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Select Committee Business 3 April to 10 April

Committee meetings
There were 11 committee meetings. Three were outside Wellington and the others were all in the parliamentary complex.

Reports presented
(available at http://www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/cgi-bin/select-reports)

Commerce
 2000/01 financial review of Industry New Zealand
 2000/01 financial review of Radio New Zealand Limited

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
 2000/01 financial review of the New Zealand Trade Development Board
 International treaty examination of the Amendments to the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of New Zealand Establishing a System for the Development of Joint Food Standards

Officers of Parliament
 Inquiry into a code of practice for the provision of assistance by the Auditor-General to select committees and members of Parliament (I. 15A)

Regulations Review
 Activities of the Regulations Review Committee during 2001 (I. 16J)

Māori Affairs
 Māori Television Service Bill (171-2)

Justice and Electoral
 2000/01 financial review of the Legal Services Agency

Finance and Expenditure
 March 2002 Monetary Policy Statement

Transport and Industrial Relations
 2000/01 financial review of Transfund New Zealand

Health
 2000/01 financial reviews of Waitemata District Health Board, Waikato District Health Board, Otago District Health Board, South Canterbury District Health Board, Southland District Health Board, Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, Northland District Health Board, Wairarapa District Health Board, Tairawhiti District Health Board, Capital and Coast District Health Board, Counties Manakau District Health Board, Nelson Marlborough District Health Board, New Zealand Blood Service, Health Research Council of New Zealand, Health Sponsorship Council, and the Residual Health Management Unit.

Bills referred to select committees
The following bills were all referred to committees while the House was sitting under urgency on the afternoon of Friday, 3 May:

 The War Pensions Amendment Bill (No 2) was referred to the Social Services Committee with a report due by 28 June 2002.
 The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill was referred to the Social Services Committee.
 The Fair Trading amendment Bill (No 3) was referred to the Commerce Committee.
 The National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa) Bill was referred to the Education and Science Committee with a report due by 1 August 2002.

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 committee did not meet this week. Next week it will meet at its regular Thursday morning time to hear evidence on a petition seeking an inquiry into the banking sector and hear further consideration to the Crown Minerals Amendment Bill and Motor Vehicle Sales Bill.

The committee presented two reports this week on its financial reviews of Industry New Zealand and Radio New Zealand Limited.

In summary the committee made the following comments on its financial review of Industry New Zealand:

“We view with serious concern the ‘just adequate’ ratings assigned to INZ, and note INZ’s assurance that it is now working towards improving the accuracy of its reporting and enhancing its performance. We expect substantial improvement between now and the next financial review as systems are established. We will be monitoring progress closely.

“We recognise lags in programme implementation are not entirely unexpected when setting up a new organisation and functions.

“We note with some concern that the Chief Executive of INZ was not appointed until April 2001, six months after INZ became operational. We also note the need to lease executives. We note that INZ has made progress in reducing reliance on contractors and consultants as required by the Minister.

“While we acknowledge that INZ is a new agency, we express concern at the major variance between budgeted and actual expenditure, particularly the extent of new spending in unbudgeted areas such as the regional initiatives fund, sector initiative fund and incubator awards. We are concerned at the slow rate of drawing down for the regional partnership programme and the business growth scheme, particularly given the stated intent of INZ to encourage regional business development, although we note that grants cannot actually be paid by INZ until invoices are received.

“We are pleased to note that INZ is currently working to encourage its clients to initiate the activity for which they will receive funding.

“We would like to see an on-going monitoring programme to highlight actual outcomes beyond the fact that funding has been spent. This is a matter of priority, which we were told is underway.

“We note reports that it is difficult to receive an Enterprise Award grant but are aware that INZ continually monitors the scheme to ensure that access to it is not an issue. However, we note the need to maintain project quality to ensure that desired outcomes are achieved.

“We are concerned at the regional spread of awards and grants made to date, as this is an important issue. We note that work is on-going within the regions to gain funding from INZ and we expect a more even spread in future years.

