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Watching Brief – December 2016

Home Insights Watching Brief – December 2016

Matter of opinion

The Keys to the Kingdom?

Given his ongoing popularity and expectations of an easily (though tightly) won fourth term, John Key’s resignation this week caught the country off guard. Prime Ministers do not usually resign in these circumstances, Sir Keith Holyoake being the last to do so in ’friendly’ conditions when he stepped down in his fourth term in 1972 to facilitate succession for his deputy and friend, Sir Jack Marshall. Every resignation by a serving Prime Minister since that time has been to avoid defeat by the party caucus (Jim Bolger, David Lange and Sir Geoffrey Palmer).

Maybe we should not be so surprised: Key, competitive and a numbers man, was always odds on to leave on his own terms and while the going was good. While it was widely assumed Key would stay for a fourth term he seemed certain to win, as he admits, he is not a career politician, an unusual attribute for any Prime Minister and which in itself provides a rationale for the decision.

Attention now turns to Key’s successor, the shape of the new Cabinet, and how that might change the political landscape and National’s prospects leading into the next election. Key’s personal style and ability to operate above the policy debate has brought unprecedented success (in terms of election wins and popularity), and is unlikely to be replicated by any of the potential replacements. The new leader will have to rely on different strengths.

Bill English is the clear frontrunner, blessed by Key and having accrued substantial goodwill in caucus as a workhorse and policy powerhouse. As English has played the central role of policy formation in Key’s government, the direction of travel under his leadership might not be substantially different. However, with the handbrake of pragmatism lifted, an English-led government may seek to address a critique frequently levelled at Key’s: that the government as a whole is too pedestrian in its implementation of its vision. One possible example of policy change is in the area of superannuation, where Key promised to resign before raising the age of eligibility. As Finance Minister, and a long-term thinker, English never appeared particularly comfortable with the government’s position.

In order to implement his vision and succeed at the next election, English will face considerably more challenges than his predecessor. Unlike Key, his approach relies on his intellectual command of policy and is underpinned by ideology, on the social conservative side of the centre right spectrum. Ironically, he will not be helped by the legacy left by Key, a country increasingly disinterested in the detail of policy, more used to the politics of talk back radio and media personality.

Whoever is elected by the National Caucus will likely be a less popular Prime Minister and the impact of that is yet unknown. Adding to this, absent Key’s ability to manage the various ideological factions within the party, National’s current unified presentation may be difficult to maintain. And infighting never resonates well with voters. Further, if history is anything to go by, Key’s successor is in for a difficult time. No recent Prime Minister who has succeeded another who resigned mid-term has been successful going into the following election.

As for the next election, all of the above is good news for Labour, or at least provides a ray of light. Labour is no longer facing a seemingly unbeatable incumbent Prime Minister. It has long believed it has superior policies appealing to ordinary Kiwis but has struggled to cut through Key’s ability to operate outside the policy debate. Policies addressing inequality, housing and climate change, areas where National is arguably weak, could now be less easy for National to dismiss.

But Labour still needs to lift its game. On current polling, even with a less popular Prime Minister, National is still well placed to win the next election, although it may now be more likely to need Rt Hon Winston Peters to form a Government. Labour has considerable ground yet to make.


In the news

Auditor-General releases Report on Saudi Arabia Food Security Partnership

On 26 October 2016, the Auditor-General, Lyn Provost, published a Report on her inquiry into the Saudi Arabia Food Security Partnership (the SAFSP). The inquiry arose amid concerns of potential corruption and bribery relating to the payment of public money to a private individual’s business interests in an attempt to resolve a diplomatic dispute and further a free trade agreement between New Zealand and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The Report found no evidence of corruption, bribery, or abuse of power in relation to the SAFSP, but concluded there was a lack of transparency throughout the decision-making process.

The SAFSP is a ‘contract for services’ between the New Zealand Government and Al-Khalaf Group, owned by Saudi Arabian businessman Sheikh Hmood Al Ali Al Khalaf. It requires the New Zealand Government to purchase approximately $4 million of services from the Group, and gift the Group around $6 million of goods and services from New Zealand companies, to be installed and demonstrated at an “Agrihub” at Sheikh Hmood’s Um Alerrad farm in Saudi Arabia.

The SAFSP was a response to a complex diplomatic issue and was designed to address Sheikh Hmood’s sense of injustice after a Government Order in 2007 halted all New Zealand exports of live sheep for slaughter, and statements from the then-Minister for Agriculture that live sheep exports to Saudi Arabia were unlikely to resume due to poor animal welfare standards. The Al Khalaf Group had been investing in farms and research in New Zealand following contrary official statements which suggested that exports would eventually resume. Cabinet ultimately approved the SAFSP and a contract for services was eventually signed and commenced in 2013.

The Report records the Auditor-General’s “surprise” that the Government chose to use a contract with a private business to resolve a diplomatic issue and found it was difficult to reconcile the words of the SAFSP contract with its unstated objectives. The Auditor-General was also concerned about the quality of information that had been provided to Cabinet by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and stated that the Cabinet paper upon which the SAFSP was approved displayed a lack of robust analysis. Specifically, the Auditor-General’s Report noted it did not identify how the value of the SAFSP was arrived at and did not contain an independent assessment of legal risks of failing to address Sheikh Hmood’s grievance or any analysis of how the identified benefits of free trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council would be achieved. Further, the Report noted that uncertainties remain about what will actually be achieved as a result of spending up to $11.5 million of public money on the SAFSP.

The full inquiry can be accessed here.


Climate Change Group convened

The Minister for Climate Change, Hon Paula Bennett, has established the first Climate Change Adaptation Working Group. The Group brings together ten technical experts from the public and private sector in an effort to ensure New Zealand is better prepared to adapt to the effects of climate change. The Group will provide advice and strategic options on how New Zealand can best build resilience to these effects while simultaneously growing the economy.

All members have significant experience in responding to the impacts of climate change and natural hazards and well as with the organisations that engage with these issues. Their fields include banking, insurance, engineering and science, iwi governance, and central government and local government. Members are appointed for a term of 18 months.

The Group will be co-chaired by Dr Judy Lawrence who is an adaptation expert, Penny Nelson, the Ministry for the Environment’s Deputy Secretary. According to the Minister, the Group’s advice will “feed into policy options for ministers to consider”. The timing of the Group’s advice is critical as New Zealand heads towards the 2020 period covered by the Paris Agreement. The Minister has said that the Group’s advice will be based on “sound evidence”, while work will begin with a stocktake of existing adaptation work across three areas: central government; local government; and the private sector. The Group will also engage with the general public and other interested groups to explore innovative adaptation strategies.

More information on the Working Group’s members and technical working document can be found here and here. The Minister's press release can be found here.


FMA releases audit quality monitoring report

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has released its Audit Quality Monitoring Report for 2015/6 (Report). According to the FMA, the Report shows improvements continue to be made in audit quality as New Zealand becomes increasingly aligned with the expectations of the FMA and international auditing standards and global best practice. Specifically, the Report shows that the firms reviewed made improvements in 79% of the areas that the FMA had highlighted as needing improvement during its previous review cycle.

Nevertheless, the Report identifies that further improvements can be made to audit quality and suggests how both audit firms and directors can contribute to higher quality audits.

To pursue higher quality audits, the Report identified the following areas for improvement:

  • internal reviews of audit quality control;
  • independence – especially where a firm is providing non-assurance services;
  • greater focus on audit evidence and detailed documentation; and
  • auditor’s responsibility relating to fraud

The FMA is required by the Auditor Regulation Act 2011 to publish annual reports on the systems, policies and procedures of audit firms and the Report is the first report in the 2016 – 2019 audit quality review cycle. The Report discusses findings from 12 audit firms, all of which were also reviewed in the previous cycle and seeks to encourage the industry to exceed threshold compliance.

Garth Stanish, the FMA’s Director of Capital Markets, noted that in conducting its review the FMA adopted a risk based selection of audit files and focused on complex matters as this is where investors are most reliant on auditors.

Going forward, the FMA’s agenda is ‘business as usual’, building on the results of the 2016 Report with a continued focus over the 2016 – 2017 period on the risks that FMC reporting entities pose to investors.

The audit quality monitoring Report can be found here, and the FMA’s press release on the Report is here.


Government initiates legislative response to Hurunui/Kaikōura earthquakes

Last week, the Government introduced three Bills to address the consequences of the Hurunui/Kaikōura earthquakes. The Civil Defence Emergency Management Amendment Act 2016 Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament and received royal assent on 29 November. The Act brings forward the commencement date of the 2016 Amendment Act to allow its provisions to be used in response to the recent earthquakes. The Act provides that a Controller or constable in a state of emergency, or a Recovery Manager or constable under a transition notice, may direct owners of structures to obtain an assessment of the effect of the emergency on those structures at the owners’ expense. Those powers are controlled by several safeguards including provision to appeal to the District Court, and directions cannot be ordered without having regard to risk of injury or the safety of life or property.

