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Select Committee Business 22 Feb-1 March 2002

Select Committee Business
From 22 February to 1 March 2002
Committee meetings
There were 18 committee meetings, all held in the parliamentary complex.

Reports presented (11)
Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
 International treaty examination of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
 International treaty examination of the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade
 International treaty examination of the Convention on Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of Identification
 International treaty examination of the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
 International treaty examination of the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material

Local Government and Environment
 Hawke’s Bay Endowment Land Empowering Bill (82-2)

Justice and Electoral
 Inquiry into the Law Commission

Maori Affairs
 Te Uri o Hau Claims Settlement Bill (156-2)

Social Services
 Social Welfare (Transitional Provisions – Overseas Pensions) Amendment Bill (165-2)

Transport and Industrial Relations
 2000/01 financial review of the Land Transport Safety Authority

Education and Science
 Petition 1996/1991 of Dr Mark Brandon Bland and 1714 others

Bills referred to select committees
The Responsible Gambling Bill was referred to the Government Administration Committee with a report due by 14 May 2002.

The Retirement Villages Bill was referred to the Justice and Electoral Committee.

The Transnational Organised Crime Bill was referred to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee.

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

Commerce (Alan Witcombe,
Industry New Zealand appeared before the committee this week for the first time. The appearance was in connection with the committee’s annual financial review of government departments and Crown entities within its subject area. It had been in operation as a Crown entity for nine months prior to 31 June 2001.

The Industry New Zealand Chairman and Chief Executive together with certain officials gave evidence. The committee’s report on its review of the agency is due by 17 April.

The committee also gave further consideration to the Trade Marks Bill and heard evidence on the TOWER Trust Limited Bill, which is a private bill.

Next week the House is adjourned; however, the committee will meet all day on Thursday to hear submissions on the Motor Vehicle Sales Bill and the Consumer Protection (Definitions of Goods and Services) Bill. For further information please contact the committee secretariat.

Education and Science (Louise Gardiner,
The committee met on Thursday, hearing evidence on the 2000/01 financial reviews of Landcare Research (a Crown Research Institute), Skill New Zealand and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

In the Landcare Research hearing, its work in developing new reporting methods incorporating ‘triple-bottom line’ (financial, social, environmental) analysis was discussed. New Zealand’s possible ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions was also addressed.

In the review of Skill New Zealand, the challenges involved in the upcoming integration of the organisation into the new Tertiary Education Commission, and operation of the Modern Apprenticeships scheme were discussed.

In the New Zealand Qualifications Authority hearing the committee examined the ongoing assessment of performance standards in private training establishments, and implementation of the new National Certificate of Educational Achievement.

The next meeting will be on Thursday, 14 March, and will include the financial review hearing of Learning Media Limited (, a leading exporter of educational publications. The hearing will be open to the public in Room G.011, Parliament House, from 9.30 am to 10.15 am.

Finance and Expenditure (Julian Kersey,
The committee met on Wednesday and heard evidence from the Minister of Finance and the Business Roundtable on the Budget Policy Statement. It considered the Taxation (Relief, Refunds and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, the petitions of Glynmor Trevor Thomas and Neil Gunn Leckie, and the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Genetically Modified Organisms) Amendment Bill. The committee also met on Thursday to consider the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Genetically Modified Organisms) Amendment Bill.

The committee will meet again on Wednesday, 6 March, in Room G.006, Parliament House. It will consider the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Genetically Modified Organisms) Amendment Bill. It will hear evidence on the financial review of New Zealand Post. This hearing will be open to the public from 11.30 am to 1.00 pm. In addition, the committee will receive a briefing from the Auditor-General on the 2002-2003 work programme, will consider the Budget Policy Statement, and will hear evidence on the Taxation (Relief, Refunds and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill. This hearing will be open to the public from 3.30 pm to 5.30 pm.

Government Administration (Lesley Ferguson,
The committee has called for public submissions on the Responsible Gambling Bill. This bill repeals the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1977 and the Casino Control Act 1990 and creates a new regulatory framework for gambling providers. Aspects of racing are also included within the framework. The bill seeks to address concerns about the distribution of gambling funds (particularly gaming machine funds) through new accountability mechanisms for the operation of gaming machines and the allocation of grants.

