s teaching facilities, and met with members of the Invercargill business community, who assisted in the funding and implementation of SIT’s zero fees scheme.

At the hearing, the institute was represented by a team comprising the Chief Executive, Penny Simmonds, and other senior managers. A wide variety of topics were covered in a public hearing lasting two hours. SIT began by outlining the financial standing of the institution, and describing the academic, financial and social rationale behind the zero fees scheme. Other matters discussed included Maori participation rates, the “staircasing’ of courses of study between institutions to encourage skill acquisition, the impact of possible Tertiary Education Advisory Commission recommendations, and the role of research in a vocational institution. For more information regarding SIT, consult its website, www.sit.ac.nz.

The committee will not meet next week. Its next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, 4 October.

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

The committee met on Wednesday, 19 September. The committee was visited by the Botswana Public Accounts Committee. It received a briefing from the Controller and Auditor-General on his report Ministry of Defence: Acquisition of Light Armoured Vehicles and Light Operational Vehicles. The committee also heard evidence on the Trustee Companies Amendment Bill.

The committee will next meet on Friday, 28 September, at the Centra Airport Hotel in Auckland to hear evidence on the Construction Contracts Bill.

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

This week the committee received a briefing from New Zealand Customs Service and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on rules of origin compliance under Closer Economic Partnership (CEP). The chairperson, Graham Kelly, informed the committee of issues raised about CEP with Singapore and the proposed CEP with Hong Kong, from his recent visits to those countries.

The committee considered the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) and continued its consideration of the International Treaties Bill. The committee will not be meeting next week.

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

This week the committee met to consider the Electoral Amendment Bill (No 2), which must be reported to the House by 28 September. It also considered the Crimes (Criminal Appeals) Amendment Bill and the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill. In addition, the committee heard the submission from the member promoting the Prostitution Reform Bill, Tim Barnett.

The committee will not meet next week. Submissions close on the Human Rights Amendment Bill on Friday, 28 September. As the bill must be reported back by 1 November, it is important that submissions be received on time. Hearing of submissions commences on the afternoon of Wednesday, 3 October, in Wellington and in Auckland on Wednesday, 10 October. The committee will also consider the Prostitution Reform Bill and the inquiry into the 1999 General Election on 3 October.

The committee presented its report on the Crimes (Criminal Appeals) Amendment Bill today. The bill was first referred to the Government Administration Committee, which reported on the bill in February this year, recommending that it be passed with amendments. At present there are some ambiguities in the legislation governing the procedure for dealing with criminal appeals on the papers. There are two modes of hearing appeals in the Court of Appeal: oral or on the papers, that is, where there is no oral hearing and the appeal is decided solely on the basis of the written material before the Court.

The Government Administration Committee recommended a number of changes to the bill to provide an appellant whose appeal is set down for a hearing on the papers with substantial safeguards intended to ensure a fair and proper hearing. That committee considered these changes would ensure there is no serious disadvantage to an appellant who is heard on the papers.

The House then referred the bill to the Justice and Electoral Committee on 12 June 2001 for the purpose of receiving a briefing from judges of the Court of Appeal on the mode of hearing criminal appeals in the Court of Appeal. The committee received this briefing on 13 June 2001.

As a result of the matters discussed and issues raised, the committee decided to recommend further amendments to the bill for consideration by the committee of the whole House. Of most significance, it recommends inserting a presumption that appeals be heard orally unless they can be fairly dealt with on the papers and either have no realistic prospect of success, or clearly should be allowed. The committee’s proposed amendment sets out the types of matters the Court must consider when determining whether an appeal can be fairly dealt with on the papers. A number of other issues were raised in the course of the committee’s consideration. It is satisfied that these are either addressed in the bill as reported back by the Government Administration Committee or are being addressed administratively.

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 Crown Organisations (Criminal Liability) Bill and the Police Amendment Bill (No 2). The committee is meeting next week, on Thursday, 27 September, from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm, and 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm, to further consider the Police Amendment Bill (No 2).

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

The committee considered the Taranaki Regional Council Empowering Bill and the inquiry into the role of local government in meeting New Zealand's climate change target, and commenced its consideration of the Local Government (Rating) Bill.

Next Tuesday the committee will consider items including the inquiry into the role of local government in meeting New Zealand’s climate change target and the Local Government (Rating) Bill. Some evidence will be heard from submitters on that bill.

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

Yesterday the committee announced the terms of reference for its inquiry into the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission. The committee intends to call for public submissions early next year. The inquiry has the following terms of reference:

1. the matters currently preventing the allocation of fishing assets and how can they be resolved

2. the methodology for allocating leasehold rights to fishing assets from 1989-2000

3. leasehold resources allocated to organisations representing Iwi

4. the individuals who were deemed to be representing Iwi

5. what these individuals were doing prior to obtaining Iwi fisheries negotiating rights

6. how these people were appointed and remunerated

7. the outcome for Iwi after 10 years of access to fishing assets

8. the role of Commissioners and their remuneration

9. the systems that led to Commissioners being contracted by the Commission as consultants.

More information can be found at:

http://www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/publications/mamedia.pdf

The committee has also extended the closing date for submissions on the Crown Forestry Rental Trust to 29 October 2001.

The committee will meet again on 4 October 2001.

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

The committee continued with its inquiry into sustainable forestry management with a hearing of evidence from the Department of Conversation. Next week the committee will start considering the Biosecurity Amendment Bill. Submissions on this bill close on Monday, 24 September.

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

The committee met on Wednesday, continuing its scrutiny of the Government’s new regulations including the Animal Products (Fees, Charges, and Levies) Regulations 2001, which set out cost recovery charges during the transition between the Meat Act 1981 and the Animal Products Act 1999.

The committee scrutinises the regulation-making powers in legislation before the House and often reports to other committees on those powers. In its commentary on the Court Fees (Waiver) Bill, the Justice and Electoral Committee recommends a number of amendments to the regulation-making powers in that bill based on concerns raised by the Regulations Review Committee.

The committee will meet during the adjournment.

Closing dates for submissions

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

Commerce

Trade Marks Bill (21 September 2001)

Justice and Electoral

Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill (5 October 2001)

Human Rights Amendment Bill (28 September 2001)

Local Government and Environment

Local Government (Rating) (26 September 2001)

Maori Affairs

Inquiry into the operations and performance of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust (29 October 2001)

Primary Production

Biosecurity Amendment Bill (24 September 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

at carol.rankin@parliament.govt.nz

Compiled in the Select Committee Office, Office of the Clerk, 21 September 2001


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