The Hurunui/Kaikōura Emergency Relief Bill was introduced to Parliament on 29 November and received royal assent on 5 December. The Act is designed to modify the legislative constraints in the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) to facilitate recovery of the affected areas. The Act temporarily increases the timeframes for emergency works to enable earthquake response to be prioritised. It extends the timeframe for giving notice to a consent authority under the RMA that works are being undertaken from seven days to 60 working days, and for resource consent applications from 20 to 120 working days. The Act also grants permitted activity status for certain farming works in response to the earthquakes, which may have otherwise breached normal regulatory requirements, provided they are a proportionate response to the effects of the earthquake and will not cause significant effects outside the property on which they are undertaken. These provisions can be used until 31 July 2017. Finally, the Act seeks to fast-track the restoration of the Kaikōura harbour by providing that certain “rehabilitation works” may be undertaken to ensure the harbour can be used fully, effectively, and safely. The works include dredging and excavating, removing and dumping, and erecting structures or using machinery in the harbours. Prior consideration must be given to the environmental effects of the proposed works and the person undertaking the works must avoid, remedy or mitigate those effects as far as is practicable. There is also a consultation process requiring the consent authority to invite specified affected stakeholders to make comments on the proposed works. However, the Act precludes invited stakeholders from appealing or objecting to the consent authority's final decision under the RMA. The Act provides for its repeal on 1 April 2018.

The Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes Recovery Bill was introduced on 1 December and at the time of writing is before the Local Government and Environment Committee. The Bill seeks to assist the affected areas’ economic recovery, planning processes, rebuild, and recovery of land and infrastructure. The Bill creates an Order in Council mechanism that permits the Governor-General on the recommendation of the relevant Minister to exempt, modify, or extend provisions of certain enactments. The mechanism is designed to facilitate efficient recovery without needing to anticipate every power or statute that may need to be amended to achieve the Bill’s purpose. To this end, the recommendation and decisions of the Minister cannot be challenged, reviewed or quashed in court. A similar process was provided for in the Canterbury Earthquake recovery legislation and attracted some criticism. This Bill provides a number of checks and balances that go further than that legislation to mitigate potential issues with the rule of law. They include a list of Acts that an Order can relate to, a list of Acts that are specifically excluded (for example, the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990), a Review Panel that includes iwi, local government and legal expertise to advise the Minister, and requirements to publish reasons for the recommendations. Further, any Orders made are automatically revoked on 31 March 2018 and the Act is repealed on 1 April 2018.


Negotiations launched to upgrade the NZ-China Free Trade Agreement

On 21 November 2016, Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key announced the launch of negotiations to upgrade the New Zealand – China Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The announcement came on the heels of New Zealand Trade Minister Hon Todd McClay and Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng’s recent meeting at the APEC Summit in Peru. Prime Minister Key and Chinese President Xi Jinping, both of whom were also in Peru, welcomed the launch.

The FTA first came into force in 2008, and was the first free trade agreement China had concluded with a developed country. The relationship has been hugely significant for New Zealand, with goods exports to China quadrupling since the FTA’s inception. In the year ending June 2016, New Zealand’s goods and services exports to China totalled $12.2 billion.

The negotiations will seek to deepen, as well as broaden, the trade partnership that exists between China and New Zealand. The scope of the negotiations includes:

  • improvement in the key areas of the existing FTA;
  • consideration of a number of newer areas of international trade, such as competition policy and e-commerce;
  • technical barriers to trade, customs procedures, cooperation and trade facilitation, rules of origin;
  • services, including improved sectoral commitments and the extension of most favoured nation commitments in services;
  • environmental and agricultural cooperation; and
  • other issues mutually determined by the parties

The first round of negotiations will be held in the first half of 2017.

The Prime Minister’s announcement can be found here. The joint statement between New Zealand and the People’s Republic of China about the initiation of negotiations can be found here.


Ombudsman finds reduction of funded family care unreasonable

In an opinion released on 28 November, Ombudsman Leo Donnelly found that a decision by the Ministry of Health (Ministry) to reduce the hours of family funded care paid to a family carer was unreasonable.

The opinion was issued following a complaint by Cliff Robinson, a plaintiff in the Atkinson v Ministry of Health litigation, which held that parents of intellectually disabled adult children ought to be remunerated for care they provide to their children themselves.

Following the decision in Atkinson, Mr Robinson was advised by the Needs Assessment and Service Coordination Centre Disability Support Link (DSL) in 2014 that he had been awarded 59 hours per week of funded family care, which comprised of 40 hours of his own care, and 19 hours by an external care provider. Following an appeal by Mr Robinson to provide all of the care himself, an Individual Review Panel (Panel) declined his request and reduced the allocated hours to be paid to Mr Robinson to 29.5 hours per week.

The Ombudsman considered that subsequent reduction to be unreasonable for a number of reasons:

  • In making an initial, higher award, the Ministry had created a legitimate expectation that Mr Robinson had relied on in making financial arrangements.
  • DSL had encouraged Mr Robinson to appeal its award on the basis that he may be eligible for additional funding. Where that appeal in fact resulted in a reduction was particularly unfair to Mr Robinson.
  • The rationale relied on by the Panel in reducing Mr Robinson’s allocation was not sufficiently clear.
  • It was not clear that the Panel had considered relevant information relating to Mr Robinson’s reasons for preferring to provide care himself, namely, that an external carer would exacerbate his son's behavioural problems.
  • The process employed by the Ministry did not meet standards of administrative fairness, as no opportunity had been provided to Mr Robinson to make submissions to support his appeal, and he had not appeared before the Panel.

Following the Ombudsman’s opinion, the Ministry has undertaken to reinstate the 40 hours of paid care to Mr Robinson. Changes will also be made to the appeals process in order to make it clear that complainants are able to provide submissions and be heard before the Panel reaches a final decision.

The full opinion can be read here.


Search and Surveillance Act review issues paper published

The Law Commission and the Ministry of Justice have published an Issues Paper as part of their review of the operation of the Search and Surveillance Act 2012 (Act). The review is triggered by section 357 of the Act, which requires the Ministry of Justice and the Law Commission to consider how the Act has operated since its commencement, and whether amendments are necessary or desirable.

The Act itself was the product of a lengthy review of pre-existing search and surveillance laws and attempts to allow for the investigation and prosecution of offences in a way which is consistent with human rights values, by controlling how information is gathered and providing checks and balances on the exercise of enforcement powers.

The Paper examines the different regimes established by the Act, outlines potential problems with its operation, and suggests options for reform. Its central concern is how search and surveillance powers have dealt with the advent of new technologies and seeks to provide greater clarity to enforcement officers around their rights and duties within the context of modern technology and surveillance. The Paper seeks comment from submitters about identified issues and any changes necessary to address them, including in relation to:

  • the use of electronic devices (such as computer programmes and tracking online activity) for surveillance;
  • public surveillance in the age of social media; and
  • how the Act should regulate the remote searching of digital data stored via “cloud computing”, and how those searches should abide by established legal doctrines (eg privilege).

The Paper also asks more general questions about the operation of the Act relating to:

  • the circumstances where a warrant needs to be obtained;
  • the rules around the installation and removal of surveillance devices on private property;
  • the scope of warrantless powers; and
  • whether it is appropriate to begin using the capabilities of intelligence gathering agencies (such as the GCSB) for the purposes of law enforcement.

Following the submission process, the Law Commission and the Ministry of Justice will complete a joint final report and present it to the Minister of Justice before 28 June 2017.

The submission period on the Issues Paper closes on Friday 16 December. The Issues Paper can be accessed here. Instructions on how to submit can be found here.


Treaty of Waitangi settlement signed with Te Rohe o Te Wairoa

On 26 November 2016, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Hon Chris Finlayson, announced that the Crown has signed a Deed of Settlement (Deed) with the iwi and hapū of Te Rohe o Te Wairoa. The Deed records a final settlement of all historical Treaty of Waitangi claims of Te Rohe o Te Wairoa resulting from acts or omissions by the Crown prior to 21 September 1992.

Te Rohe o Te Wairoa is made up of seven kahui, or clusters, of iwi and hapū across northern Hawke’s Bay, southern Gisborne, Lake Waikaremoana, the Mahia Peninsula, and Wairoa.

When announcing the settlement, the Minister noted the people of Te Rohe o Te Wairoa have experienced numerous historic injustices, including loss of the majority of their rohe (tribal territory), involvement in intense military campaigns, and socio-economic deprivation.

