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Select Committee Business

Select Committee Business

From 13 to 20 September 2002

Committee meetings

There were 16 committee meetings, all in the parliamentary complex.

Reports presented

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

Commerce

- Imported Used Cars (Commission of Inquiry) Bill

Education and Science

- 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Education

Finance and Expenditure

- 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Revenue

Health

- Petition 1999/28 of Brookes Howes

- Petition 1999/208 of Thomas Gregory Phipps Morgan

Justice and Electoral

- 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Justice

- 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Attorney-General

Local Government and Environment

- 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

- 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Local Government

Transport and Industrial Relations

- Petition 1999/197 of Sadie Thomas

Bills referred to select committees

The Criminal Investigations (Bodily Samples) Amendment Bill was referred to the Law and Order Committee, with a reporting date of 17 March 2003.

The Government Superannuation Fund Amendment Bill (No 2) was referred to the Government Administration Committee, with a reporting date of 17 March 2003.

Committee notes

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

Education and Science (Angela Van Dam, SC-ES@parliament.govt.nz)

The committee met on Wednesday, 18 September to hear evidence on two bills. With regard to the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Bill the committee heard three submissions: from the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind, the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand and Ngati Kapo o Aotearoa. On the National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa) Bill the committee heard evidence from the National Council of Women, the National Library Society, the Library and Information Studies Group from Victoria University of Wellington, and two individual submitters.

The committee will not be meeting next week, as the House is not sitting. Its next meeting will be on Wednesday, 2 October, when further evidence will be heard on the National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa) Bill. This section of the meeting will be open to the public.

Finance and Expenditure (Fay Paterson, SC-FE@parliament.govt.nz)

The committee met on Wednesday, 18 September to hear evidence on Vote State-Owned Enterprises, Vote Finance, and the Fiscal Strategy Report and Budget Economic and Fiscal Update. The Minister of Finance delivered a briefing on the recently signed Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s Policy Targets Agreement. The committee also allocated the 2001/02 financial reviews to subject committees. The committee reported on Vote Revenue on 19 September.

The committee will meet next on Wednesday, 2 October.

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (David Sanders, SC-FD@parliament.govt.nz)

This week the committee received a briefing from the United Kingdom branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and heard the final submissions on the Climate Change Response Bill. The committee will not be meeting next week.

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

The committee has resolved to conduct an inquiry into the weathertightness of buildings in New Zealand. The terms of reference for the inquiry are to examine:

- the level of detail to be provided with building consent applications with respect to weathertightness, including flashings, with a view to determining what constitutes a reasonable level of detail

- the inspection regime as part of the code compliance certification process, with specific reference to weathertightness aspects, and with a view to developing guidelines for inspection

- the split responsibility of building certifiers and territorial authorities with respect to building consents, inspection and code compliance certification, and reports on any issue caused by that split responsibility

- the decline in the level of skills in the building sector, with a view to determining the cause for that decline, and to investigating how that decline might be reversed

- any other matters that the committee may consider appropriate, on the basis of information received.

The closing date for public submissions on the inquiry into weathertightness is Monday, 21 October 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 has also called for public submissions on the Government Superannuation Fund Amendment Bill (No 2). The bill is intended to remove inequities in the treatment between members of old schemes of the Government Superannuation Fund and the new schemes. In particular, the bill would remove any inequities in the treatment of widows and widowers.

The closing date for submissions on the Government Superannuation Fund Amendment Bill (No 2) is Monday, 21 October 2002. Twenty copies of your submission should be sent to the address above.

The committee does not meet next week.

Health (Catherine Parkin, SC-Health@parliament.govt.nz)

The committee has agreed to conduct an inquiry into the proposal to establish a trans-Tasman agency to regulate therapeutic products. The committee has yet to determine its terms of reference for this inquiry, or whether it intends calling for submissions.

Next Wednesday, 25 September the committee will be hearing evidence from the Minister of Health, Hon Annette King, on the 2002/03 Estimates of Appropriation for Vote Health, from 11.00 am until 12.15 pm. In the afternoon, the committee will be hearing evidence on the Smoke-free Environments (Enhanced Protection) Amendment Bill, and Supplementary Order Paper 148, from 2.00 pm until 6.00 pm. Both hearings will be open to the public, in Room G.006, Parliament House.

Justice and Electoral (Louise Sparrer, SC-JE@parliament.govt.nz)

The Justice and Electoral Committee met on 18 September and completed its consideration of the 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Justice and Vote Attorney-General. The committee has reported on the 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Justice and Vote Attorney-General.

The committee notes in its report on Vote Justice that it:

- remains unclear on the resource and management demands of the Youth Offending Strategy

- sees the lack of progress made on the Justice Sector Information Strategy as a significant leadership failure on the part of the Ministry of Justice

- believes that there should be no restriction on public access to information which has been presented in open court.

