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Select Committee Business 23-30 November 2001

Select Committee Business

From 23 November to 30 November 2001

Committee meetings

There were 17 committee meetings. One was outside Wellington and the others were all in the parliamentary complex.

Reports presented (13)

Regulations Review

- Subordinate Legislation (Confirmation and Validation) Bill (No 2) (162-1)

Business

- Recommended sitting programme for 2002

Local Government and Environment

- 2000/01 financial review of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

Social Services

- 2000/01 financial review of the Ministry of Social Policy

- 2000/01 financial review of the Department of Work and Income

- 2000/01 financial review of the Ministry of Housing

- 2000/01 financial review of the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services

Transport and Industrial Relations

- Petition 1999/145 of Dr Muriel Newman and 2370 others

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

- Petition 1999/141 of Peter Cressy Free and 6712 others

- Petition 1999/147 of Omar Khamoun and 125 others

- 2000/01 financial review of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Government Administration

- 2000/01 financial review of the State Services Commission

- 2000/01 financial review of the Parliamentary Service

Education and Science

- 2000/01 financial review of the National Library of New Zealand

Bills referred to select committees

The Land Transport (Road Safety Enforcement) Amendment Bill was referred to the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee with a report due by 10 December 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)

The Commerce Committee heard further evidence yesterday from Radio New Zealand as part of its review of the Radio New Zealand Charter. Responding to the committee's interest in research relating to Radio New Zealand's audience share, the chief executive and chairman of the board told the committee that they were unwilling to release full details of listener figures on the grounds of commercial sensitivity.

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

The committee met on 29 November to hear evidence on the financial reviews of the Education Review Office (ERO) and the Ministry of Education.

The Chief Review Officer outlined the key issues facing the ERO in 2000/01 including the growth and capability of ERO, implementation of recommendations following the review of the ERO established in August 2000, and strengthening relationships with schools and communities and with the Ministry of Education. Other issues addressed in the hearing included the new model for reviews due to be introduced next year, ERO’s capability in reviewing school information communication technology strategies, ERO’s relationship with the Ministry of Education, achievement of Maori and identifying barriers to learning, and assessment of alternative education centres.

The Secretary for Education said it had been a busy and demanding year for the Ministry of Education. Issues discussed included the implementation of the National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA), teacher supply, student absenteeism, truancy and transience, Kura Kaupapa Maori and iwi partnerships, and the leadership role of the ministry in encouraging an equality of opportunity approach to education.

The Ministry of Education was asked to appear for a further hearing on the financial review on 13 December. The committee will also hear evidence on the financial review of the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology on that day.

The committee has presented its report on the 2000/01 financial review of the National Library of New Zealand.

Next week the committee will meet to further consider its review inquiries of Victoria University of Wellington and the Southern Institute of Technology.

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

The committee met on Wednesday, 28 November. It heard evidence on the 2000/01 financial review of the Inland Revenue Department. The committee also considered the Construction Contracts Bill.

The committee will meet again on Wednesday, 5 December. It will consider the financial reviews of The Treasury and the Crown Financial Statements, and Television New Zealand. The committee will also consider the Construction Contracts Bill.

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

The committee is to meet next week to consider its inquiry into the Films, Videos, Publications and Classification Act 1993 and related issues. It is also to consider the 2000/01 financial review of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs.

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

This week the committee heard evidence from the Police Complaints Authority on the 2000/01 financial review of the Ministry of Justice, and from the Abortion Supervisory Committee and the Department for Courts on the financial review of the Abortion Supervisory Committee. It also considered its inquiries into the Law Commission, the 2001 local elections and the 1999 General Election.

Next week the committee will hear evidence from the Privacy Commissioner, the Human Rights Commission and the Race Relations Conciliator as part of its financial review of the Ministry of Justice. It will also consider its inquiry into the 1999 General Election, the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill and the Clean Slate Bill.

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. The next meeting is yet to be determined.

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

On Wednesday the committee considered the Local Government (Rating) Bill and the Rodney District Council (PENLINK Toll Road) Empowering Bill. Next week the committee will hear evidence on the financial reviews of the Department of Conservation and the Ministry for the Environment and will consider the Hawke’s Bay Endowment Land Empowering Bill.