The Deed represents the fifth-largest Treaty of Waitangi settlement to date, with the value of commercial and financial redress totalling NZD $100 million. In accordance with Government policy on settlements, the Deed provides:

  • an historical account of the relationship between the Crown, and the iwi and hapū;
  • an acknowledgement of the injustices done;
  • an official Crown apology delivered by the Minister; and
  • cultural and commercial redress.

In terms of cultural and financial redress, the Deed vests five sites of cultural significance in Te Rohe o Te Wairoa, who will gift the sites back to the Crown for the New Zealand people. Further, it provides for the transfer of interests in Wharerata Forest and Patunamu Crown Forest Licensed land to Te Rohe o Te Wairoa, and the right to purchase certain properties for up to two years.

The Deed also establishes Te Rohe o Te Wairoa Reserves Board-Matangirau to manage five reserves in the Wairoa area. Membership of the Board will be equal numbers of representatives from the post-settlement governance entity (Tātau Tātau o Te Wairoa Trust) and the Wairoa District Council.

The settlement will now need to be given effect through legislation (and following the usual legislative process).

A link to the Minister’s announcement can be found here, and a copy of the settlement deed can be found here.


Progress of legislation

New Bills

Broadcasting (Election Programmes and Election Advertising) Amendment Bill
Type: Government 
Member in charge: Hon Amy Adams 
This Bill proposes to amend Part 6 of the Broadcasting Act 1989, which regulates election programmes on television and radio. The Bill would allow for allocated election advertising funding to be used for internet and digital advertising. At present, political parties are allocated time exclusively for television and radio advertising.

Charter Schools (Application of Official Information and Ombudsmen Acts) Bill
Type: Member’s
Member in charge: Hon Nanaia Mahuta
This Bill seeks to make partnership schools kura hourua (charter schools) subject to the Official Information Act 1982 and the oversight of the Ombudsman. The Bill aims to achieve this by amending the Official Information Act to include charter schools within the definition of an ‘organisation’ in section 2(1). This proposed change reflects comments made by the then-Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, during the Select Committee stage of the Education Amendment Bill in 2013 (which established charter schools), that the exclusion of charter schools from these oversights was unconstitutional.

Crimes (Increased Penalty for Providing Explosive to Commit Crime) Amendment Bill
Type: Member’s 
Member in charge: Alastair Scott
This Bill proposes to amend the Crimes Act 1961 to increase the penalty for providing explosives to commit an offence. Under section 272 of the Crimes Act, an individual is liable for up to two years of imprisonment if they knowingly make or possess an explosive substance, dangerous engine, instrument, or thing with the intent to use or enable another person to use the substance, dangerous engine, instrument, or thing to commit an offence. The Bill would increase the maximum imprisonment for this offence to five years.

Customs and Excise Bill
Type: Government 
Member in charge: Hon Nicky Wagner
This Bill would repeal and replace the current Customs and Excise Act 1996 and is a response to a review of the current Act undertaken in 2012. Customs Minister Hon Nicky Wagner has outlined that the Bill intends to modernise “but not substantially change most of the provisions”. One of the main proposals in the Bill concerns Customs’ powers to examine and access electronic devices. The Bill proposes to create new provisions (clauses 206 and 207) that enable Customs to access electronic devices where an officer has reasonable cause to suspect an electronic device will be used in the commission of offending. Further changes in the Bill would allow importers to declare a provisional value for goods in specific circumstances, and to declare a final value at a later date. Under the Bill, Customs would also be able to issue binding valuation rulings to give importers certainty regarding valuation requirements. The Bill also proposes to move some existing powers, and new powers, into regulations. For example, clause 82 would create a new power to make regulations requiring licensees of Customs-controlled areas to provide returns to Customs in certain circumstances.

Domestic Violence—Victims’ Protection Bill
Type: Member’s 
Member in Charge: Jan Logie
This omnibus bill proposes to amend the Domestic Violence Act 1995, Employment Relations Act 2000, Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, Holidays Act 2003, and Human Rights Act 1993. The amendments in the Bill aim to provide stronger legal protections for victims of domestic violence. The Bill would provide flexible working arrangements for employees who are victims of domestic violence with a statutory right to request a variation of their working arrangements by inserting a new Part 6AB into the Employment Relations Act. In addition, a person conducting a business or undertaking under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 would be required to address the ‘hazard’ created when a worker is suffering domestic violence. The Bill also intends to amend the Holidays Act by including a new subpart 5 that would allow victims of domestic violence to request domestic violence leave. Lastly, the Bill would amend the Human Rights Act to include domestic violence as a prohibited ground of discrimination.

Energy Innovation (Electric Vehicles and Other Matters) Amendment Bill
Type: Government 
Member in charge: Hon Simon Bridges
This omnibus bill proposes to implement a broad policy relating to New Zealand’s energy and environmental objectives. The Bill would allow funds collected by the electricity efficiency levy to be used for any purpose the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) sees fit. Under the current regime, the EECA can only spend this levy on ‘electricity efficiency’ activities. The Bill would also amend the Land Transport Act 1998 to clarify that a Road Controlling Authority may use its bylaw-making powers to give electric vehicles access to special vehicle lanes. Additionally, the Bill seeks to enable a Road Controlling Authority to exempt heavy electric vehicles from road user charges under the Road User Charges Act 2012. The Bill also seeks to clarify that electricity industry legislation applies to secondary networks (ie those indirectly connected to the national grid) by amending the Electricity Industry Act 2010.

Environment Canterbury (Democracy Restoration) Amendment Bill
Type: Member’s
Member in charge: Megan Woods
If enacted, this Bill would trigger a special general election for Environment Canterbury three months after the Bill became law. The Bill is a response to legislation passed in 2010 which replaced elected representatives of Environment Canterbury with unelected commissioners. This Bill would replace the Government appointed commissioners with elected representatives.

Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Interim Restriction Order Classification) Amendment Bill
Type: Member’s
Member in charge: Chris Bishop
This Bill aims to amend the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 to allow for a broader range of options for interim decisions in relation to film, video, and publication classification. At present, an interim restriction order can only allow or ban the publication of concern. The Bill would allow for decision makers (the Film and Literature Board of Review and the High Court) to classify an interim restriction order as applying to a particular age or class of persons, or for a particular purpose.

Health (Fluoridation of Drinking Water) Amendment Bill
Type: Government
Member in charge: Hon Peter Dunne
This Bill would amend Part 2A of the Health Act 1956 to allow decisions relating to the fluoridation of drinking water to be made by District Health Boards. Currently, decisions relating to drinking water fluoridation are made by local authorities. The change proposed by the Bill is expected to increase the coverage of fluoridised drinking water. When making a decision in relation to fluoridation, the District Health Board will be required to take into account scientific evidence and whether the benefits of adding fluoride to drinking water outweigh the financial cost of implementing it.

Housing Corporation (Affordable Housing Development) Amendment Bill
Type: Member’s 
Member in charge: Kelvin Davis
This Bill intends to amend the Housing Corporation Act 1974 by requiring the Minister of Housing to undertake an affordable house construction programme that would build 10,000 affordable houses per year. The Bill would insert new sections into Part 5B of the principal Act that sets out this requirement and require Housing New Zealand to be responsible for the affordable housing plan. Within this responsibility, the Bill would require Housing New Zealand to ensure all houses built under the plan are affordable, that they are sold to first home buyers, are not used for speculation, and are warm, dry, and safe.

Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes Emergency Relief Bill 
Type: Government 
Member in Charge: Hon Gerry Brownlee
This Bill has now been enacted under urgency. See “Acts assented” below.

Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes Recovery Bill
Type: Government 
Member in Charge: Hon Gerry Brownlee
This Bill intends to implement the next recovery phase in relation to the Hurunui/Kaikōura magnitude 7.8 earthquake that occurred on 14 November. The Bill would create an Order in Council mechanism to allow for the amendment or modification of particular enactments, on the recommendation of the relevant Minister. A similar function was included in the Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act 2010 and continued in the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011. The Bill would provide a number of checks on this process, including the publication of a Minister’s reasoning for recommending an Order in Council and a list of specific Acts that the Order in Council mechanism can alter.

Maritime Transport Amendment Bill
Type: Government 
Member in charge: Hon Simon Bridges
This Bill intends to make a number of amendments to the Maritime Transport Act 1994. The Bill would increase the amount of compensation payable to meet claims for oil pollution in cases of oil tanker spills in New Zealand waters. The Bill would also provide a means for New Zealand to exercise its right, as a party to the Protocol of 1996 to amend the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, to make reservations that exclude limitation of liability for three different categories of maritime claims. Lastly, the Bill would insert a new part 4B into the principal Act that concerns managing alcohol and drug use in the maritime sector. This would require commercial maritime operators to have drug and alcohol management plans to manage the risks associated with drug and alcohol use. The Bill proposes that these plans must include random drug testing for staff that carry out safety sensitive activities.