“We recognise the importance of a sector strategy approach to match regional development and we will be monitoring the outcomes of these sector strategies.”

In summary the committee made the following comments on its financial review of Radio New Zealand Limited:

“We consider RNZ received a good assessment from the Audit Office for its financial and service performance management.

“We are pleased that a net surplus of $384,000 (68 percent above the forecast net surplus) was made without cuts to news services.

“In future, to provide for greater transparency and accountability, we request that RNZ provide a detailed breakdown of all increases related to operating costs and contingent liabilities.

“RNZ holds $5 million in cash reserves and is looking at actively applying it towards deferred capital expenditure.

“The National Radio-listener target was exceeded by 119,700 listeners. We note actual listener numbers from 1997 to 2001 have been consistently higher than the 415,300-listener target and are pleased the listener target for the 2002/03 financial year has been increased to 535,000, as it now sets a realistic performance measure. We intend to monitor listener numbers in the future and would be concerned if listenership dropped below current audience levels.

“We note RNZ’s comment that the most efficient form of funding would be direct bulk funding and consider this issue deserves further consideration.

“We remain concerned about the blurred lines of accountability between RNZ and NZ On Air and encourage the Government to address legislative inconsistencies between the Acts that govern RNZ and NZ On Air to ensure these arrangements are clearly delineated.

“RNZ states it can have no concrete plans to implement FM nationwide, unless operational funding is available.

“We note the Government agrees the Radio New Zealand Act 1995 must be amended to acknowledge Radio New Zealand International (RNZI), so it can be brought within RNZ’s responsibilities under the Charter.

“We consider RNZI is operating below the bare minimum threshold for funding. We find it difficult to reconcile current RNZI funding arrangements with the Government’s agreement that ‘different geographic areas have different needs, and one of the jobs of public radio is to meet the needs of all sectors’.

“RNZ has no current plans to establish a youth radio network. We note RNZ’s candid comments about the possible establishment of a youth radio network. Our view is funding earmarked for a youth radio station should be spent on servicing markets that are not currently well serviced, like the children’s market, or spent funding current RNZ programmes/services, like RNZI and the Sounds Archives/Nga Toanga Korero Ltd (NTKL), that clearly require enhanced funding.”

Education and Science (David Bagnall, SC-ES@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on Thursday, 9 May to consider the Tertiary Education Reform Bill and Supplementary Order Paper No 264. The committee heard evidence from submitters on the supplementary order paper, which concerns the implementation of an export education levy upon providers with international students. Those submitters appearing were Education New Zealand, New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, Massey University, University of Otago, New Zealand Association of Private Education Providers, Association of Private Providers of English Language, Auckland Chamber of Commerce, Kiwi English Academy Limited, International Pacific College and the Association of Polytechnics in New Zealand.

Next week the committee will continue its consideration of the bill and supplementary order paper, and will receive briefings on its inquiry into decile funding in New Zealand schools.

The committee has had two bills referred. The first, the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Bill, seeks to replace the provisions of the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind Act 1963, and permit the foundation to move to establishing itself as an incorporated society. The second, the National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa) Bill, addresses four elements of the National Library’s operations: legal deposit provisions for electronic documents; the relationship between the National Library and the Alexander Turnbull Library; the Maori dimension to the Library’s work; and the role of the library in working alongside other organisations. The committee has set closing dates for submissions of 5 June 2002 and 1 July 2002 respectively.

Copies of each bill can be obtained from Bennett’s Government Bookshops. The National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa) Bill can be viewed at www.natlib.govt.nz/mi/whatsnew/nlnzbill.pdf. For enquiries, please contact Ethan Tucker in the Education and Science Committee secretariat, tel. (04) 471-9487.

Finance and Expenditure (Julian Kersey, SC-FE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on 8 May to consider the Securities Markets and Institutions Bill and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s March Monetary Policy Statement.

