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Select Committee Business - 7-14 September

Select Committee Business

From 7 September to 14 September 2001

Committee meetings

There were 18 committee meetings this week, one of which is currently in progress in Hamilton. The others were in the parliamentary complex.

Reports presented (7)

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

- International treaty examination of the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Justice and Electoral

- Court Fees (Waiver) Bill (146-2)

Regulations Review

- First International Conference on Regulation Reform Management and Scrutiny of Legislation (I. 16F)

Primary Production

- Dairy Industry Restructuring Bill (139-2)

Finance and Expenditure

- Taxation (Annual Rates, Taxpayer Assessment and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill(119-2)

- New Zealand Stock Exchange Restructuring Bill (103-2)

Transport and Industrial Relations

- Civil Aviation Amendment Bill (91-2)

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 (Alan Witcombe, SC-Commerce@parliament.govt.nz)

This week the committee met twice. On Tuesday afternoon it gave further consideration to the Telecommunications Bill. On Thursday it heard evidence on its review of the Radio New Zealand Charter, which it is conducting under its inquiry function. Evidence was heard from Radio New Zealand, New Zealand On Air, Radio Broadcasters Association, New Zealand Writers Guild, and the Churches Broadcasting Commission. The committee also heard evidence from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs on the Imported Used Cars (Commission of Inquiry) Bill.

Next week the committee will consider the 2000/01 financial reviews of government departments and State enterprises, and give further consider to its inquiry into the gearing ratios (debt/equity levels) of certain State enterprises.

Education and Science (Louise Gardiner, SC-ES@parliament.govt.nz)

On Thursday, 13 September, the committee conducted a public hearing for its review of the performance and operation of Victoria University of Wellington in 2000. The university was represented by a team comprising the Vice-Chancellor, Stuart McCutcheon, the Chancellor, Hon Russell Marshall, and other senior managers. In a broad-ranging discussion lasting two hours a wide variety of topics were covered. The university outlined its financial and academic situation, and members asked questions relating to the operation of the equivalent full-time students funding model, Victoria’s research output, programmes for Maori students, strategic planning, and other issues.

The committee also met with Dr John Hay and Bruce Kohn of the Association of Crown Research Institutes, who proposed the formulation of a Parliamentary Science Club to broaden the knowledge of members of Parliament on scientific matters.

Next week, the committee will hold a public hearing on its review of the performance and operation of Invercargill’s Southern Institute of Technology in 2000. A public hearing will be held at the institute (133 Tay Street, Invercargill) from 1 pm to 3 pm. Details of the institution, including its “zero fees’ policy, can be found on its website, at www.sit.ac.nz. For information regarding the hearing please contact the committee secretariat, on (04) 471-9487 or 471-9526.

Finance and Expenditure (Julian Kersey, SC-FE@parliament.govt.nz)

The committee met on Wednesday, 12 September. It considered the New Zealand Stock Exchange Restructuring Bill and the Trustee Companies Amendment Bill. The New Zealand Stock Exchange Bill and the Taxation (Annual Rates, Taxpayer Assessment and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill were reported to the House. The committee heard evidence on the petition of Glynmor Thomas from both the petitioner and the National Provident Fund. It also heard evidence from Transpower New Zealand Limited, the New Zealand Law Society and Transit New Zealand, on the Construction Contracts Bill.

The committee will meet again on Wednesday, 19 September. There are three major items of business: the visit of the Botswana Public Accounts Committee at 10.05 am, the briefing from the Auditor-General on his report, Ministry of Defence: Acquisition of Light Armoured Vehicles and Light Operational Vehicles, at 10.15 am, and submissions on the Trustee Companies Amendment Bill at 11.45 am. All of these will be open to the public.

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

The committee met this week to give further consideration of the Terrorism (Bombings and Financing) Bill and the International Treaties Bill. The Auditor-General also briefed the committee on his report into the purchase of the Light Armoured Vehicles (LAVs IIIs) and the Light Operational Vehicles (LOVs).

Health (Matthew Andrews, SC-Health@parliament.govt.nz)

The committee heard evidence at its meeting on 12 September in relation to the petition of Christine Rogan and 7279 others. The petitioners request that Parliament legislate to ensure all alcoholic beverages in New Zealand carry health and safety messages including the warning that drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause birth defects.