The following three Bills are part of a legislative package that amends legislation administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The Bills respond to the New Zealand Productivity Commission’s June 2014 report, Regulatory Institutions and Practices.

Regulatory Systems (Building and Housing) Amendment Bill
Type: Government 
Member in charge: Hon Steven Joyce 
This omnibus bill intends to amend the Building Act 2004 and the Unit Titles Act 2010. The proposed amendments to the Building Act would implement minor changes such as addressing cross-referencing errors and removing a redundant provision that sets out criteria for the issuing of a certificate of acceptance by a local authority. The amendments to the Unit Titles Act are mostly for clarification and / or deleting errors. However, the Bill would also make minor changes to processes and requirements. For example, the Bill proposes to replace section 167 with a new provision that would permit the body corporate, by special resolution, to vary a lease, or exercise an option to purchase or renew the lease, if these rights are provided for in the lease arrangement.

Regulatory Systems (Commercial Matters) Amendment Bill
Type: Government 
Member in charge: Hon Steven Joyce
This omnibus Bill seeks to amend legislation that concerns commerce, consumer affairs, communications, and energy and resources. The Bill intends to amend 16 Acts by mostly addressing minor issues such as clarifying sections and addressing inconsistencies across legislation. Three examples of these amendments are: the Building Societies Act 1965, the Commerce Act 1986 and the Construction Contracts Act 2002. The Bill would amend the Building Societies Act by aligning the annual report returns process with the Companies Act 1993 in relation to official sign off. The Bill intends to amend the Commerce Act in two ways. Firstly, it would amend section 53ZE to permit a levy to be set in relation to costs covered by multi-year appropriations incurred by the Commerce Commission. Secondly, the Bill would clarify the purposes for which lay members of the High Court may be appointed for the purposes of the Act. The Bill would clarify that the provisions in the Construction Contracts Act requiring that all retention money must be held on trust will not apply to contracts entered into before 31 March 2017.

Regulatory Systems (Workplace Relations) Amendment Bill
Type: Government 
Member in charge: Hon Steven Joyce
This omnibus Bill would amend the Employment Relations Act 2000 and the Parental Leave and Employment Act 1987. The Bill seeks to amend the Employment Relations Act by clarifying that only an officer of a company (and similar entities) can be regarded as involved in an employment breach. The Bill would amend the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act by specifying the date for when paid parental leave payments starts. This would remove an unintended consequence of the current legislation in relation to the start date for the parent of a preterm child. The amendment provides for the person’s parental leave payment period to begin either when the person begins their period of parental leave or by the child’s original due date of birth at the latest (rather than on the day after the date on which their preterm baby payment period ends).

Student Loan Scheme (First Home Repayment Diversion) Amendment Bill 
Type: Member’s 
Member in charge: Gareth Hughes
This Bill aims to amend the Student Loan Act 2011 by allowing compulsory student loan repayments, or a nominated percentage of repayments to be delayed and diverted to a first home deposit saving scheme. The Bill would insert a new Part 3A into the principal Act that would implement the proposed scheme. A regulation making power under the Act would also be established through amending section 215 that would allow for the administration of the first home repayment diversion facility established under the new Part 3A.


Bills awaiting first reading

Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment Bill
Companies (Annual Report Notice Requirements) Amendment Bill 
Customs and Excise Bill
Environment Canterbury (Democracy Restoration) Amendment Bill
Health (Fluoridation of Drinking Water) Amendment Bill
Land Transfer (Foreign Ownership of Land Register) Amendment Bill 
Ngā Rohe Moana o Ngā Hapū o Ngāti Porou Bill
Private International Law (Choice of Law in Tort) Bill


Bills defeated

Education (Charter Schools Abolition) Amendment Bill
Member in Charge: Chris Hipkins
57 in favour: Labour 31; Green Party 14; New Zealand First 12
63 Against: National 59; Māori Party 2; ACT 1; United Future 1

Our Work Our Future Bill
Member in Charge: Andrew Little 
59 in favour: Labour 31; Green 14; New Zealand First 12; Māori Party 2
61 Against: National 59; ACT 1; United Future 1

Residential Tenancies (Safe and Secure Rentals) Amendment Bill
Member in Charge: Metiria Turei
59 in favour: Labour 31; Green 14; New Zealand First 12; Māori Party 2
61 Against: National 59; ACT 1; United Future 1


Bills before Select Committee

Submissions open

Bill

Select Committee

Closing date for Submissions (2017)

Education (Update) Amendment Bill

Education and Science

31 January

Energy Innovation (Electric Vehicles and Other Matters) Amendment Bill

Commerce

1 February

Maritime Transport Amendment Bill

Transport and Industrial Relations

1 February

Rates Rebate (Retirement Village Residents) Amendment Bill

Local Government and Environment

12 January

 

Submissions closed

Bill

Select Committee

Report due (2016)

Broadcasting (Election Programmes and Election Advertising) Amendment Bill

Justice and Electoral

4 March

Consumer Guarantees (Removal of Unrelated Party Lender Responsibility) Amendment Bill

Commerce

13 March

Contract and Commercial Law Bill

Justice and Electoral

14 December (2016)

Electronic Interactions Reform Bill

Government Administration

13 April

Electoral Amendment Bill

Justice and Electoral Committee

13 February

Enhancing Identity Verification and Border Processes Legislation Bill

Law and Order

13 March

Fire and Emergency New Zealand Bill

Government Administration

5 January

Food Safety Law Reform Bill

Primary Production

16 February

Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill (No 2)

Government Administration

28 April

Land Transport Amendment Bill

Transport and Industrial Relations

15 March

Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2)

Local Government and Environment

31 March

Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

5 January

New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill

Māori Affairs

22 March

New Zealand Intelligence and Security Bill

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

18 February

Outer Space and High-altitude Activities Bill

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

17 April

Rangitāne Tū Mai Rā (Wairarapa Tamaki nui-ā-Rua) Claims Settlement Bill

Māori Affairs

22 March

Regulatory Systems (Building and Housing) Amendment Bill

Local Government and Environment

18 April

Regulatory Systems (Commercial Matters) Amendment Bill

Commerce

18 April

Regulatory Systems (Workplace Relations) Amendment Bill

Transport and Industrial Relations

18 April

Resource Legislation Amendment Bill

Local Government and Environment

10 May

Subordinate Legislation Confirmation Bill (No 2)

Regulations Review

23 February

Taxation (Business Tax, Exchange of Information, and Remedial Matters) Bill

Finance and Expenditure

11 February

Trade (Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties) Amendment Bill

Commerce

28 December (2016)

Bills awaiting second reading

Bills that have recently been reported back to the House from a Select Committee are in bold and the Select Committee reports on these Bills are linked.

Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration (Preventing Name Change by Child Sex Offenders) Amendment Bill
Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill
Land Transport (Admissibility of Evidential Breath Tests) Amendment Bill
Ngāi Te Rangi and Ngā Pōtiki Claims Settlement Bill as reported by the Māori Affairs Committee
Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa Claims Settlement Bill
Public Collections and Solicitations (Disclosure of Payment) Bill
Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill
Tauranga Moana Iwi Collective Redress and Ngā Hapū o Ngāti Ranginui Claims Settlement Bill
Taxation (Annual Rates for 2016-17, Closely Held Companies, and Related Matters) Bill as reported by the Finance and Expenditure Committee
Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Bill as reported by the Māori Affairs Committee
Telecommunications (Property Access and Other Matters) Amendment Bill as Reported by the Commerce Committee
Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill as reported by the Māori Affairs Committee


Bills awaiting third reading

Child Protection (Child Sex Offender Register) Bill
Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Advocacy, Workforce, and Age Settings) Amendment Bill
Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill
Drug and Alcohol Testing of Community-based Offenders, Bailees and Other Persons Legislation Bill (formerly the Drug and Alcohol Testing of Community-based Offenders and Bailees Legislation Bill)
Insolvency Practitioners Bill 
Judicature Modernisation Bill
Land Transfer Bill
Māori Purposes Bill
Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill
Natural Health and Supplementary Products Bill (formerly the Natural Health Products Bill)
Ngatikahu ki Whangaroa Claims Settlement Bill
New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority Amendment Bill 
Rangitāne o Manawatu Claims Settlement Bill
Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Display of Low-alcohol Beverages and Other Remedial Matters) Amendment Bill
Statutes Amendment Bill
Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Bill
Wildlife (Powers) Amendment Bill


Acts awaiting assent

Charities Amendment Bill (formerly part of the Statutes Amendment Bill)
Taranaki Iwi Claims Settlement Bill
Te Atiawa Claims Settlement Bill


Acts assented

The Health Practitioners (Replacement of Statutory References to Medical Practitioners) Bill was divided at the Committee stage and assented as the following Acts:

  • Accident Compensation Amendment Act 2016
  • Burial and Cremation Amendment Act 2016
  • Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Amendment Act (No 2) 2016
  • Holidays Amendment Act (No 2) 2016
  • Land Transport Amendment Act 2016
  • Medicines Amendment Act 2016
  • Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Amendment Act 2016
  • Misuse of Drugs Amendment Act 2016

These Acts are a result of an omnibus Bill which changed legislative references to “medical practitioners” to “health practitioners”. In doing so, the Acts increase the range of functions that that can be performed by health practitioners. For example, the amendments made to the Accident Compensation Act 2016 allow health practitioners to participate in the preparation and costing of a rehabilitation plan under the accident compensation regime. The amendments to the Land Transport Act 1998 also allow health practitioners to take blood specimens as required by the principal Act.

