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Select Committee Business 30 Nov-7 Dec 2001

Select Committee Business

From 30 November to 7 December 2001

Committee meetings

There were 16 committee meetings, all in the parliamentary complex. This is fewer meetings than usual because the House is sitting extended hours under urgency and this affects the ability of committees to meet at the same time.

Reports presented (4)

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

- 2000/01 financial review of the New Zealand Customs Service

Local Government and Environment

- Inquiry into the role of local government in meeting New Zealand’s climate change target (I. 9C)

- Local Government (Rating) Bill (149-2)

Government Administration

- Racing Bill (135-2)

Bills referred to select committees

The Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Bill was referred to the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee.

The Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Genetically Modified Organisms) Amendment Bill was referred to the Finance and Expenditure Committee with a report due by 19 March 2002.

The Maori Television Service Bill was referred to the Maori Affairs Committee.

The Motor Vehicle Sales Bill was referred to the Commerce Committee.

The Securities Markets and Institutions Bill was referred to the Finance and Expenditure Committee.

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 meet at lunchtime on 6 December to further consider the review inquiries of Victoria University of Wellington and the Southern Institute of Technology. Next week (13 December) the committee will hear evidence on the 2000/01 financial reviews of the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology (10.00 am to 11.00 am) and the Ministry of Education (11.15 am to 12.15 am).

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

The committee met on Wednesday, 5 December, and considered the financial reviews of The Treasury and the Crown Financial Statements, and Television New Zealand. It also considered the Construction Contracts Bill and heard evidence on the petition of Robert James Murray.

The committee will meet again on Wednesday, 12 December, in room G.006, Parliament House. It will consider the financial reviews of the Earthquake Commission, the Office of the Controller and Auditor-General and the Inland Revenue Department. The committee will also hear evidence on the financial review of New Zealand Post. This will be open to the public from 12.00 noon to 12.45 pm.

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

The committee reported on the Racing Bill. This bill seeks to merge the Racing Industry Board and the Totalisator Agency Board into a single statutory body to simplify the governance of the racing industry. The single body to be established is the New Zealand Racing Board and would take over the functions of the existing boards. Its responsibilities would include the determination of the racing calendar, distribution of betting profits to the racing codes, provision of sports and race betting, and administration of the horse-racing judicial system. The Racing Bill would repeal and replace the Racing Act 1971.

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 reviews of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Archives New Zealand and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs.

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

The committee met on Wednesday and Thursday to continue the hearings of evidence on the inquiry into the adverse effects on women as a result of treatment by Dr Graham Parry. The committee heard from: Association of Salaried Medical Specialists; New Zealand Medical Association; Medical Council of New Zealand; Accident Compensation Corporation; National Women’s Hospital - Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology; Director of Advocacy; Health and Disability Commissioner; Whangarei Healthcare Independent Practitioners’ Association; and Northland District Health Board.

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

This week the committee heard 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 also considered its inquiry into the 1999 General Election, the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill and the Clean Slate Bill.

Next week the committee will hear evidence from the Law Commission as part of its financial review of the Ministry of Justice. It will also consider its inquiry into the Law Commission, the Prostitution Reform Bill and the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill.

Please contact the Clerk of the Committee for further information about the committee’s meetings for the next month.

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

On 3 December the committee presented its report on the Local Government (Rating) Bill, in which it recommends that the bill be passed with amendments. The bill replaces the Rating Powers Act 1988 and relates to powers to set, assess and collect rates to fund local government activities. Recommended amendments include:

- linking the purpose of the bill with the purposes of local government set out in the Local Government Act 1974

- basing the “rating unit’ on the concept of a certificate of title, with exceptions to this general principle to be set out through rules made by the Valuer-General

- retaining primary liability for rates with the lessee in the case of long-term registered leases - this is an exception to owner liability, which otherwise will generally prevail (recommended by majority)

- allowing a uniform annual general charge to be set for each separately used or inhabited part of a rating unit

- clarifying that a local authority may set a single targeted rate for several functions or several targeted rates for a single function

- providing for different parts of a rating unit to be recorded and assessed separately, where they require different rating treatment

- enabling local authorities to recover unpaid rates from the first mortgagee

- providing for the lessee of multiply-owned Maori freehold land to be registered as the ratepayer, unless it is specified otherwise in the lease

- simplifying the process for replacing invalid rates

- introducing a partial exemption for categories of land that currently receive a mandatory 50 percent rates remission (recommended by majority).

The committee also suggests the House consider amending the bill to clarify that local authorities may practise “internal borrowing’.

Copies of the report will be available from Bennetts Government Bookshops and can be viewed at: www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/content/545/149bar2.pdf

At its meeting on 5 December the committee conducted two financial review hearings and also continued consideration of the Hawke’s Bay Endowment Land Empowering Bill.

In the financial review of the Department of Conservation, the committee discussed the possibly conflicting interests arising from the department’s environmental advocacy role and its resource management role, particularly as the manager of Crown estates. The department’s role in the mining application of GRD Macraes Limited, proposed provisions affecting filming in national parks, and the ongoing high country tenure reviews were also discussed.

In the financial review of the Ministry for the Environment, the committee asked about: the implementation of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act and other hazardous materials legislation; perceptions of property rights; the length of time taken to make the national policy statement on biodiversity; the role of the ministry in advising the Government on the Kyoto Protocol; possible improvements to the resource consent process; and reducing the damage to waterways by dairy stock effluent.

On Wednesday, 12 December, the committee will conduct two meetings simultaneously, one in Auckland and one in Wellington. In Auckland, a subcommittee will hear submissions on the Rodney District Council (PENLINK Toll Road) Empowering Bill. This meeting will be open to the public, from 9.15 am to 11.50 am in the Strathmore Room, Traveller’s International Motor Inn, 190 Kirkbride Road, Mangere. Meanwhile, the main committee will meet in Wellington to continue consideration of the Hawke’s Bay Endowment Land Empowering Bill. The committee may also hear further evidence on the financial review of the Ministry for the Environment.

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

On Thursday the committee met to consider the financial reviews of Te Puni Kokiri and Te Mangai Paho. Next week the committee will consider the Te Uri o Hau Claims Settlement Bill, the Maori Television Services Bill and its review of the Office of Treaty Settlements.

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

The committee met on 6 December to further consider the 2000/01 financial reviews of Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Fisheries, and Land Information New Zealand. It also considered the financial review of Timberlands West Coast Limited.

Next week the committee will further consider the 2000/01 financial review of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and its 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.

Next Wednesday morning the committee will continue with 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 committee met this week to hear evidence and consider the Land Transport (Road Safety Enforcement) Amendment bill. The committee is required to report on this bill by Monday, 10 December.

The Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Bill was referred this week. The closing date for submissions is 1 March 2002.

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)

Finance and Expenditure

Securities Markets and Institutions Bill (8 February 2002)

Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Genetically Modified Organisms) Amendment Bill (1 February 2002)

Maori Affairs

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

Maori Television Service Bill (1 March 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)

Transport and Industrial Relations

Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Bill (1 March 2002)

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, 7December 2001


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