The bill also provides for an integrated strategy of preventative measures, treatment, and research to address problem gambling. Problem-gambling services would be co-ordinated by the Ministry of Health and funded by a problem-gambling levy paid by gambling operators.

The bill seeks to control the growth of gambling opportunities and to recognise technological change, and prohibits the licensing of new casinos and the expansion of existing casinos. It also includes measures to give territorial authorities some control over the licensing and location of new gambling venues.

The closing date for submissions on the Responsible Gambling Bill is Tuesday, 2 April 2002. Please send 20 copies of your submission to Lesley Ferguson, Clerk of the Government Administration Committee, Select Committee Office, Parliament Buildings, Wellington.

The committee will next meet on Thursday, 14 March. At that meeting it will hear evidence on its financial review of the 2000/01 performance and current operations of the New Zealand Fire Service Commission. It will also hear evidence on a petition from Tony Swain and 3070 others, which requests the Government to abandon plans to close fire stations in the Wellington area and to instead upgrade existing stations in Johnsonville, Khandallah and Newlands. Both hearings of evidence will be open to the public.

Health (Matthew Andrews,
The committee met this week to hear submissions on the Smoke-free Environments (Enhanced Protections) Amendment Bill.

Justice and Electoral (Wendy Proffitt,
This week the committee considered the Prostitution Reform Bill, which is now due to be reported to the House on 26 April. It also presented its report on the inquiry into the Law Commission (the commission). The report will be on the office’s website next week at:

The committee initiated the inquiry because of concerns about unimplemented Law Commission reports. In 2000 the Government commissioned Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Palmer to evaluate the commission. In November 2001 Hon Margaret Wilson, Minister Responsible for the Law Commission, briefed the committee on the Government’s decisions about Sir Geoffrey’s recommendations.

The committee welcomes the decisions made, in particular that government responses to commission reports be provided within six months of their being presented. To enhance that process and to address the existing backlog of unimplemented commission reports, the committee recommends to the Government that:

 Where the Government does not intend to follow recommendations made in commission reports, it should set out reasons and details of further work or consultation that may be needed.

 Where the Government indicates agreement with recommendations made in commission reports, it should set out in its response a programme for implementation of them, including a proposed timetable.

The majority of the committee recommends to the Standing Orders Committee that consideration be given to setting aside dedicated time for the House to consider non-controversial bills arising from commission reports. National members of the committee are of the view that an extension of House time is not warranted as it is the responsibility of the Government to organise its legislative programme to ensure appropriate commission reports are found a place in the legislative programme.

In addition, during each annual financial review of the Ministry of Justice, the committee intends to ask for details of the current status of implementation of commission reports. Should it consider that insufficient progress is made in future on examining and acting on the recommendations of previous commission reports, the committee will consider initiating an inquiry into a particular report, or setting up a standing subcommittee to examine the implementation of commission reports.

The committee is calling for submissions on the Retirement Villages Bill, with a closing date of Friday, 26 April. The bill introduces a range of administrative, reporting and procedural requirements for retirement village operators to protect the interests of residents and intending residents of retirement villages, and to enable the development of retirement villages under a readily understandable legal framework. These include providing for:

 all retirement villages to register with the Registrar of Companies
 all retirement village operators to comply with an industry code of practice, approved by the responsible Minister
 disclosure in a standard format of all essential information on retirement village ownership, management and operational processes, terms and conditions of residence, and charging regime
 all retirement villages to have a disputes procedure
 the Retirement Commissioner to have a monitoring and reporting function on the effect of the legislation, and undertake a public education function.

More detailed information on the bill can be found at: A copy of the bill will also be available at: initiatives.

Next week the committee will be hearing submissions on its inquiry into the 2001 local elections from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm in Room G.005, Parliament House.