The following three acts were formerly part of the Judicature Modernisation Bill.

Senior Courts Act 2016
This Act was divided from the Judicature Modernisation Bill and consolidates senior court legislation into one comprehensive Act. It repeals and replaces the Supreme Court Act 2003 and the Judicature Act 1908. The Act establishes a “commercial panel” of the High Court from which Judges may be selected to hear and determine commercial proceedings. Parties are also given the option to nominate that their case be dealt with by a panel Judge. The High Court Rules remain part of the Act, but are to be published as the “High Court Rules 2016” as if they were a separate legislative instrument. Under the Act, High Court Judges are provided with a new power to make orders restricting a person from commencing or continuing civil proceedings in any court that are totally without merit. The Act increases the power of Court of Appeal Judges by allowing two Judges to determine any contested application or matter (other than an appeal), and a single Judge to determine any such uncontested application or matter. Further, the Act authorises the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal to grant leave to appeal without giving reasons. The Act also requires that the Attorney-General must now publish information concerning the judicial appointments process, and head of court Judges must publish information relating to the delivery of reserved judgments, suitability of holding other office, and judicial recusal. Finally, the Act provides for the appointment of part-time Judges.

District Court Act 2016
This Act was divided from the Judicature Modernisation Bill and reconstitutes the District Court as a single court with divisions for a Family Court, a Youth Court and a Disputes Tribunal. The Act increases the monetary limit of the District Court’s civil jurisdiction to $350,000. It also provides Judges with a new power to make an order restricting a person from commencing or continuing civil proceedings in the District Court that are totally without merit. The maximum penalty for a number of offences against the Court have been updated including, for example, a fine not exceeding $2,000 for failing without reasonable excuse to disobey witness summons. The Act requires the Attorney-General to publish information concerning the judicial appointments process, and requires the Chief District Court Judge to publish information relating to the delivery of reserved judgments, suitability of holding other office, and judicial recusal.

Judicial Review Procedure Act 2016
This Act was divided from the Judicature Modernisation Bill and reenacts Part 1 of the Judicature Amendment Act 1972, which sets out the procedural provisions for judicial review. The re-enactment is intended only to update the style and language of those procedural provisions. It is not intended to alter the interpretation or effect of those provisions as they appeared in the Judicature Amendment Act 1972.

Other Acts divided from the Judicature Modernisation Bill that make minor amendments are:

  • Arbitration Amendment Act 2016
  • Bills of Exchange Amendment Act 2016
  • Building Societies Amendment Act 2016
  • Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Amendment Act 2016
  • Companies Amendment Act 2016
  • Contractual Remedies Amendment Act 2016
  • Copyright Amendment Act 2016
  • Courts (Remote Participation) Amendment Act 2016
  • Criminal Procedure Amendment Act 2016
  • Electronic Courts and Tribunals Act 2016
  • Employment Relations Amendment Act (No 2) 2016
  • Family Courts Amendment Act 2016
  • Insolvency Amendment Act 2016
  • Interest on Money Claims Act 2016
  • Local Government (Rating) Amendment Act 2016
  • Property Law Amendment Act 2016
  • Remuneration Authority Amendment Act 2016
  • Resource Management Amendment Act 2016
  • Te Ture Whenua Maori Amendment Act 2016
  • Trans-Tasman Proceedings Amendment Act 2016

The following five acts were formerly part of the Drug and Alcohol Testing of Community-based Offenders, Bailees, and Other Persons Legislation Bill:

Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) (Drug and Alcohol Testing) Amendment Act 2016
This Act amends the Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Act 2014 by allowing a Court to impose a drug or alcohol requirement on a person subject to a protective supervision order. A drug or alcohol requirement refers to a requirement imposed on a person under protective supervision that prohibits that person from using a controlled drug, using a psychoactive substance, or consuming alcohol. In addition, the Act allows an authorised person such as a constable to direct a person subject to protective supervision to undergo testing in relation to a prohibited substance.

Returning Offenders (Management and Information) (Drug and Alcohol Testing) Amendment Act 2016
This Act amends the Returning Offenders (Management and Information) Act 2015 to clarify that if a returning offender is subject to a pre-commencement drug or alcohol condition, the Parole Act 2002 applies in respect of those conditions.

Sentencing (Drug and Alcohol Testing) Amendment Act 2016
This Act amends the Sentencing Act 2002 to allow a Court to impose a condition on an offender who is subject to a sentence of supervision, intense supervision, or home detention, that prohibits the offender from using a controlled drug, psychoactive substance, or consuming alcohol. This is referred to as a ‘drug or alcohol condition’ in the Act. An offender may be required to undergo testing or submit to continuous monitoring if subject to the drug or alcohol condition. The Act also creates offence provisions that make an offender liable for a maximum of six months’ imprisonment or a fine not exceeding $1,500 if they fail testing or monitoring requirements. An offender will be liable if they refuse or fail without reasonable excuse to undergo testing or submit to continuous monitoring.

Bail (Drug and Alcohol Testing) Amendment Act 2016
This Act amends the Bail Act 2000 by providing that a judicial officer or Registrar who imposes a drug or alcohol condition must advise the defendant that, if the defendant is required to do so by an authorised person, the defendant must undergo testing for a controlled drug, psychoactive substance, or alcohol, or submit to a monitoring device connected to the defendant's body to detect those substances. The Act also provides that information obtained from drug and alcohol testing or monitoring may be used for verifying compliance by the defendant; detecting non-compliance; verifying that the monitoring device has not been tampered with; or any purpose the defendant has requested. Information gathered in the course of monitoring cannot be used for any other purpose than checking for compliance, unless the offender requests otherwise.

Parole (Drug and Alcohol Testing) Amendment Act 2016
This Act amends the Parole Act 2002 by providing that the Parole Board may impose a condition on an offender released on parole prohibiting the offender from using a controlled drug, psychoactive substance, and consuming alcohol. Under the Act, an offender may be required to undergo testing or submit to continuous monitoring when on parole with a drug or alcohol condition, or subject to an extended supervision order with a drug or alcohol condition. The Act creates an offence of maximum imprisonment for one year, or a fine not exceeding $2,000 for refusing or failing without reasonable excuse to undergo testing procedure when required or to submit to continuous monitoring when required.  

Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Amendment Act 2016
This Act amends the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Act 1997 which concerns the protection of confidential information given in support of an application to register an innovative trade name product (a product which contains an active ingredient that has not previously been referred to in any other application). Under the previous regime, a trade name would be protected for five years after an application was decided. The Act extends this period to eight years. The Act also expands the scope of data protection coverage to include confidential information provided in support of applications to register non-innovative trade name products and uses. The Act achieves this by allowing three years’ protection for confidential information provided in support of applications to register both non-innovative trade name products and reformulations; and new uses of non-innovative trade name products.

Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016
This Act amends the Building Act 2004 and repeals the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987. The Act inserts a new subpart 7A into the Building Act which concerns rules around restricting access to pools. Under the Act, there must be a physical means of restricting access to residential pools that comply with specific requirements. Periodic inspections of residential pools are mandatory under the Act. The Act also amends the definition of a pool to exclude water bodies that are not normally used for swimming, paddling, or bathing. This excludes bodies of water such as ponds from being subject to the Act and specifically excludes artificial lakes.

Civil Defence Emergency Management Amendment Act 2016
This Act amends the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 and is part of a legislative review of New Zealand’s civil defence laws. The Act provides a mandate for Recovery Managers and requires that recovery planning is carried out. The Act also provides powers to support the transition to recovery following a civil defence emergency through transition notices. The Act replaces the appointment of recovery area co-ordinators with Group Recovery Managers that are appointed by the Civil Defence Emergency Management Group. The same Group may appoint Local Recovery Managers. The Act imposes particular responsibilities on Recovery Managers who must, during a local transition period, direct and co-ordinate personnel, material, information, services, and other resources in the area they are responsible for. The Act also allows for Ministerial notice of a transition period under a new Part 5A. Once a transition period is in force, a Recovery Manager may exercise powers set out in the newly inserted Part 5B if they are necessary, proportionate, and in the public interest. These powers include requiring works or clearing of roads, requiring the conservation of food, disseminating information to the public, requiring information from others, directing evacuation, and authorising the entry into any premises.