Anyone wishing to make a submission on the inquiry into the adverse effects on women as a result of treatment by Dr Graham Parry can meet Matthew Andrews and Heather Sharpes, who work for the Select Committee Office at Parliament, at the venues listed below on 19 and 20 September. They will provide information about how to present a submission to a select committee and answer any general questions that people may have about this process.

Kaitaia: Wednesday, 19th September, 5 pm to 7 pm, Seminar room, Far North REAP Centre, 33 Puckey Avenue.

Paihia: Thursday, 20 September, 10 am to12 noon, Bay of Islands Co-operating Parish,

Kings Road.

Whangarei: Thursday, 20 September, 4 pm to 6 pm, Cafler one room, Forum North,

Rust Avenue.

If you are unable to attend these meetings, but would like more information, or if you would still like to make a submission, you can contact either Matthew on (04) 471 9558 or Heather on (04) 471 9524 or at the above e-mail address.

The terms of reference for the inquiry are as follows:

The Health Committee will conduct an inquiry into the adverse effects on women as a result of treatment by Dr Graham Parry. The committee will:

¡P review the concerns of the women affected

¡P assess if there is a pattern to the adverse affects

¡P assess quality assurance processes at:

a) individual levels

b) institutional levels

c) specialist college level

and at the interface between each of these levels.

¡P identify improvements that can be made in the clinical environment that will encourage an open and transparent clinical review process focussed on continuous quality improvement and the prevention of harm.

The committee will travel to Northland to hear from submitters within the next two months.

Justice and Electoral (Wendy Proffitt, SC-JE@parliament.govt.nz)

This week the committee met twice to consider the Electoral Amendment Bill (No 2) and the inquiry into the 1999 General Election, the Clean Slate Bill, the Human Rights Amendment Bill and the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill. It also heard a closing submission from the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective on the Prostitution Reform Bill. Next week the member promoting the bill, Tim Barnett, will present his submission to the committee. The committee will also consider the Electoral Amendment Bill (No 2), the inquiry into the 1999 General Election, the Crimes (Criminal Appeals) Amendment Bill and the Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill.

The committee presented its report on the Court Fees (Waiver) Bill. The bill arose from a need identified in stage one of the current review of court fees. It provides Registrars of District Courts with discretion to waive, reduce or postpone the payment of civil court fees. It also updates the existing law allowing for the waiver of fees in the High Court and Court of Appeal. The committee recommended a number of significant changes to the bill:

- The purpose of promoting access to justice is set out, based on financial ability or matters of genuine public interest.

- The criteria for waiving, reducing or postponing fees will be set out in regulations.

- The persons who have authority to exercise the discretion are more clearly specified, being restricted to Registrars, Deputy-Registrars and Judges.

- A no-cost review process is created.

Copies of the report are available from Bennetts Government bookshops.

Please contact the Clerk of the Committee for further information about the committee’s meetings for the next month.

Maori Affairs (Marcus Ganley, SC-MA@parliament.govt.nz)

The Education Review Office briefed the committee on accountability criteria for Kura Kaupapa Maori. The committee also received a briefing from Te Puni Kokiri, on its quarterly update on the progress of State sector agencies in improving outcomes for Maori.

Regulations Review (Andrew Fieldsend, SC-RR@parliament.govt.nz)

The committee did not meet this week. It will next meet on Wednesday, 19 September.

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

The committee received two briefings at its meeting on 12 September. Roger Boulter, Project Manager on New Zealand Cycling Strategy Foundation Project, briefed the committee. The second briefing was from Transit New Zealand and Road Transport Forum on issues concerning heavy motor vehicles. Tranz Rail will brief the committee on this issue on 19 September.

The committee will complete the hearing of evidence on the Minimum Wage Amendment Bill on 19 September.

Closing dates for submissions

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

Commerce

Trade Marks Bill (21 September 2001)

Justice and Electoral

Sentencing and Parole Reform Bill (5 October 2001)

Human Rights Amendment Bill (28 September 2001)

Local Government and Environment

Rodney District Council (PENLINK Toll Road) Empowering Bill (20 September 2001)

Local Government (Rating) (26 September 2001)

Maori Affairs

Inquiry into the operations and performance of the Crown Forestry Rental Trust (21 September 2001)

Primary Production

Biosecurity Amendment Bill (24 September 2001)

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

at carol.rankin@parliament.govt.nz

Compiled in the Select Committee Office, Office of the Clerk, 14 September 2001


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