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Select Committee Business to 25 October

Select Committee Business

From 18 October to 25 October

Committee meetings

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

Reports presented

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

Commerce

- Petition 1999/0188 of Allan Hunter

- 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Energy

Health

- Inquiry into the adverse effects on women as a result of treatment by Dr Graham Parry (I. 6A)

Primary Production

- 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Agriculture and Forestry

- 2002/03 Estimates for Votes Biosecurity

- 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Food Safety

- 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Lands

- 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Fisheries

Social Services

- 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Community and Voluntary Sector

- 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Employment

- 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Senior Citizens

- 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Social Development

- 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Child, Youth and Family Services

Transport and Industrial Relations

- Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Bill (163-2)

- 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Accident Insurance

- 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Labour

- 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Transport

Bills referred to select committees

No bills were referred.

Committee notes

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

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

The committee did not meet this week. Next week the committee will meet in Room G.002, Parliament House to conclude hearing evidence on the Taxation (Annual Rates, Maori Organisations, Taxpayer Compliance and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill.

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

The committee did not meet this week. It will meet next week to consider the Estimates. It will also begin its consideration of the Pitcairn Trials Bill.

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

The committee did not meet this week but will meet next week on Wednesday, 30 October, when it will continue consideration of the 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Health, and consideration of the Smoke-free Environments (Enhanced Protection) Amendment Bill and Supplementary Order Paper 148.

The committee is inviting public submissions on its inquiry into the proposal to establish a trans-Tasman agency to regulate therapeutic products. The closing date for submissions is 13 November 2002. Further information is available at http://www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/programmes/committees/submissions/hettanq.html

The committee is also inviting public submissions on the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Bill. The closing date for submissions is 27 November 2002. Further information is available at http://www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/programmes/committees/submissions/hehpca.html

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

At its meeting on 23 October, the committee considered the Prostitution Reform Bill and the Retirement Villages Bill. The committee’s next meeting will be on 6 November, when it will consider two items: the inquiry into the 2001 local elections and the Prostitution Reform Bill.

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

The committee did not meet this week. It is meeting next week on Wednesday, 30 October from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm, to consider the 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Police and Vote Courts, as well as the Land Transport (Street and Illegal Drag Racing) Amendment Bill.

Maori Affairs (Julian Kersey, SC-MA@parliament.govt.nz)

The committee met on Thursday, 24 October. It considered the 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Mâori Affairs and Vote Treaty Negotiations. It also considered its inquiry into the Crown Forestry Rental Trust and the Te Whanau-a-Taupara Trust Empowering Bill.

The committee is currently calling for submissions on the Ngati Ruanui Claims Settlement Bill, which was referred to the committee on 3 October. The committee is required to report to the House by 19 December 2002. The aim of the bill is to give effect to a Deed of Settlement between the Crown and Ngati Ruanui in respect of the Ngati Ruanui historical claims under the Treaty of Waitangi. The Deed of Settlement also records the acknowledgements and the apology given by the Crown to Ngati Ruanui. The committee is calling for submissions, to be received by 1 November 2002. Copies of the bills can be purchased from Bennetts Government Bookshops.

The committee requires 20 copies of each submission. Those wishing to include any information of a private or personal nature in a submission should first discuss this with the clerk of the committee, as submissions are usually released to the public by the committee. Those wishing to appear before the committee to speak to their submissions should state this clearly and provide a daytime telephone contact number. For further guidance on making a submission, Making a Submission to a Parliamentary Select Committee can be found on our web site at www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz.

Submissions should be addressed to Julian Kersey, Clerk of the Committee, Mâori Affairs Committee, Parliament House, Wellington.

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

The committee has reported on all five Estimates of Expenditure for 2002/03 (Vote Agriculture and Forestry, Votes Biosecurity, Vote Fisheries, Vote Food Safety and Vote Lands).

Votes Biosecurity

The committee examined Votes Biosecurity at four meetings over the period May to October 2002. The committee said it is imperative that a whole of government approach to biosecurity be achieved as soon as possible. Recent experiences have shown that unnecessary delays, because of the requirement to involve several government agencies, lessen the chance of eradication and add unnecessary costs. The committee accepts the need for timely response to these incursions as being the key component to any biosecurity strategy.

The committee also commended the Government for the recent ‘Border Control’ television programme. This publicity has heightened awareness of biosecurity issues, particularly amongst the urban public. The committee considered that this awareness needs to be continually highlighted.

The committee will be following up on two biosecurity issues. An independent report reviewing the state of New Zealand’s biosecurity surveillance capability was published at the end of August 2002. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will brief the committee on the report and the Government’s response to it on 30 October 2002.