The committee will meet on Wednesday, 15 May in Room G.006, Parliament House, to hear evidence on the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s May Monetary Policy Statement, from 10.00 am to 11.00 am. This hearing is open to the public. The committee will also consider the CAPS Pilot, the Taxation (Relief, Refunds and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill and hear evidence on the revenue effects of fraudulent investment schemes.

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (David Sanders, SC-FD@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met this week to hear all its submissions on the Transnational Organised Crimes Bill and the Customs and Excise Amendment Bill No 4. Next week the committee will be considering both bills as well as the treaty examination of the Kyoto Protocol.

Government Administration (Lesley Ferguson, SC-GA@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee will meet on Thursday, 16 May to continue its consideration of the Responsible Gambling Bill. It will also consider the 2000/01 financial review of the New Zealand Building Industry Authority.

Justice and Electoral (Louise Sparrer, SC-JE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met on 8 May to conclude consideration of the financial review of the Legal Services Agency for 2000/01, to continue consideration of the Prostitution Reform Bill and to hear evidence on the Retirement Villages Bill.

Next week the committee will meet on 15 May to consider its inquiry into the 2001 local elections and to continue hearing evidence on the Retirement Villages Bill. The hearing is open to the public from 11.00 am to 1.00 pm and 3.30 pm to 5.30 pm in Room G.005. The later session will be by videoconference from Christchurch.

The committee is now seeking submissions on the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Bill and the Clean Slate Bill.

Local Government and Environment (Marie Alexander, SC-LGE@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee met in Hamilton on 8 May to hear submissions on the Local Government Bill. The committee has also met in Invercargill, Dunedin, Christchurch and Auckland. The committee will next meet on 15 May in Wellington to hear further submissions.

Maori Affairs (Marcus Ganley, SC-MA@parliament.govt.nz)
On Monday, 6 May the committee travelled to Gisborne to hear further submissions on the inquiry into the Crown Forestry Rental Trust and to hear evidence on the Te Whanau-a-Taupara Trust Empowering Bill.

The committee will meet again on Thursday, 16 May to hear further submissions on the inquiry into the Crown Forestry Rental Trust.

Primary Production (Bob Bunch, SC-PP@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee cancelled its 9 May site visit to Stewart Island marine farms due to inclement weather conditions.

Next week, the committee will meet in Parliament House to further consider its inquiry into sustainable forestry management. It will also hear evidence on the Animal Products Amendment Bill and be briefed by videoconference by Environment Southland on Southland issues involved in aquaculture reforms.

Regulations Review (Andrew Fieldsend, SC-RR@parliament.govt.nz)
The committee has made a report on its activities during 2001: Report on the activities of the Regulations Review Committee during 2001. Two purposes of the report are to:

 summarise the committee’s scrutiny of the Government’s delegated legislation made in the past year
 provide guidance for the Government and the general public on the committee’s approach to the scrutiny of delegated legislation.

The report may be viewed at: http://www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/cgi-bin/select-reports.

The committee did not meet this week, but will meet on Wednesday, 15 May, when it will scrutinise a number of regulations, consider regulation-making powers in two bills and, in the afternoon, hear evidence from the Minister of Transport on complaints relating to the Land Transport Rule: Frontal Impact. That hearing will be open to the public from 3.15 pm to 5.00 pm.

Transport and Industrial Relations (Lyn Main, SC-TI@parliament.govt.nz)
This week the committee continued hearing evidence on the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Bill. The committee will complete the hearing of evidence on Wednesday, 15 May.

The committee also reported on the financial review of Transfund New Zealand. The report is available on the website.


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

Education and Science
National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa) (1 July 2002)
Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (5 June 2002)

Justice and Electoral
Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Bill (8 July 2002)
Clean Slate Bill

Primary Production
Animal Products Amendment Bill (27 May 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:

Compiled in the Select Committee Office, Office of the Clerk, 10 April 2002

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