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

This week the committee continued its consideration of the Te Uri o Hau Claims Settlement Bill. This was followed by hearings of evidence on the financial review of Te Puni Kokiri. During the hearings the committee heard from Dr Mark Prebble on the reducing inequalities strategy and from the Minister of Maori Affairs.

Next week the committee will continue consideration of the financial reviews of Te Puni Kokiri and Te Mangai Paho.

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

On Thursday, 29 November, the committee received a briefing from the New Zealand Vegetable and Potato Growers Federation on the disparity between prices received by grower suppliers and the prices paid by consumers. The committee also questioned the Ministry of Fisheries about the its financial performance and current operations of for the 2000/01 financial review. Issues covered were:

- the development of the Government’s oceans policy

- aquaculture

- recreational fishing

- marine reserves

- environmental impact of fisheries plans.

It then further considered the 2000/01 financial reviews of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Land Information New Zealand, and the inquiry into sustainable forestry management.

Next week the committee is planning to meet on 6 December to further consider its financial reviews of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Fisheries, Land Information New Zealand and Timberlands West Coast Limited. It will also give further consideration to the inquiry into sustainable forestry management.

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

On Wednesday afternoon the committee heard complaints from the Law Society and the Bar Association. The complaints relate to recent regulations increasing civil court fees. These regulations are also the subject of four disallowance motions lodged in the House by committee member Richard Worth. The complainants argue that the increases to civil court fees limit access to the courts, were made without adequate consultation, and contain matters more suitable for parliamentary enactment.

The committee has reported back, unamended, the Subordinate Legislation (Confirmation and Validation) Bill (No 2), which confirms and/or validates a number of government regulations.

Next Wednesday morning the committee will continue its scrutiny of recent government regulations. In the afternoon it will hear two complaints relating to the Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration (Fees) Amendment Regulations 2001. These regulations increase the fees payable for citizenship and identity services such as the provision of copies of birth certificates. The hearing will be open to the public from 3.15 pm in room G.010, Parliament House.

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

The Land Transport (Road Safety Enforcement) Amendment Bill (the bill) was referred to the committee yesterday, with a report required by 10 December 2001. The committee will meet on Wednesday, 5 December, from 10.30 am to approximately 12.30 pm in Parliament House to hear submissions on the bill. Organisations and individuals wishing to present a submission orally to the committee please contact the Clerk of Committee by Monday, 3 December 2001. Those wishing to make a written submission only should send it to the Clerk of the Committee by Tuesday, 4 December 2001.

The bill amends the Land Transport Act 1998 and the Transport Act 1962 to address problems with road safety enforcement. Currently, evidential breath-testing devices may not be able to be used because of recent legal challenges regarding the accuracy of these devices. The bill prohibits the defence from challenging a properly administered evidential breath test with an approved device but contains safeguards to protect defendants’ rights.

The bill ensures that certificates of accuracy for speed measuring devices, such as lasers and static cameras, can be produced in proceedings for any speeding offence. The bill also ensures that certificates of accuracy for weighing devices used to check for offences against road user charges can be produced in proceedings for any road user charge offence.

The committee reported on the petition of Dr Muriel Newman and 2370 others requesting that the House of Representatives advise the Government that funding should be provided to build passing lanes on the Ruakaka Waipu highway as a priority. The committee recommended that the Government:

- provide funding for the passing lanes on the Ruakaka Waipu highway

- establish a passing lane strategy for New Zealand roads

- undertake a review of the effectiveness of Transit’s prioritising system.

The report can be viewed in www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz through the publications link.

Closing dates for submissions

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

Commerce

Consumer Protection (Definitions of Goods and Services) Bill (15 January 2002)

TOWER Trust Limited Bill (15 January 2002)

Education and Science

Inquiry into teacher education (14 December 2001)

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Interim report on the Terrorism (Bombings and Financing) Bill (30 November 2001)

Maori Affairs

Inquiry into the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission (Te Ohu Kai Moana) (15 February 2002)

Primary Production

Land Transfer and Cadastral Survey Legislation Bill (28 January 2002)

Social Services

Social Welfare (Transitional Provisions - Overseas Pensions) Amendment Bill (15 January 2002)

General

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

Compiled in the Select Committee Office, Office of the Clerk, 30 November 2001


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