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

Local Government and Environment (Marie Alexander,
The committee is currently considering the Local Government Bill. The committee started hearing submissions on the evening of 28 February, with a submission from Local Government New Zealand. The committee will be hearing further submissions in Wellington on 6 March and in Invercargill on 7 March.

The committee has reported on the Hawke’s Bay Endowment Land Empowering Bill and recommends that it be passed with amendments. The bill seeks to free former harbour board land owned by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and the Napier City Council from its endowment status, and provides greater flexibility in the sale of the land. The current 30 percent cap on discounts for the freeholding of the land is lifted. The bill also seeks to remove restrictions on the purpose for which revenue from the land may be applied.

In its report, the committee acknowledges the councils’ emphasis on managing their leasehold portfolios in the best interests of ratepayers. However, the committee considers some balance is required between the wider interests of district and regional ratepayers and the particular individuals whose residences are affected by the bill.

The committee recommends amendments to allow the councils to use all money received from future sales of endowment land for general purposes, as long as these purposes have been specified in their annual plans.

The committee also recommends a new provision restricting the use of all money received in relation to the land (other than from the sale of the land on or after the commencement of this Act) to the improvement, protection, management or use of Napier harbour. This would be consistent with the purpose for which these assets were given to the councils. The committee’s intention in recommending this new provision is also to create an incentive for the councils to take a ‘willing seller’ approach to freeholding the land.

Maori Affairs (Marcus Ganley,
This week the committee reported on the Te Uri o Hau Bill. The committee recommended that the bill be passed.

In its report the committee drew the following matters to the attention of the House:

 alleged irregularities in voting procedures
 the participation rate for the ratification process
 questions relating to the mandate of the negotiators
 the position of overlapping claimants
 the level of financial redress.

The committee also recommended a number of minor amendments to clarity or to correct redress provisions to mirror those in the Deed of Settlement and foreshadowed amendments that may be made at a later stage in the bill’s progress.

Later in its meeting, the committee received a briefing from Te Mangai Paho on recent funding decisions.

Next week the committee intends to meet on Thursday to hear evidence on the Maori Television Service Bill.

Primary Production (Bob Bunch,
The committee met three days this week with consideration of the Resource Management (Aquaculture Moratorium) Amendment Bill being the sole focus on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday the committee gave further consideration to the Land Transfer and Cadastral Survey Legislation Bill.

Next week, a subcommittee will meet on Tuesday, 5 March, to consider the Resource Management (Aquaculture Moratorium) Amendment Bill. On Thursday, 7 March, the full committee will meet to consider the bill. The bill is required to be reported by 8 March 2002.

The committee is to be briefed by representatives of the New Zealand Wool Board on the forthcoming referendum of wool growers in Room G.010, Parliament House, on Thursday, 7 March, from 12 noon to 1.00 pm. The briefing is open to the public.

Regulations Review (Andrew Fieldsend,
The committee met on 27 February. It heard evidence from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on the Dairy Industry (Herd Testing and New Zealand Core Database) Regulations 2001.

The committee will next meet on 13 March. In the morning it will hear evidence from the Ministry of Health on the Misuse of Drugs (Classification of Fantasy) Order 2001. In the afternoon it will hear a complaint from the Bus and Coach Association of New Zealand about the Land Transport (Driver Licensing and Driver Testing Fees) Amendment Regulations 2001.

Transport and Industrial Relations (Lyn Main,
The committee presented its report on the 2000/01 financial review of the Land Transport Safety Authority on 28 February. This report can be viewed on the Office of the Clerk website.

The committee is hearing evidence from the Maritime Safety Authority on its financial review on Wednesday, 6 March.

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

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (11 March 2002)
Customs and Excise Amendment Bill (No 4) (22 March 2002)
Amendments to the Australia New Zealand Joint Food Standards Treaty (15 March 2002)

Government Administration
Statutes Amendment Bill (No 2) (22 March 2002)
Responsible Gambling Bill (2 April 2002)

Justice and Electoral
Retirement Villages Bill (26 April 2002)

Maori Affairs
Maori Television Service Bill (1 March 2002)
Te Whanau-a-Taupara Trust Empowering Bill (28 March 2002)

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


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