Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Commerce (Clearance Validation) Amendment Bill

5 October, 2001

Commerce Minister Paul Swain has welcomed the early report back of the Commerce (Clearance Validation) Amendment Bill from the Commerce Select Committee.

"The tabling of the Bill with Parliament today is ahead of the deadline set the committee of the 8th October," Paul Swain said.

"The Bill is the result of a Court of Appeal ruling on a case brought by Foodstuffs (Auckland) Ltd.

"The Court ruled that the clearance obtained by Progressive Enterprises Ltd from the Commerce Commission to buy Woolworths New Zealand Ltd should have been considered under the new rather than the old Commerce Act. This new Act came into force on 26 May 2001.

"The Court decision had the potential to affect 10 other clearances for business acquisitions issued by the Commerce Commission.

"These clearances concerned acquisitions worth about three billion dollars. In each case, applications for clearances were submitted before 26 May but the Commission granted the clearances after that date.

"Given the uncertainty that was created by the Court ruling the Government moved quickly to introduce a Bill to the House.

"The Commerce (Clearance Validation) Amendment Bill is based on the general principle that applications for clearances submitted before 26 May should be considered under the old law.

"The Government has, however, decided to exempt the outcome of the Court of Appeal decision on “Foodstuffs vs Progressive” from the coverage of the Bill.

"We are doing this so that Foodstuffs can obtain the benefits of its court action. This is in line with constitutional principle and there is a long list of precedents for taking this approach.

"Our approach will maximise certainty for the business community. Other than Progressive, the 10 companies that obtained clearances can be assured that their clearances are valid. This is particularly important for those companies that have already gone ahead with acquisitions.

"On the other hand, those companies seeking to pursue their interest through the courts can be assured that the outcomes of court decisions will be upheld. This is of particular importance under the Commerce Act which relies on businesses being able to contest outcomes in the courts without government interference.

"It's as much about the robustness of the Commerce Act and the court process as it is about the constitutional issues.

"There are a range of options open to Progressive should it continue to want to pursue the acquisition of Woolworths New Zealand.

"It can appeal the Court of Appeal’s ruling to the Privy Council. Alternatively, it can seek a clearance under the new law. If that approach fails, it has the further option of seeking an authorisation under the Commerce Act.

"The Commerce (Clearance Validation) Amendment Bill will now be considered by Parliament as soon as possible," Paul Swain said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news