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Watching Brief – July 2015

Home Insights Watching Brief – July 2015

Matter of opinion

Greens turn over a new leaf

A few weeks on from being made co-leader of the Green Party, we are beginning to see how James Shaw intends to do business. 

Elected by the same Green party members who had in the past pushed him down the party list, Shaw did well to distinguish himself from the ‘old guard’ of Kevin Hague in the co-leadership race. A former high-flying PwC consultant, Shaw managed to convince the party faithful that he is not a (blue) wolf in (green) sheep’s clothing, and that if the Greens want to get above 10 per cent, they need to attract a new type of voter. The question on everybody’s lips was how Shaw might go about doing so.

Early attempts from some in the media (eg Rodney Hide) to paint Shaw as a closet “free marketeer” were never going to succeed. Shaw’s long-standing membership of the party put paid to that. Further, Shaw wasted no time ruling out working with National, and his reasons for doing so seem sound - there is just too much room between the parties on key issues. 

So far, James Shaw has performed well in the House. A fan of using National’s ideological and economic concepts against them, he quoted Maggie Thatcher’s climate change warnings from the 1980s in his maiden Parliamentary speech. He is at home with economic concepts, looking to deploy them and argue with National on ‘their’ terms.

Since becoming co-leader, he has displayed his own distinct style of questioning: calm, fact-focussed, and persistent. In his first exchange with the Prime Minister as co-leader, he used previous cross-party approaches to key issues (such as superannuation) as a precedent for doing the same on climate change. More recently, he has had the Prime Minister on the back foot in the House, citing documents possibly showing that Murray McCully advised Hamood Al Ali Khalaf to take legal action against the government to justify the government then paying millions to Mr Khalaf and sending live sheep to Saudi Arabia. 

In his quest to grow the Green vote, Shaw will surely continue his current approach, as he tries to convey an image of the Greens as professional, level-headed and well-informed. It remains to be seen how the voting public will react to Shaw, and how the Greens will interact with Labour over the next few years in opposition.

In the news

CERA release Draft Residential Red Zone Offer Recovery Plan

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) released its ‘Draft Residential Red Zone Offer Recovery Plan’ on 25 June. The draft Recovery Plan arises from the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Quake Outcasts v The Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery [2015] NZSC 27. The Court held that decisions made by the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery and the CERA Chief Executive in relation to Crown offers (made in September 2012) to purchase uninsured residential or vacant land in the red zone were unlawful. The Court directed that the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery and the CERA Chief Executive reconsider their decisions.

The draft Recovery Plan sets out five proposed key criteria in relation to new Crown offers to buy vacant, insured commercial and uninsured improved properties in the red zone, and the CERA Chief Executive’s preliminary views on new offers. The Chief Executive’s preliminary views on the quantum of the new Crown offers are:

  • For all vacant red zone land: a new Crown offer at 100 per cent of the 2007/08 rateable land value.
  • For all insured commercial red zone properties: a new Crown offer at 100 per cent of the 2007/08 rateable land value and 100 per cent of the 2007/08 rateable improvements value for the insured improvements, if the insurance benefits are transferred to the Crown. Alternatively the owners may choose not to accept any payment for the improvements and keep the benefits of their insurance claims.
  • For all uninsured improved red zone properties: a new Crown offer at 80 per cent of the 2007/08 rateable land value. This takes into account the need to balance health and wellbeing needs and a timely recovery process with insurance status and precedents, costs to the Crown, and fairness and consistency. No payment should be made for uninsured improvements. The owners could choose to relocate, salvage or sell any uninsured improvements, or they could elect for the Crown to demolish the improvements. The Crown would meet the demolition costs.

The Chief Executive’s preliminary views on the quantum of new Crown offers for insured privately-owned red zone properties (whose owners decided not to accept the original Crown offer) is that the Crown could consider buying the properties, only if offered for sale by the owners, with payment on the same basis as the original Crown offer for insured red zone properties.

Submissions on the draft plan are due by 9 July 2015. A copy of the draft Recovery Plan and further information on how to submit can be found here.


Commerce Commission release IMs discussion paper

The New Zealand Commerce Commission (Commission) released its Input Methodologies (IMs) discussion paper on 16 June. IMs are the rules, requirements, and processes that underpin the regulation of electricity lines, gas pipelines, and specified airport services. The Commerce Act 1986 provides that the purpose of IMs is to promote regulatory certainty for suppliers and consumers. 