The committee will also seek a briefing from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry before the end of the year on the inquiry into the proposed amendment to the TB strategy that was completed on 30 August 2002. The ministry has reported to the Minister for Biosecurity on the inquiry report and the amendment proposal.

Vote Fisheries

In its report on Vote Fisheries, the committee commented on the Ministry of Fisheries’ investigation of non-compliance incidents. It was concerned that there has been a decrease in appropriation for both policy enforcement and offence prosecution, and that specific information that the committee requested could not be provided. It was also of concern that the ministry admits it may not have sufficient resources to immediately respond to reported offending, or to investigate and prosecute the ‘significant level of offending’ that it estimates is occurring.

Vote Food Safety

Vote Food Safety is a new appropriation for a new government agency, the New Zealand Food Safety Authority. The committee, in its report, noted the importance of the linkages that the Authority has with other agencies, and, in particular, the public health units of district health boards and local authorities. The committee will review the Authority’s efforts to develop and maintain these during the 2002/03 financial review.

One particular issue considered by the committee was the possible impact that the Authority’s food safety efforts might have on community activities such as the ‘sausage sizzle’ that volunteer groups traditionally use for fundraising. The Minister of Food Safety said it was important to acknowledge that domestic food handling has not been good. New Zealand has a high rate of food-borne illness, much of which occurs at small outlets. Although nothing has been implemented yet, the Authority sees providing basic food handling instructions as part of a permit for ‘sausage sizzles’ as part of a risk management plan for managing significant food safety issues and protecting consumers.

Vote Lands

One issue in Vote Lands was the relationship of the Landonline programme manager and the independent reviewer of Landonline. The committee was informed the programme manager was now employed part-time by the company that has been doing the independent assessment of the Landonline project. The committee received an explanation from the chief executive who assured it that sufficient safeguards have been put in place to avoid conflicts of interest arising over the limited duration of the employment arrangement. The committee appreciated that the chief executive had done what he could to avoid conflicts of interest, but questioned whether the independent assessment provided by the reviewer was compromised, or at least seen to be so.

Vote Agriculture and Forestry

The committee presented a pro-forma report on its examination of Vote Agriculture and Forestry.

Briefing on Government response to biosecurity surveillance review report

On Wednesday, 30 October, the committee will be briefed by departmental officials on the Government’s response to the independent report reviewing the state of New Zealand’s biosecurity surveillance capability. The purpose of the review was to identify ‘who is carrying surveillance activities, what they are doing, and where they are doing it, how the needs for the surveillance were identified and how they were designed as well as how the results are coordinated, reported and acted upon.’ The report has key findings in:

- the biosecurity surveillance working environment

- biosecurity successes and failures

- strategic challenges

- areas for improvement.

It also contains a proposed economic decision-support framework that refines the cost-benefit analysis procedures applying to unwanted organisms or pest responses. The report’s 98 recommendations, 28 of which would impact on the policy framework for biosecurity, will be included in the development of the biosecurity strategy.

The briefing, from 2.30 pm to 3.30 pm, in Room G.010 Parliament House, will be open to the public.

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

The committee reported on the Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Bill on 21 October. Helen Duncan, Chairperson, said, ‘The majority of the committee has recommended a number of important changes to the bill and believe this amendment to the Health and Safety in Employment Act will improve coverage of the Act and lead to a better health and safety record in New Zealand’s workplaces.’ She said, ‘We gave careful consideration to the issues raised in public submissions and many of these issues have led to a number of our recommended changes.’ National, ACT New Zealand, and New Zealand First oppose the passage of this legislation. The committee’s report with its recommended amendments to the bill can be purchased from Bennetts Government bookshops or read at www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/cgi-bin/select-reports.

The committee reported on the 2002/03 Estimates for Vote Transport, Vote Labour and Vote Accident Insurance on 25 October. The committee’s reports on these three votes can also be read on the above web site.

Closing dates for submissions

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

Finance and Expenditure

Reserve Bank of New Zealand Amendment Bill (8 November 2002)

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Pitcairn Trials Bill (1 November 2002)

Health

Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Bill (27 November 2002)

Inquiry into the proposal to establish a trans-Tasman agency to regulate therapeutic products (13 November 2002)

Law and Order

Criminal Investigations (Bodily Samples) Amendment Bill (29 November 2002)

Local Government and Environment

Marine Reserves Bill (31 January 2003)

Maori Affairs

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

Ngati Ruanui Claims Settlement (1 November 2002)

Primary Production

Hop Industry Restructuring Bill (11 November 2002)

Reserves and Other Lands Disposal Bill (18 November 2002)

Wine Bill (18 November 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
carol.rankin@parliament.govt.nz

Compiled in the Select Committee Office, Office of the Clerk, 25 October 2002


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