In its report on Vote Attorney-General, the committee lists a number of different positions held by its members on the Government’s decision to abolish appeals to the Privy Council and replace them with a proposed Supreme Court of New Zealand. Labour members support the decision, believing that it:

- will give better access to the justice system at less cost

- is an overdue severing of New Zealand’s apron strings with the United Kingdom

- is a recognition of legal and intellectual maturity

- reflects the outcome of rigorous consultation with interested parties.

The Greens are sympathetic to the arguments in favour of the New Zealand Supreme Court. However, the Greens are also concerned about some of the arguments against it, in particular concerns among some Mâori that it would prejudice their rights with regard to the Treaty of Waitangi and therefore offer qualified support.

United Future believes it is important that there is widespread public debate on this issue and has held off forming a position pending that being completed.

National, ACT and New Zealand First members oppose the decision, believing that it:

- lacks the widespread support necessary for a major change of constitutional significance. Such a change should require a public referendum

- will deprive New Zealand of access to world-class jurisprudential insight

- will adversely impact upon international confidence in the New Zealand legal system

- creates the risk of political appointments to the courts

- creates the risk of inappropriate unfettered judicial lawmaking

- fails to recognise the dangers of the smallness and closeness of the legal community in New Zealand.

The committee will meet next on 25 September to consider the Prostitution Reform Bill. The committee has invited submitters with an overview of the issues raised by the bill to discuss these issues. The meeting will be in room G.005, Parliament House, and will be open to the public from 10.00 am to 12.00 pm.

Law and Order (Tracey Rayner, SC-LO@parliament.govt.nz)

The committee met on Wednesday, 18 September from 8.40 am to 12.03 pm and again from 3.30 pm to 5.10 pm, to hear the following 17 submissions on the Land Transport (Street and Illegal Drag Racing) Amendment Bill:

- Legislation Advisory Committee, submission 65* & 65*A

- New Zealand Automobile Association, submission 59

- Auckland City Council, submission 58

- New Zealand Law Society, submission 66

- Christchurch City Council, submission 50

- New Zealand Young Labour, submission 34

- The New Zealand Local Authority Traffic Institute, submission 51

- Wellington Motor Sports Association Inc (WMSA), submission 21

- National Council of Women of New Zealand, submission 67

- MotorSport New Zealand Inc, submission 33

- Mild Greens, submission 56

- Mr Richard Fisher, submission 63

- Shore Youth Branch – New Zealand Labour Party, submission 13

- The Vintage Car Club of New Zealand, submission 26

- Citizens Against Rowdy Motoring (CARM), submissions 2 & 2A

- New Zealand Federation of Motoring Clubs Inc, submission 45

- Local Government New Zealand, submission 43

The committee will not be meeting next Wednesday, 25 September as the House is not sitting. The committee is next scheduled to meet on Wednesday, 2 October, primarily to hear evidence from the Department of Corrections on the 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Corrections.

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

On Thursday, 19 September the committee received a briefing from officials of the Industrial Hemp Inter-Agency Working Group on the first season trials of industrial hemp.

The committee also heard evidence from the Hon Jim Sutton, Minister of Forestry and Minister for Biosecurity, on the 2002/03 Estimates for the forestry component of Vote Agriculture and Forestry and an update on Votes Biosecurity. The minister had previously given evidence on Votes Biosecurity on 6 June 2002 in the previous Parliament.

The committee next meets on Thursday, 3 October to hear evidence from the Minister of Food Safety for Vote Food Safety in the examination of the 2002/03 Estimates.

Regulations Review (Michael Wilkinson, SC-RR@parliament.govt.nz )

This week the committee considered regulation-making powers in the Climate Control Response Bill, and continued its regular scrutiny of new government regulations. In its afternoon session the committee heard evidence from the Ministry of Fisheries on the Subordinate Legislation (Confirmation and Validation) Bill. Public submissions on this item close on 2 October 2002. The committee will not meet next week while Parliament is in recess.

Standing Orders (David Bagnall, SC-SO@parliament.govt.nz)

On Thursday, 19 September the committee considered the Remuneration Authority (Members of Parliament) Amendment Bill. Submissions on this bill close on 30 September, and evidence will be heard on 3 October.

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

The committee is next meeting on Thursday, 3 October to examine the 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Labour, and to consider the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Bill. The examination of Vote Labour will be open to the public from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm.

Closing dates for submissions

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

Government Administration

Inquiry into the Weathertightness of Buildings in New Zealand (21 October 2002)

Government Superannuation Fund Amendment Bill (No 2) (21 October 2002)

Justice and Electoral

Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Bill and Clean Slate Bill (27 September 2002)

Local Government and Environment

Masterton Trust Lands Bill (4 October 2002)

Maori Affairs

Maori Purposes Bill (No 2) (25 October 2002)

Regulations Review

Subordinate Legislation (Confirmation and Validation) Bill (2 October 2002)

Social Services

Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (23 September 2002)

Standing Orders

Remuneration Authority (Members of Parliament) Amendment Bill (30 September 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:

Ethan Tucker

Parliamentary Officer (Select Committees)

ethan.tucker@parliament.govt.nz

Compiled in the Select Committee Office, Office of the Clerk, 20 September 2002


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