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Select Committee Business

30 July 1999 to 6 August 1999


Committee meetings

There were five committee meetings, all of which were in the parliamentary complex

Reports presented (4)

Health
Medicines Amendment Bill (243-2)

Education and Science
Education Amendment Bill (No. 3) (294-2)

Justice and Law Reform
Petition 1996/1989 of Norm Withers

Transport and Environment
Conservation (Protection of Trout as a Non-commercial Species) Amendment Bill (238-2), Petition 1996/1844 of Peter Maxwell Jeune for the Waikaremoana Boating and Fishing Association and 66 others, and Petition 1996/1856 of Graham Hunter and 147 others

Bills referred to select committees
No bills were referred.

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

Committee on the Bills (Bob Bunch)
The committee will hear evidence on the Dairy Industry Restructuring Bill on Monday, 10 August and on the Kiwifruit Industry Restructuring Bill and Apple and Pear Industry Restructuring Bill on Tuesday, 11 August. Although the deadline for submissions for all three bills is Friday, 13 August, submitters who get their submission in today, 6 August, by 5.00 pm will have the opportunity of appearing on Monday and/or Tuesday.


Education and Science (Graham Hill, Tim Cooper)
At the next meeting on 26 August the committee will consider the Educational Establishments (Exemption from Certain Rates) Bill.

Finance and Expenditure (Nick Aldous, Ainslie Rayner)The committee heard evidence from the Chief Ombudsman and the New Zealand Law Society on the Inquiry into the Powers and Operations of the Inland Revenue Department. The committee is also considering the Taxation (Annual Rates and Remedial Matters) Bill, which needs to be reported back by 23 August.


The committee will next on 18 August to complete consideration on the Taxation (Annual Rates and Remedial Matters) Bill and hear evidence from the Inland Revenue Department on the Inquiry into the Powers and Operations of the Inland Revenue Department.

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (David Sanders, Malcolm McNamara)
The committee will meet from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm next Thursday to make progress on its review of the international treaty-making process and three inquiries. One of the inquiries is the Defence Beyond 2000 inquiry, which began in August 1997 and resulted in an interim report being presented to the House last November. In that report the committee criticised the 1997 Defence White Paper for being too narrow. The interim report advocated a broader defence contribution to the national interest. The inquiry is the most detailed parliamentary hearing on defence and security ever undertaken. After the Government's response to the interim report was received, the committee reopened its inquiry for further submissions.

Since mid-June, Committee Members have been working on a final report that takes both the Government's and the public response into account.

Health (Lyn Main, Sharon Woollaston)The committee reported back the Medicines Amendment Bill. Currently the Medicines Act 1981 only permits medical practitioners, midwives, dentists and veterinarians to prescribe prescription medicines independently. The bill extends prescribing rights to other
registered health professionals and is intended to improve access to health services and create more flexibility in the delivery of health services. Nurses have been chosen as the first group of health professionals to gain independent prescribing rights.

The committee received divergent views on the provisions in the bill, which enable the making of regulations to extend prescribing rights to other health professionals. Nursing and pharmacy organisations supported these provisions, whilst medical practitioner organisations raised a number of concerns.

The committee concluded that: Allowing independent prescribing in defined scopes of practice will:

allow a more flexible approach to the delivery of health services
enable more timely treatment for consumers
ensure accountability for prescribing decisions

The committee will next meet on 11 August 1999. The meeting will be open to the public from 1.30 pm for the hearing of evidence on the Children's Health Camps Board Dissolution Bill.

Internal Affairs and Local Government (Kia Paranihi, Fiona McLean)
The committee will not meet again until Thursday 19 August when a hearing on the Local Government Law Reform Bill (No.2) is scheduled. A number of submissions have already been received in relation to the Dog Control Act 1996, which Part 1 of the bill addresses. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday 11 August although the committee has indicated that they will accept any arriving within a day or two of this date.

Part 2 of the bill contains a new power for local authorities to impose a ban on alcohol in public places on specified days of the year and is aimed toward assisting the control of crowds in public places, particularly during the millennium celebrations.

Justice and Law Reform (Jayne Wallis, Tracey Conlon)
The committee met on Wednesday 4 August. In the morning, it heard submissions on two bills about bail - the Crimes (Bail Reform) Bill, a member's bill in the name of Hon Phil Goff, and the Bail Bill, a Government bill. The committee heard submissions from the following organisations: the New Zealand Law Society, the New Zealand Prisoners' Aid and Rehabilitation Society, the Police Association and the Department of Corrections.

In the afternoon, the committee heard submissions on the Penal Institutions Amendment Bill (No. 2). This bill provides for the monitoring of prisoners' telephone calls, as well as a number of miscellaneous amendments. Submissions were heard from the New Zealand Council of Civil Liberties and the New Zealand Prisoners' Aid and Rehabilitation Society. The committee must report to the House by 30 August.

Primary Production (Bob Bunch)
The committee met on Thursday, 5 August to hear evidence from the Banking Ombudsman on the Farm Debt Mediation Bill and to consider the Fisheries Amendment Bill and the Fisheries Amendment Bill (No.2). Today is the deadline for submissions on the Fisheries Amendment Bill (No.2), which close at 5 pm. The committee will hear evidence on the bill next Thursday, 12 August from 2 pm to 10 pm and Friday, 13 August from 9.30 am to 1.00 pm.


Transport and Environment (David Bagnall, Karen Smyth)The committee presented its report on the Conservation (Protection of Trout as a Non-commercial Species) Amendment Bill today. This is a member's bill in the name of Mark Burton that aims to ensure trout are a recreation-only species by amending the Conservation Act 1987 to prohibit the sale of trout.

Submissions in support of the bill argued primarily that the legalisation of trade in trout flesh (which would happen if the bill is not passed) would lead to increased poaching of wild trout. Opposition to the bill focused on its possible implications for New Zealand in terms of international t
rade policy.

The committee's report notes the international trade matters raised. However, the committee is not assured that the issues related to protecting trout (such as risks of increased poaching, disease risks and the impact on the environment) have been sufficiently investigated at present.

The committee has recommended, by majority, that the bill be passed. Amendments have been proposed to clarify provisions and to define the term "trout".

Next week, the committee will meet in Wellington on Wednesday and in Christchurch on Friday to hear evidence on the Forests Amendment Bill, which relates to the logging of indigenous forest.

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

Committee on the Bills
Apple and Pear Industry Restructuring (13 August 1999)
Dairy Industry Restructuring (13 August 1999)
Kiwifruit Industry Restructuring (13 August 1999)

Health
Alcohol Advisory Council Amendment (13 August 1999)

Internal Affairs and Local Government
Hawke's Bay Regional Council (Surplus Funds Distribution) Empowering (13 August 1999)
Local Government Law Reform (No. 2) (11 August 1999)

Justice and Law Reform
Arms Amendment (No. 2) (17 September 1999)
Penal Institutions Amendment (No. 2) (9 August 1999)

Primary Production
Fisheries Amendment (No. 2) (6 August 1999)

Transport and Environment
Forests Amendment (10 August 1999)
Resource Management Amendment (1 October 1999)

General

A compendium of select committee reports on the 1999/2000 Estimates is now available for purchase at Bennetts Government Bookshops. The reference number is I.19C.

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