The purpose of the discussion paper is to receive consumer and industry input in identifying the key topics and defining the specific problems to be addressed in the Commission's upcoming IMs review. The aim of the review is to determine how effective IMs are in promoting the long term benefit of consumers. The three main themes of the review are:

  • the improvement of IMs that underpin risk allocation, incentives, and customised price-quality path applications (CPP), in regard to price-quality regulation;
  • the improvement of IMs to better enable profitability assessment over time, in regard to airports information disclosure; and
  • the reduction of complexity and compliance costs for all types of regulation.

The nine proposed topics presented in the discussion paper are:

  • risk allocation mechanisms under price-quality paths;
  • the form of control for price-quality regulated sectors;
  • interactions between the default price-quality path and CPP;
  • the future impact of emerging technologies in the energy sector;
  • issues raised by the High Court on cost of capital;
  • airports profitability assessment;
  • reconsidering the weighted average cost of capital percentile range for airports;
  • cost-effectiveness of the rules and processes for CPP applications; and
  • reducing complexity and compliance costs.

The Commission will hold two forums for stakeholder input on 29 and 30 July 2015, following which, the Commission welcomes written submissions on the discussion paper by 21 August 2015 and cross-submissions by 4 September 2015.

A copy of the full discussion paper can be accessed here. 


Commerce Commission to commence review of dairy industry competition

The Commission has released a consultation paper outlining its proposed approach, timeframes and scope for its upcoming review of the state of competition in the New Zealand dairy industry. The Commission’s review will focus on whether the current regulations under the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 (DIRA) are helping or hindering efficient operation of the industry by examining how competition has developed since Fonterra was established. 

On 2 June 2015, the Minister of Primary Industries (in consultation with the Minister of Commerce).

The review will result in a final report, which the Commission expects to release by 1 March 2016. DIRA requires the Minister of Primary Industries (in consultation with the Minister of Commerce) to request a report on the state of competition in the New Zealand dairy industry where the market share thresholds in section 147 are met, or alternatively, where those thresholds have not been met by 1 June 2015.

The review will canvas:

  • the state of competition in the farm gate and factory gate markets;
  • any new information about the wholesale and retail dairy markets that would alter the Commission’s conclusions from the domestic milk markets preliminary inquiry in 2011;
  • whether the current state of competition is sufficient to ensure these markets would operate efficiently without the regulations; and
  • whether Fonterra could have the ability and incentives to exercise market power without the regulations.  

If the report concludes that the current state of competition in the dairy industry is insufficient, the report will provide recommendations on whether the market share thresholds in DIRA should be reset; whether other expiry triggers should be provided for; and what options there are for a transition to deregulation. 

Submissions on the consultation paper are due by 10 July 2015. Copies of the consultation paper and the Terms of Reference for the report can be accessed here.


Land Access Changes to Streamline UFB Rollout

The Government has announced a range of proposals designed to speed up the installation of Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB). The Land Access for Telecommunications discussion document seeks feedback on suggestions to reduce delays and unnecessary costs associated with the UFB rollout.

The Minister of Communications describes the UFB rollout as "one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects New Zealand has ever undertaken", and points out that the programme is not an upgrade to an existing network but rather a complete rollout of new and innovative technology. Demand for UFB is exceeding expectations which, along with the issues this paper seeks to resolve, has led to some delays for customers and industry. 

The existing regulations can in some cases double the cost of deploying fibre and cause delays of more than a year in order to achieve agreement from various land owners. The Minister states that while the industry has a role in streamlining the way they process UFB applications, the Government is able to ensure that regulations are fit for purpose.

The discussion document outlines four proposals for change:

  • amending the way in which network operators go about seeking permission to access private property in situations like shared driveways and apartment blocks;
  • establishing a more comprehensive disputes resolution process to ensure that land access disputes can be resolved fairly and promptly;
  • enabling better use of existing utility infrastructure to more quickly roll out fibre networks; and
  • granting more certainty to network operators regarding their ability to maintain fibre infrastructure installed on private property.

The proposals are intended to push aside burdensome rules and regulations, resulting in New Zealanders gaining easy and fair access to better broadband.

Submissions on the proposals contained in the discussion document are due by 24 July 2015. The full Land Access for Telecommunications discussion document can be accessed here.


Law Commission anticipates six reports in 2015/16

The New Zealand Law Commission has published its Statement of Performance Expectations and Financial Information for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, which updates Part Two of the Law Commission’s Statement of Intent 2014–2018. The Statement of Performance Expectations and Financial Information sets out the Law Commission’s annual performance expectations (ie identifying the Law Commission’s output plan) and a base by which the Law Commission’s performance can be assessed.