Education Legislation Act 2016
This Act amends eight different Acts in relation to administrative and government arrangements for educational entities, but is primarily concerned with amending the Education Act 1989. The Act amends the Education Act by allowing boards to vary the time at which any one or more half-days take place (for example, whether the half day starts before or after noon). In order to do so, a board must consult parents, staff, and the local community, be satisfied that the adoption of the proposal will not result in students spending less time in school than students in comparable and local schools, and have taken all reasonable steps to notify students and parents on the variation. The Act also amends the Education Act to allow principals to be the principal of two or more schools. Further, the Act amends the definition of ‘body’ in the Education Act which has the effect of expanding the list of entities that are eligible to be sponsors of partnership schools kura houra, and captures tertiary education institutions.

Compensation for Live Organ Donors Act 2016 (Formerly the Financial Assistance for Live Organ Donors Bill)
This Bill provides compensation to people who donate kidney or liver tissue for transplantation purposes and in the course of doing so, forego employment income. The Act provides compensation to those who are “qualifying donors”. The Act defines “qualifying donors” as those who will forego earnings as a result of donation surgery; the donor surgery and implant surgery will take place in New Zealand; the recipient of the organ is eligible to receive services under the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000; and the organ will be collected and dealt with lawfully. The rate at which a person is compensated is determined in relation to their weekly earnings (in the case of an employee) with deductions included for any entitlements under the Accident Compensation Corporation Scheme.

Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Amendment Act 2016
This Act amends the Geographical Indications (Wines and Spirits) Registration Act which was passed in 2006 but never brought into force. The Act sets up a New Zealand registration mechanism for geographical indications for wine and spirits. A geographical indication is a label on a wine or spirit that signals what specific region the wine comes from and what particular qualities and characteristics the wine possesses as a result. The Act inserts a new section 9A into the principal Act, that sets out that registration is effective for a period of five years. This may be renewed for a further ten years, following an application from an ‘interested’ person under the newly inserted section 47A.

Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes Emergency Relief Act 2016
This Act modifies legislative constraints in the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) response to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Hurunui/Kaikōura on 14 November 2016. The Act extends emergency timeframes under the RMA. In particular: timeframes for giving notice to a consent authority that certain works have been undertaken have been extended from 7 to 60 working days, and requirements to inform occupiers of land about entry for emergency work where occupiers are no longer present have been reformed. In addition, the Act makes emergency farming works a permitted activity under the RMA. Provided such activities are proportionate to the adverse effect of being avoided, remedied, or mitigated and will not cause significant adverse effects to the boundaries of the property, land owners are permitted to carry out certain activities that respond to the earthquake. The Act also allows for the restoration of the Kaikōura harbour by providing a mechanism by which harbours can be restored to the extent necessary to allow its port facilities to be safely used while having as little impact on the marine environment. The status of activities needed to be undertaken in relation to the harbour are changed under the Act to “controlled” unless the activities are already permitted in the relevant plan.

Ngāruahine Claims Settlement Act 2016
This Act gives effect to the deed of settlement signed between the Crown and Ngāruahine that agrees to the full and final settlement of the historical Treaty of Waitangi claims of Ngāruahine. The Act documents a historical account of Ngāruahine’s grievances against the Crown. The deed and Act provide cultural redress in relation to fisheries, conservation, and taonga tūturu, and places obligations on the New Zealand Conservation Authority and Conservation Boards to take Ngāruahine’s values and protection principles into account when devising a management plan that relates to the Whāriki o Ngāruahine area. To fulfil this, the trustees of Ngāruahine must be consulted with. The Act also provides for commercial redress to give effect to the Deed sucn as including an ability for the Crown to transfer the fee simple estate in deferred selection property to the trustees of Ngāruahine. The Act also provides that certain land associated with Ngāruahine is subject to right of first refusal clauses.  

Papawai and Kaikokirikiri Trusts Amendment Act 2016
This Act amends the Papawai and Kaikokirikiri Trusts Act 1943. The Act sets out the relationship between the Papawai and Kaikokirikiri Trust Board (The Board), the Bishop of Te Upoko o Te Ika (The Bishop), and tangata whenua of Wairarapa by constituting that The Board must be made up of four members appointed by the Bishop and four members who are tangata whenua of Wairarapa. The length of appointment is also set out in the Act which dictates that one member appointed by the Bishop must have a term of four years, another appointee shall have a term of three years, another appointee shall have a term of two years, and the other shall have a term of one year. The terms of the four tangata whenua appointees are prescribed in the same way. The Act also sets out a more detailed set of purposes for the use of trust monies. The Board must appropriate income for each financial year to a fund called the Papawai and Kaikokirikiri Scholarship Fund, which is only available for specific purposes (such as schooling scholarships).

Patents (Trans-Tasman Patent Attorneys and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2016
This Act amends the Patents Act 2013 to create a joint registration regime with Australia for patent attorneys. The single framework includes a single trans-Tasman register for patent attorneys and a single trans-Tasman disciplinary regime. In addition, the Act changes the grounds on which a person can oppose the grant of a patent under the Patents Act 2013. A patent application can no longer be opposed on the basis of ‘lack of unity of invention’. That is, an application cannot be opposed on the basis that a single application protects more than one invention.

Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Act 2016
This Act allows police to recover costs for services where there is a degree of private benefit. The Act inserts a new “Cost recovery” part into the Policing Act 2008 which sets out a Ministerial power to create regulations relating to cost recovery. To do so, the service must be a ‘demand service’. This is a service that provides a direct benefit to the individual or organisation and is provided on the request of an individual or organisation. The Part sets out by way of example that vetting services fits this criterion. The Part also sets out further criteria for the cost recovery. For example, the cost must be reasonable, and relevant consultation must take place. Supplementary Order Papers advanced during the legislative process that sought to exempt particular classes of people (such as teachers in state schools, charities, and early childhood education centres) were unsuccessful.

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Act 2016
This Act amends a number of pieces of legislation for the implementation of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). The provisions of the Act do not come into force until the TPP enters into force in New Zealand. It is notable that this Agreement is not likely to pass, given the United States has withdrawn support for it. The Act amends the Copyright Act 1994 so that copyright terms are extended from life plus 50 years to life plus 70 years and implements a new regime for technological protection. The Act amends the Customs and Excise Act 1996 so that New Zealand Customs Service are given the power to issue advance rulings on the valuation of imports to TPP importers, exporters, or producers. The Act amends the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 so that an export licence allocation system is implemented for country-specific quota access that is received for dairy products for the United States market. The Act amends the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 to extend the comment period on proposed technical regulations that would need to be notified by the World Trade Organisation under the TPP. The Act amends the Legislation Act 2012 by providing for the publication of copies and links to subordinate legislation to meet transparency and anti-corruption obligations. The Act amends the Overseas Investment Act 2005 by introducing a regulation making power to implement higher investment screening thresholds for overseas investments in significant business assets. The Act amends the Patents Act 2013 to allow a one-year grace period for patent applications. The Act amends the Tariff Act 1988 to allow for a transitional safeguard mechanism by allowing the chief executive to undertake an investigation to ascertain whether goods subject to the TPP have been imported in an increased quantity / are causing competitive harm to a like good. The Act amends the Trade Marks Act 2002 so that courts may award additional damages for trade mark infringement and the New Zealand Customs Service are able to detain exports suspected of trade mark infringement.


