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Select Committee Business 21 Dec to 18 Jan 2001

Select Committee Business
From 21 December 2001 to 18 January 2002
Committee meetings
There were no committee meetings this week.

Reports presented
Education and Science
 2000/01 financial review of the Ministry of Education

Finance and Expenditure
 2000/01 financial review of the Inland Revenue Department

Bills referred to select committees
The Te Whanau-a-Taupara Trust Empowering Bill was referred to the Maori Affairs Committee. This is a private bill.

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

Finance and Expenditure (Julian Kersey, SC-FE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee will meet again on Monday, 28 January 2002, in room G.006, Parliament House. It will hear evidence on the financial review of the Public Trust Office. This will be open to the public from 3.00 pm to 4.00 pm. The committee will consider also the financial review of New Zealand Post, the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Genetically Modified Organisms) Amendment Bill, the petition of Robert James Murray and the Securities Markets and Institutions Bill.

The committee has called for submissions on the Budget Policy Statement 2002, the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Genetically Modified Organisms) Amendment Bill and Supplementary Order Paper 231 relating to the bill, the Taxation (Relief, Refunds and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill and the Securities Markets and Institutions Bill.

The Budget Policy Statement 2002 contains the Government’s long term objectives for fiscal policy, its broad strategic priorities for the next Budget, and its aggregate fiscal intentions for the next three financial years.

The amendments made by the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Genetically Modified Organisms) Amendment Bill will allow time to put in place research programmes and further amendments to the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996, establish a Bioethics Council, and undertake other relevant work on issues in response to the Report of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification. The bill will restrict, for a period of two years, the consideration and approval by the Environmental Risk Management Authority of applications to release genetically modified organisms into the environment. The amendments will apply to applications to import for release, or to release from containment, genetically modified organisms. Applications to release genetically modified organisms that provide direct medical benefits to human and animal health will be exempt from the constraint period. These applications will be required to provide information showing that the organism cannot persist viably in the physical environment beyond the target organism. In considering the applications the Environmental Risk Management Authority will be required to take into account the safety, ecological effects and relative efficacy of genetically modified organisms. The bill will also require explicit, ongoing controls for all contained field-testing of genetically modified organisms. All changes in the bill will be effective from 29 October 2001.

As part of the committee’s consideration of the above bill, it is also considering Supplementary Order Paper 231, which amends the bill by imposing restrictions on specified biotechnical procedures. These procedures are clinical xenotransplantation (transplanting animal cells, tissues, or organisms to humans or mixing body materials between animals and humans) and modifications to human germ cell-lines that attempt to modify the genome of an embryo. These procedures may pose threats to individuals and to the public, and may raise ethical, cultural, and spiritual concerns. A particular specified biotechnical procedure, or a class of specified biotechnical procedures, may be authorised if the Minister of Health is satisfied that the procedure does not pose unacceptable risks to the health or safety of the public and any risks will be appropriately managed. The Minister must also be satisfied that any ethical, cultural, or spiritual issues raised by the procedure have been addressed.

The Taxation (Relief, Refunds and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill contains provisions to give the Inland Revenue Department greater flexibility in dealing with taxpayers’ debt problems. These changes were introduced in response to concerns about taxpayer debt expressed by the Finance and Expenditure Committee in a 1999 inquiry into the power and operations of the Inland Revenue Department. The bill also introduces new rules for the transfer of overpaid tax; prevents the over-taxation of unit trusts; closes certain loopholes in tax law relating to unit trusts and petroleum mining; clarifies issues regarding holiday pay tax when businesses are sold; clarifies the law allowing charities and other non-profit bodies to claim GST refunds on activities; and contains further provisions to simplify the tax system and reduce compliance costs.

The Securities Markets and Institutions Bill is designed to promote confidence in the New Zealand market by increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the law and regulatory institutions governing securities markets, and the comparability of that law with the law of other jurisdictions. The bill amends the Securities Act 1978 (including the Securities Amendment Act 1988) and the Takeovers Act 1993.

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (David Sanders, SC-FD@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee will meet in Auckland on 31 January to hear evidence on the Terrorism (Bombings and Financing) Bill.

Health (Matthew Andrews, SC-Health@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee will next meet on 30 January 2002 to hear evidence on the financial review of the Ministry of Health.

Justice and Electoral (Wendy Proffitt, SC-JE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee is meeting on 23 and 24 January, to continue consideration of the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill.

Social Services (Graham Hill, SC-SS@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee will next meet on 13 February to begin its consideration of the Social Welfare (Transitional Provisions - Overseas Pensions) Amendment Bill and the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Paid Parental Leave) Amendment Bill.


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

Commerce
Motor Vehicle Sales Bill (8 February 2002)
Television New Zealand Bill (15 February 2002)

Education and Science
Tertiary Education Reform Bill (8 March 2002)

Finance and Expenditure
Securities Markets and Institutions Bill (8 February 2002)
Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Genetically Modified Organisms) Amendment Bill and Supplementary Order Paper No 231 (1 February 2002)
Taxation (Relief, Refunds and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill (15 February 2002)
Budget Policy Statement 2002 (1 February 2002)

Justice and Electoral
Inquiry into the 2001 local elections (15 February 2002)

Local Government and Environment
Local Government Bill (22 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)
Te Whanau-a-Taupara Trust Empowering Bill (28 March 2002)

Primary Production
Land Transfer and Cadastral Survey Legislation Bill (28 January 2002)
Resource Management (Aquaculture Moratorium) Amendment Bill (8 February 2002)

Social Services
Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Paid Parental Leave) Amendment Bill (8 February 2002)
Social Security (Working Towards Employment) Amendment Bill (15 February 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

Compiled in the Select Committee Office, Office of the Clerk, 18 January 2002

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