The proposed output plan anticipates Law Commission reports to Parliament in the 2015/16 year on the areas listed below:

  • Burial and Cremation Act;
  • Crown Proceedings Act;
  • Classified and Security Sensitive Information;
  • Law of Contempt;
  • Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance; and
  • Complaints in Sexual Offences Cases.

Further areas where the Law Commission is yet to commence its work include:

  • Changes to the law of self-defence, and introduction of partial-defence, for victims of family violence who are facing homicide charges;
  • Review of the Criminal Investigations (Body Samples) Act 1995;
  • Review of the Declaratory Judgments Act 1908;
  • A review of charitable and purpose trusts including the Charitable Trust Act 1957; and
  • A review of the law in respect of trustee companies and other body corporates that act as trustees.

A copy of the full Statement of Performance Expectations and Financial Information can be found here.


New performance measures for Financial Markets Authority

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) published its Statement of Intent 2015-19 (SOI 2015-19) earlier this month, setting out the FMA’s strategic direction for the period of July 2015 to June 2019. FMA Chief Executive, Rob Everett, commented that the SOI 2015-19 marks a major shift for the FMA as (unlike the FMA’s previous statutory statements) it aligns with the seven strategic priorities set out in the FMA’s Strategic Risk Outlook and includes an overhauled set of performance measures to track how the FMA is meeting its priorities.

Key measures introduced in the SOI 2015-19 include:

  • the International Monetary Fund’s Financial Sector Assessment Programme (provides an in-depth analysis of a country’s financial sector, including a country’s implementation of the International Organisation of Securities Commission's principles of securities regulation);
  • increasing investor confidence in the integrity of New Zealand’s financial markets;
  • increasing confidence among businesses and professionals that are raising capital and making other offers; and
  • increasing the willingness of boards to recognise sound governance principles.

A copy of the full SOI can be accessed here. A copy of the Strategic Risk Outlook can be found here.


Productivity Commission release draft report on supply of land for housing

The New Zealand Productivity Commission released its draft report ‘Using land for housing’ on 17 June 2015. The draft report (which follows the Commission’s earlier report in 2012) sets out the Commission’s draft findings and recommendations regarding its inquiry into the supply and development capacity of land for housing in New Zealand cities.

The draft report concludes that increasing the supply of land for housing will be fundamental in addressing housing affordability issues. Key recommendations from the draft report include:

  • a new legislative avenue should be designed to focus spatial plans on activities that: are of high importance to the functioning of cities and the provision of development capacity for housing;  relate closely to the use of land or space and the management of negative externalities; and are most efficiently dealt with at a local level and through local authorities;
  • Treasury should investigate the possibility of introducing an exemption from the foreign investment screening regime for developers purchasing land, provided the land is developed into housing and resold within an acceptable timeframe; and
  • Government should consider establishing an urban development authority to lead and coordinate residential development in partnership with private sector developers. 

Submissions on the draft report are due by 4 August 2015. The Commission’s final report is due to be delivered to Government by 30 September 2015.

A copy of the draft report is available here.


Product stewardship awarded to Fuji Xerox for Zero Landfill scheme

Fuji Xerox’s product stewardship scheme, Zero Landfill, was awarded accreditation by the Minister for the Environment under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 (Act) earlier this month. Under the Act, the Minister is empowered to recognise and endorse product stewardship schemes through accreditation. In a product stewardship scheme, any party involved in the life of a product may accept responsibility for the environmental effects of their products from the time they are produced until they are disposed of. The potential benefits of mitigating the environment effects of a product include increasing efficient use of resources and minimisation of the products’ end of life impacts.

Fuji Xerox's Zero Landfill scheme marks the thirteenth scheme to receive accreditation under the Act since it was passed in 2008. The Zero Landfill scheme aims to recycle and reuse an estimated 99.5 per cent of Fuji Xerox equipment and products, including printers, copiers, toner bottles, print cartridges, drums, rollers and packaging. 

Further, the Zero Landfill scheme is the second ‘e-waste’ initiative to receive accreditation. The Minister for the Environment commented that global electronic corporates should recognise that voluntarily taking responsibility for the impact of their products could benefit the environment whilst also making commercial sense. The Minister encouraged organisations and industries to seek out accreditation for themselves.

A copy of the full media release can be found here. Further information on product stewardship schemes can be found here.