Legislative instruments

Accident Compensation (Liability to Pay or Contribute to Cost of Treatment) Amendment Regulations 2016
Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (Exemptions) Amendment Regulations 2016
Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (Prescribed Transactions Reporting) Regulations 2016
Civil Aviation Charges Regulations (No 2) 1991 Amendment Regulations (No 2) 2016
Copyright (Application to Other Countries) Amendment Order 2016
Court of Appeal Fees Amendment Regulations 2016
Crown Minerals (Minerals Fees) Regulations 2016
Crown Minerals (Petroleum Fees) Regulations 2016
Customs and Excise (Rules of Origin—Harmonised System) Amendment Regulations 2016
Dairy Industry Restructuring (Raw Milk) Amendment Regulations 2016
District Courts Fees Amendment Regulations 2016
Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects—Permitted Activities) Amendment Regulations 2016
Financial Markets Conduct (Communal Facilities in Real Property Developments) Exemption Notice 2016
Financial Markets Conduct (Designation of Restricted Schemes) Amendment Order 2016
Financial Markets Conduct (Disclosure Using Overseas GAAP) Exemption Notice 2016
Financial Markets Conduct (Employee Share Purchase Scheme Shares Offered under Securities Act 1978) Exemption Notice 2016
Financial Markets Conduct (Equine Bloodstock) Exemption Notice 2016
Financial Markets Conduct (Forestry Schemes) Exemption Notice 2016
Financial Markets Conduct (Incidental Offers) Exemption Notice 2016
Financial Markets Conduct (Overseas Banks Offering Simple Debt Products) Exemption Notice 2016
Financial Markets Conduct (Overseas FMC Reporting Entities) Exemption Notice 2016
Financial Markets Conduct (Overseas Registered Banks and Licensed Insurers) Exemption Notice 2016
Financial Markets Conduct (Overseas Subsidiary Balance Date Alignment) Exemption Notice 2016
Financial Markets Conduct (Property Schemes—Custody of Assets) Exemption Notice 2016
Financial Markets Conduct (Recognised Exchanges) Exemption Notice 2016
Financial Markets Conduct Amendment Regulations (No 2) 2016
Fisheries (High Seas Fishing Notifications—Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) Amendment Notice 2016
Fisheries (High Seas Fishing Notifications—Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna) Amendment Notice 2016
Fisheries (Maunganui Bay Temporary Closure) Notice 2016
Fisheries (Notification of Mātaitai Reserve at Tauparikaka and Tāngata Tiaki/Kaitiaki) Amendment Notice 2016
Fisheries (Notification of Tāngata Kaitiaki/Tiaki for Area/Rohe Moana of Hokotehi Moriori Trust) Notice 2016
Fisheries (Notification of Tāngata Kaitiaki/Tiaki for Area/Rohe Moana of Rongomaiwahine) Notice 2016
Fisheries (Notification of Tāngata Kaitiaki/Tiaki for Te Hoe Mātaitai Reserve) Notice (No 2) 2016
Fisheries (Notification of Tāngata Tiaki/Kaitiaki for Mātaitai Reserve at Mahitahi/Bruce Bay) Notice 2016
Fisheries (Notification of Tāngata Tiaki/Kaitiaki for Mātaitai Reserve at Okuru/Mussel Point) Notice 2016
Fisheries (Notification of Tāngata Tiaki/Kaitiaki for Mātaitai Reserve at Tauparikaka) Notice 2016
Fisheries (Notification of Tāngata Tiaki/Kaitiaki for Mātaitai Reserve at Manakaiaua/Hunts Beach) Notice 2016
Goods and Services Tax (Grants and Subsidies) Amendment Order 2016
Harmful Digital Communications Act Commencement Order (No 2) 2016
Harmful Digital Communications Rules 2016
Health (Infectious and Notifiable Diseases) Regulations 2016
Heavy Motor Vehicle Amendment Regulations 2016
High Court Fees Amendment Regulations 2016
High Court Rules 2016
Immigration (Visa, Entry Permission, and Related Matters) Amendment Regulations 2016
Income Tax (Minimum Family Tax Credit) Order 2016
Land Transport (Certification and Other Fees) Amendment Regulations 2016
Land Transport (Offences and Penalties) Amendment Regulations (No 2) 2016
Land Transport (Road User) Amendment Rule 2016
Major Events Management (Rugby League World Cup 2017) Order 2016
Major Events Management (World Masters Games 2017) Order 2016
Maritime Transport (Infringement Fees for Offences—Tasman District Council Consolidated Bylaw, Chapter 5: Navigation Safety Bylaw 2015) Regulations 2016
Maritime Transport (Oil Pollution Levies) Order 2016
Members of Parliament (Accommodation Services for Members and Travel Services for Family Members and Former Prime Ministers) Amendment Determination 2016
Misuse of Drugs (Classification and Presumption of Supply—25B-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe, and 25I-NBOMe) Order Commencement Order 2016
Ozone Layer Protection Amendment Regulations 2016
Parliamentary Salaries and Allowances Determination 2016
Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Telecommunication Facilities) Regulations 2016
Social Security (Income and Cash Assets Exemptions) Amendment Regulations 2016
Social Security (Long-term Residential Care) Amendment Regulations (No 2) 2016
Social Security (Temporary Additional Support) Amendment Regulations 2016
Supreme Court Fees Amendment Regulations 2016
Tax Administration (Hurunui/Kaikoura Earthquakes) Order 2016
Tax Administration (Information Sharing—Hurunui/Kaikoura Earthquakes) Order 2016
Traffic Amendment Regulations 2016
Veterans' Support Amendment Regulations (No 5) 2016


In the week ahead

What’s coming up in the House?

When the House resumes on Tuesday 6 December the Government will look to complete the remaining stages of the Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquake Recovery Bill, the second reading of the Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Bill, the third reading of the Rangitāne o Manawatu Claims Settlement Bill, and a number of other bills on the Order Paper.


In trade

Tariff Concessions

The following applications for tariff concessions have been made in the past two weeks:

Applicant

Proposed tariff concession

Tariff item

Closing date for objections (2016)

Paula Apparel Limited

Knitted fabric, finer than 12 gauge, 100% Polyester or synthetic blend with lycra or cellulose fibres.

6005.34.19

13 December

Lusty & Blundell Limited

Steering systems and parts thereof

8479.90.09

13 December

Geordie Nicholson

Catamaran yacht, nacre 15 or 20, including: mast, fittings and hardware

8903.91.00

13 December

Seaworks Limited

One (1) 32m support vessel/tug “Searanger” imported by Seaworks Limited

8904.00.01

13 December

In consultation

New

Who

What

By when

Commerce Commission

Review of Chorus’ Unbundled Bitstream Access (UBA) service under section 30R: cross-submissions.

15 December 2016

Review of input methodologies (IMs) on related party transactions. Focus on valuation, visibility, compliance costs and excessive profits under related party transaction rules.

22 December 2016

Department of Conservation

 

Proposal to dispose of 4.3ha of conservation land in Pohangina.

9 December 2016

Application for an amendment to a commercial marine mammal permit by Kauahi Ngapora to operate commercial tours to view/swim with marine mammals in Kaikoura.

13 December 2016

Tongariro National Park Management Plan: partial review concerning provision of additional walking/cycling tracks in three locations.

16 December 2016

Proposals for 20 sites for possible inclusion in a network of marine protected areas located from Timaru to Waipapa Point.

20 December 2016

Intention to grant a 30-year concession to Awakino Alpine Trust Board for a lease/ licence/easement over part of Oteake Conservation Park and for operation of a club ski field (existing activity).

22 December 2016

Intention to grant 30-year concession to Scout Association of NZ regarding lease of Gilbert Lodge and licence to utilise part of Wairoa Gorge Recreation Reserve.

23 December 2016

Intention to grant a 15-year concession to licence Norwest Adventures Ltd to undertake guided caving and rafting tours at Charleston Conservation Area and Paparoa National Park.

18 January 2017

Intention to grant a 30-year concession to Waihi College Board of Trustees regarding a lease for educational purposes at Waihi College Conservation Area.

20 January 2017

Kiwi Recovery Plan 2017-2027.

27 January 2017

Intention to grant a 30-year concession to Raglan Golf Club for a lease over the Recreation Reserve Raglan Golf Course.

10 February 2017

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority

Proposed use of funds recovered from three levies (the Electricity Levy, the Petroleum or Engine Fuel Monitoring Levy, and the Gas Levy) to implement programmes in areas where the greatest impact in emissions reduction and energy efficiency can be made.

9 December 2016

Proposed standards for pool pumps sold in Australia, specifically concerns related to the New Zealand and Australian pool pump markets.

21 December 2016

Proposed revisions to standards for air conditioners and chillers developed under the Trans-Tasman Equipment Energy Efficiency (E3) programme (supplementary consultation).

31 January 2017

Proposed energy efficiency standards for lighting products to introduce minimum energy performance standards for LED lamps and commercial luminaires.

24 February 2017

EECA’s seeking of proposals from suitably qualified suppliers to become registered programme partners for the energy auditing programme.

31 March 2017

EECA’s seeking of proposals from suitably qualified suppliers to become registered programme partners for the energy systems optimisation programme.

31 March 2017

EECA’s seeking of proposals from suitably qualified suppliers to become registered programme partners for the monitoring and targeting programme.

31 March 2017

EECA’s seeking of proposals from suppliers to become registered programme partners for the energy management plan programme.

31 March 2017

Environmental Protection Authority

Non-professional use of chlorothalonil: seeking specific information about products containing chlorothalonil in relation to their composition, application rates, and other higher-tier data applicable to its use in home-garden settings.

16 December 2016

Application to import herbicide Monument to be used by professional turf managers.

1 February 2017

External Reporting Board

International Public Sector Accounting Standard Board’s (IPSASB) Consultation Paper on Public Sector Specific Financial Instruments concerning 3 types of financial instruments used specifically by the public sector: currency in circulation, IMF Quota Subscription and SDRs and monetary gold.

