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Weekly Select Committee Report

PRESS RELEASE
SELECT COMMITTEE CLERK

SELECT COMMITTEE BUSINESS

13 August 1999 to 20 August 1999

Committee meetings

There were 11 committee meetings, all of which were held in the parliamentary complex.

Reports presented (3)

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Review of the International Treaty Examination Process (I. 4E)

Social Services

Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Trans-Tasman Transfer of Protection Orders and Proceedings) Amendment Bill (298-2)

Justice and Law Reform

Briefing from the Law Commission and the New Zealand Law Society on Report 49 - Compensating the Wrongly Convicted

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)

Commerce (Clare Sullivan, Louise Foley)

The committee did not meet this week. Next week it will conduct the financial review of Television New Zealand.

Committee on the Bills (Bob Bunch)

The committee finished hearing evidence on all three restructuring bills for the dairy, kiwifruit and apple and pear industries. On Wednesday evidence was heard from the two dairy cooperatives (Tatua and Marlborough Cheese), which have indicated they will not merge with the proposed new "Mega Co-op". Evidence was also heard from Westland and Tasman Milk Products, which have yet to decide if they will join the merger. The principal concern of these companies is the need for a transitional period in whichEducation 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 and petitions.

Finance and Expenditure (Nick Aldous, Ainslie Rayner)

The committee will meet on Wednesday, 25 August. It will hear evidence from the Governor of the Reserve Bank on the August Monetary Policy Statement. This will probably be Dr Brash's last appearance before the committee prior to the election. The committee will also hear evidence on from the Inland Revenue Department on the inquiry into the department's powers and operations.

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (David Sanders, Malcolm McNamara)

The committee presented its report on the review of the international treaty process Essentially, the committee has recommended that the Standing Orders Committee incorporate the sessional orders that instituted the current process into Standing Orders. The committee has also made some recommendations on how the process might be refined but the decision as to whether these changes should be considered now is up to the Standing Orders Committee. Possible refinements include using a 15-sitting-day time frameHealth (Lyn Main, Sharon Woollaston) The committee is to continue its consideration of Petition 1996/1024 of Marie Blackwell and others on Wednesday, 25 August 1999. The petitioner requests that beta-interferon be made available as a subsidised drug for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. PHARMAC will be attending between 10.00 am and 11.00 am to give oral evidence regarding its decision not to fund beta-interferon. The hearing of evidence will be open to the public.

Internal Affairs and Local Government (Kia Paranihi, Fiona McLean)

The committee heard from several submitters on Thursday, 19 August on the Local Government Law Reform Bill (No.2). The majority presented oral submissions on Part 1 of the bill, which proposes to introduce a ban on a particular breed of dog. Some presentations demonstrated the extent to which this issue goes to the hearts of many New Zealanders. Evidence from the Hawke's Bay Regional Council was heard in relation to its bill, the Hawke's Bay Regional Council (Surplus Funds Distribution) Empowering Bill.Justice and Law Reform (Jayne Wallis, Tracey Conlon) The committee met on Wednesday 18 August and Thursday 19 August. On Wednesday, the committee heard evidence from the New Zealand Police, including Police Commissioner Peter Doone, and representatives from the Minsitry of Education, the Ministry of Health and the Social Policy Agency on 1993/456 Petition of AR and LM Randall. This petition concerns youth justice, including changing the definition of "young person" to include 12-year-olds.

The committee also continued its consideration of the Bail Bill, the Crimes (Bail Reform) Bill and the Penal Institutions Amendment Bill (No. 2). The Bail Bill is due to be reported back by 24 August, while the Penal Institutions Amendment Bill (No. 2) is due back by 30 August.

Regulations Review (Shelley Banks)

The committee will hear evidence on Wednesday, 25 August on complaints about Accident Insurance regulations. Between 8.30 am and 9.20 am the Minister for Accident Insurance and the Department of Labour will give oral evidence on two complaints regarding the Accident Insurance (Review Costs and Appeals) Regulations 1999. The complaints concern the maximum level of costs that can be awarded to claimants at a review hearing. From 9.45 am to 11.00 am the committee will hear evidence on two complaintsabout the Accident Insurance (Insurer's Liability to Pay Cost of Treatment)Regulations 1999. The complaints have been lodged by the Council of TradeUnions and the New Zealand Law Society. The regulations limit theliability of insurers to pay the cost of treatment of people who havesuffered work-related personal injuries. After hearing evidence from thecomplainants, the Department of Labour will present its response to theTransport and Environment (David Bagnall, Karen Smyth) The committee met to continue hearing evidence on the Forests Amendment Bill. This relates to the logging and management of indigenous forest, particularly forest on land held under the South Island Landless Natives Act 1906 (SILNA) and to Crown forests held by Timberlands West Coast Limited under the West Coast Accord signed in 1986.

The bill brings the Crown land under the same regime as private forest land and enables SILNA land to be bought within that regime. To achieve this, export provisions in the Forests Act 1949 are extended to cover these other indigenous forests not currently included under the legislation. The bill provides that only timber cut from sustainably managed forests can be exported.

On Wednesday, the committee heard evidence from conservation and forest industry interests, including Timberlands West Coast Limited, the Ecologic Foundation, and West Coast Tai Poutini Conservation Board. Further hearings will be held next week in Wellington, on Wednesday 25 August.

Closing dates for submissions on bills

Committees are receiving submissions on the following bills with the closing date shown: Justice and Law Reform Arms Amendment (No. 2) (17 September 1999)

Transport and Environment

Resource Management Amendment (1 October 1999)


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