Reserve Bank Funding Agreement ratified

Parliament has ratified a new five-year Funding Agreement for the Reserve Bank. The agreement between the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Reserve Bank supersedes the agreement signed in 2010 pursuant to section 159 of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989. The main purpose of the funding agreements is to ensure the Reserve Bank's operational independence from government, providing multi-year funding and specifying how much of the Reserve Bank's income can be used to fund its operating expenses.

The Funding Agreement sees the Reserve Bank's core operating expenditure increase slightly from $49 million in 2014-15 to $49.6 million in 2015-16. By the final year of the Funding Agreement (2019-2020), expenditure will have increased to $52.1 million. Reserve Bank Governor, Graeme Wheeler, commented that “The increase in core operating expenditure over the five years is modest, averaging 1.3 percent per year.” 

Funding for the direct costs associated with issuing banknotes and coins is separate within the agreement. $14.4 million has been allocated in 2015-16, which will reduce to $11.1 million in 2019-2020.

Mr Wheeler observes that the new Funding Agreement has been made in an environment of fiscal constraint. Productivity improvements (including some reductions in staffing levels) will restrain the growth in costs, despite the Reserve Bank’s responsibilities expanding considerably since 2008, with new roles including prudential supervision of insurers and anti-money laundering supervision. 

The new Funding Agreement is valid from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2020 and can be found here.

Progress of legislation

New Bills

Financial Assistance for Live Organ Donors Bill
Type of Bill: Members
Member in Charge: Chris Bishop
This Bill aims to provide financial assistance to people who, for altruistic reasons, donate certain organs and tissue for transplantation purposes. In particular, clause 6 of the Bill would create a mechanism for the Chief Executive to determine whether the free and informed consent of the donor has been given. Upon determination of the requisite intention, the Bill would provide for organ donors to be compensated for employment and income forgone during recovery from an organ donation procedure and for childcare costs incurred as result.

Health Practitioners (Replacement of Statutory References to Medical Practitioners) Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
This omnibus Bill seeks to amend seven statutes to increase the range of functions that a health practitioner can perform under those statutes. The Bill would do so by replacing the definition of “medicinal practitioners” with the broader definition of “health practitioners”.

Imprest Supply (First for 2015/16) Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Bill English
This Bill has since passed into law and is discussed in the Acts Assented section below. 

Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Amendment Bill
Type of Bill: Members
Member in Charge: Stuart Nash
This Bill seeks to amend section 25(1) of the Local Government Act 2002 to require a referendum of electors in districts or regions be held before the amalgamation of local government bodies in that region. The purpose of the Bill is to restore the democratic rights of constituents and promote public participation in changes to local authority organisations.

New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income (Pro Rata Entitlement) Amendment Bill
Type of Bill: Members
Member in Charge: Denis O’Rourke
This Bill aims to make a number of amendments to the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001 and is said to confront the demographic realities of New Zealand's ageing population. In particular, the Bill would create a pro rata entitlement to New Zealand superannuation based on residence and presence in New Zealand between the ages of 20 and 65 – or a total of 45 years.

Passports Amendment Bill (No 2)
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Peter Dunne
This Bill aims to amend the Passports Act 1992 to extent the maximum validity of passports and makes a number of ancillary changes said to better reflect security and technological developments. In particular, this Bill would amend section 5 of the principal Act to increase the maximum period of validity of a New Zealand adult passport from five to ten years.

Public Collections and Solicitations (Disclosure of Payment) Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Matt Doocey
This Bill would introduce a requirement for persons collecting or soliciting a payment or signature in public, in return for remuneration, to disclose this remuneration to the public. In doing so, this Bill would require those disclosures to be made orally or in writing to each member of the public who is solicited before a collection or signature is taken, and to include the person or organisation providing the remuneration. If enacted, section 6 of the Bill would make every required person who does not comply with the reporting obligations liable to a fine not exceeding $1,000.

Social Security (Extension of Young Persons Services and Remedial Matters) Amendment Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Anne Tolley
This Bill seeks to make a range of amendments to the Social Security Act 1964, and a number of related Acts, to implement extensions to the Youth Service and additional remedial matters. In particular, the Bill would extend the existing Youth Service to all 19 year old beneficiaries with children and 18 and 19 year olds beneficiaries without children considered at significant risk of long term welfare dependency. The Bill also seeks to clarify a number of ambiguities in the legislation.