31 December 2016

Financial Markets Authority

Kiwisaver advice guidance note replacing 2012 guidance note.

16 December 2016

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand

Proposal to permit the addition of DHA-rich algal oil from Schizochytrium sp. as an alternative or replacement oil for other currently permitted DHA-rich algal oils added to infant formula products (A1124).

13 December 2016

Proposal to make minor amendments including the correction of typographical errors, inconsistencies and formatting issues and updating of references (P1043, Code Revision (2016)).

16 December 2016

Application to expand the definition of steviol glycosides for use as an intense sweetener to include all steviol glycosides present in the Stevia rebaudiana leaf (A1132).

19 December 2016

Health Quality & Safety Commission New Zealand

Proposed option of adding interventions related to staphylococcal decolonisation to the SSII Programme.

16 December 2016

Inland Revenue

Government discussion document concerning changes to information sharing between IRD and MSD.

16 December 2016

Interpretation Statement considering the deductibility of expenditure relating to a farmhouse that forms part of a farming business (QWB00082).

22 December 2016

Proposed item clarifying the Commissioner’s view on certain aspects of the income tax and GST treatment for a partnership formed for the purposes of carrying on a bloodstock breeding business. The particular situation covered is where a new partnership is purchasing its first horse with a plan to race the horse for a number of years before using the horse for breeding (PUB00290).

23 December 2016

Proposed ruling concerning Fringe Benefit Tax – Charitable and Other Donee Organisations and Fringe Benefit Tax. The Ruling corrects and clarifies some aspects of an earlier Public Ruling (BR Pub 09/03), which it will replace when it is published.

23 January 2017

Proposed factsheet to accompany and explain PUB00229: Fringe Benefit Tax – Charitable and Other Donee Organisations and Fringe Benefit Tax.

23 January 2017

Proposed reissue of rulings BR Pub 13/03 and BR Pub 13/04 which provided guidance on when amounts of unclaimed money of less than $100, received in the course of business, are derived as income (PUB00284).

27 January 2017

Proposed retrospective adjustments to salaries paid to shareholder-employees (draft statement SPS ED0190 sets out the criteria for considering whether the circumstances are appropriate for the Commissioner to agree to retrospectively alter an amount of shareholder’s salary) (ED0190).

27 January 2017

Department of Internal Affairs

Application for proposed changes to casino table game rules.

16 December 2016

Land Information New Zealand

Proposal to alter existing recorded name from Kapitea Creek to Kapitia Creek.

27 January 2017

Proposal to assign the new official name Kapitia Dam to a feature locally known as Kapitea Dam, also known as Dillmans Dam.

27 January 2017

Proposal to alter an existing recorded name from Kapitea Hill to Kapitia Hill.

27 January 2017

Ministry for Primary Industries

Fisheries Management System review; proposed regulatory change for IEMRS; proposed regulatory change for EITT.

23 December 2016

Proposed changes to import health standard for importing pig semen including alignment with international standards.

24 January 2017

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

General consultation on s 99(1A) of the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003.

9 December 2016

Proposals to set new earthquake-prone building regulations and methodology.

15 December 2016

Proposals for new acceptable solutions to support changes to residential pool barrier requirements under the Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016.

16 December 2016

Proposal to allow agencies to more easily share information with the cross-Government Gang Intelligence Centre.

23 December 2016

General consultation on retail payment systems.

20 January 2017

Ministry of Education

Proposal to update Te Whāriki (the New Zealand early childhood curriculum).

16 December 2016

Proposal to change the current schooling provision in Aotea, North Porirua due to ongoing roll growth issues.

13 April 2017

Ministry of Health

Code of practice for dental radiology under the Radiation Safety Act 2016.

9 December 2016

Ministry of Justice

Review of the Search and Surveillance Act 2012 (joint review with the New Zealand Law Commission).

16 December 2016

Trusts Bill, specifically clarity around wording and structure, and possible unintended consequences.

21 December 2016

New Zealand Law Commission

Review of the Search and Surveillance Act 2012 (joint review with the Ministry of Justice).

16 December 2016

New Zealand Qualifications Authority

Draft strands for new business qualifications in Marketing and Sales, and Human Resource Management (Levels 5 and 6).

8 December 2016

Review of Communication Skills unit standards.

12 December 2016

Review of Early Childhood Education Consent and Moderation requirements (CMR) to reflect standard wording and approach in all NQS CMR, to update terminology and amend hyperlinks.

14 December 2016

Pharmac

Proposal to change how levonorgestrel contraceptive implants (Jadelle) can be accessed, so that they would become funded on a Practitioner’s Supply Order (PSO).

16 December 2016

Privacy Commissioner

Proposed Amendment No 5 to the Telecommunications Information Privacy Code 2003 to provide a clear lawful basis for the automated gathering and sharing of mobile emergency caller location information, to locate an emergency caller and thereby assist the emergency services to respond more quickly to an emergency.

23 December 2016

Standards New Zealand – Joint Standards

Amendment 1 to AS/NZS 3500.1:2015 Plumbing and drainage Part 1: Water services.

19 December 2016

Amendment 1 to AS/NZS 3500.4:2015 Plumbing and drainage Part 4: Heated water services.

19 December 2016

Amendment 1 to AS/NZS 3823.4.1:2014 Performance of electrical appliances – Air conditioners and heat pumps Part 4.1: Air-cooled air conditioners and air-to-air heat pumps – Testing and calculating methods for seasonal performance factors – Cooling seasonal performance factor (ISO 16358-1:2013 (MOD)).

20 December 2016

Amendment 1 to AS/NZS 3823.4.2:2014 Performance of electrical appliances – Air conditioners and heat pumps Part 4.2: Air-cooled air conditioners and air-to-air heat pumps – Testing and calculating methods for seasonal performance factors – Heating seasonal performance factor (ISO 16358-2:2013 (MOD)).

20 December 2016

Amendment 1 to AS/NZS 3823.4.3:2014 Performance of electrical appliances – Air conditioners and heat pumps Part 4.3: Air-cooled air conditioners and air-to-air heat pumps – Testing and calculating methods for seasonal performance factors – Annual performance factor.

20 December 2016

Proposed standard AS/NZS 4613:2016 (Automotive equipment – Brake force measuring instruments) to develop a uniformly acceptable method for establishing manufacturing procedures and identifying the equipment necessary for measuring and collating brake force readings.

29 December 2016

Amendment 1 to AS/NZS 5033:2014 Installation and safety requirements for photovoltaic (PV) arrays.

30 December 2016

Proposed standard AS/NZS 60947.3:2016 (Low voltage switchgear and controlgear Part 3: Switches, disconnectors, switch-disconnectors and fuse-combination units (IEC 60947-3, Ed. 3.2 (2015) MOD)).

5 January 2017

Standard AS/NZS 1680.4:2016 (Interior and workplace lighting Part 4: Maintenance of electric lighting systems) forming Part 4 of the AS/NZS 1680 series.

16 January 2017

Proposed standard AS/NZS 5263.1.4: 2016 (Gas appliances Part 1.4: Radiant gas heaters) to provide particular requirements for radiant gas heating appliances that apply in addition to or in place of the general requirements for gas appliances set out in AS/NZS 5263.0, Gas appliances, Part 0: General requirements.

18 January 2017

Proposed standard AS/NZS 1301.407: 2016 (Methods of test for pulp and paper Part 407: Ring crush test) to provide a measure of the resistance to crushing due to in-plane compressive forces that can occur during shipment or storage of fibreboard shipping containers.

23 January 2017

Revision of AS/NZS 2327:2016 Composite steel-concrete construction in buildings.

24 January 2017

Proposed standard AS/NZS 1301.429:2016 (Corrugated fibreboard – determination of flat crush resistance (ISO 3035:2011, MOD)) to provide a measure of the crushing resistance of the arch structure of corrugated board when subjected to loads applied perpendicular to the surface of the board and under conditions that minimize lateral motion of the facings.

1 February 2017

 

Current

Who

What

By when

Electricity Authority

Requirements and processes for audits and auditors: new guidelines under changes to Electricity Industry Participation Code (2010).

20 December 2016

Environmental Protection Authority

Application by Trans-Tasman Resources Ltd for marine consents and marine discharge consents to extract/process iron sand in South Taranaki Bight (extension of submission timeframe).

12 December 2016

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

International climate change negotiations and issues.

Ongoing

Reserve Bank

Proposed Dashboard approach to quarterly disclosure by locally incorporated banks consultation paper.

15 December 2016

This publication is intended only to provide a summary of the subject covered. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. No person should act in reliance on any statement contained in this publication without first obtaining specific professional advice. If you require any advice or further information on the subject matter of this newsletter, please contact the partner/solicitor in the firm who normally advises you, or alternatively contact one of the partners listed below.

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