Taxation (Land Information and Offshore Persons Information) Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Louise Upston
This omnibus Bill would make a number of amendments to the Land Transfer Act 1952 said to improve compliance with the Income Tax Act 2007. The Bill would require purchasers and vendors of property to provide a New Zealand Inland Revenue Department Number as part of a conveyancing process under the Land Transfer Act. Persons who are tax residents in other jurisdictions will be required to provide an overseas Tax Identification Number. Further, this Bill seeks to introduce a new section 24BA into the Tax Administration Act 1994 so that a tax file number cannot be allocated to an offshore person unless the Commissioner of Inland Revenue first receives a New Zealand bank account number for that person.

Taxation (Transformation: First Phase Simplification and Other Measures) Bill
Member In Charge: Hon Todd McClay
Type of Bill: Government
This omnibus Bill intends to amend various statutes to remove legislative obstacles in the tax administration system. The Bill seeks to amend the following statutes: Income Tax Act 2007; Tax Administration Act 1994; Goods and Services Tax Act 1985; KiwiSaver Act 2006; Child Support Act 1991; Student Loan Scheme Act 2011; Gaming Duties Act 1971; and Accident Compensation Act 2001.


Bills awaiting first reading

Environmental Protection Authority (Protection of Environment) Amendment Bill
Evidence Amendment Bill
Fighting Foreign Corporate Control Bill
Financial Assistance for Live Organ Donors Bill
Health Practitioners (Replacement of Statutory References to Medical Practitioners) Bill
Land Transport (Safer Alcohol Limits for Driving) Amendment Bill
Legislation Amendment Bill
Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Amendment Bill
New Zealand International Convention Centre Act 2013 Repeal Bill
New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income (Pro Rata Entitlement) Amendment Bill
Ngā Rohe Moana o Ngā Hapū o Ngāti Porou Bill
Overseas Investment (Owning our Own Rural Land) Amendment Bill
Public Collections and Solicitations (Disclosure of Payment) Bill
Remuneration Authority Amendment Bill
Social Security (Extension of Young Persons Services and Remedial Matters) Amendment Bill
Taxation (Land Information and Offshore Persons Information) Bill
Taxation (Transformation: First Phase Simplification and Other Measures) Bill


Bills defeated

Underground Coal Mining Safety Reform Bill
Member in charge: Hon Damien O'Connor
60 in favour: Labour 32; Green Party 14; New Zealand First 12; Māori Party 2.
61 against: National 59; ACT New Zealand 1; United Future 1.

Electoral (Adjustment of Thresholds) Amendment Bill
Member in charge: Iain Lees-Galloway          
58 in favour: Labour 32; Green Party 14; New Zealand First 12.
63 against: National 59; Māori Party 2; ACT New Zealand 1; United Future 1.

SuperGold Health Check Bill
Member in charge: Rt Hon Winston Peters
60 in favour: Labour 32; Green Party 14; New Zealand First 12; Māori Party 2.
61 against: National 59; ACT New Zealand 1; United Future 1.


Bills before Select Committee

Submissions open

Bill

Select Committee

Closing date for Submissions

Accident Compensation (Financial Responsibility and Transparency) Amendment Bill

Transport and Industrial Relations

2 July

Electronic Monitoring of Offenders Legislation Bill

Law and Order

30 July

Passports Amendment Bill (No 2)

Government Administration

24 July

Support for Children in Hardship Bill

Social Services

8 July

Tariff (Free Trade Agreement between New Zealand and the Republic of Korea) Amendment Bill

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

16 July


Submissions closed

Bill

Select Committee

Closing date for Submissions

Accident Compensation (Financial Responsibility and Transparency) Amendment Bill

Transport and Industrial Relations

2 July

Electronic Monitoring of Offenders Legislation Bill

Law and Order

30 July

Passports Amendment Bill (No 2)

Government Administration

24 July

Support for Children in Hardship Bill

Social Services

8 July

Tariff (Free Trade Agreement between New Zealand and the Republic of Korea) Amendment Bill

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

16 July

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.

Defence Amendment Bill
Hawke's Bay Regional Planning Committee Bill
Housing Corporation Amendment Bill
Land Transport (Admissibility of Evidential Breath Tests) Amendment Bill
New Zealand Flag Referendums Bill (as reported by the Justice and Electoral Committee)
Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill (as reported by the Law and Order Committee)
Public Health Bill
Register of Pecuniary Interests of Judges Bill
Regulatory Standards Bill
Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill
Spending Cap (People’s Veto) Bill
Taxation (Income-sharing Tax Credit) Bill
Te Hiku Claims Settlement Bill


Bills awaiting third reading

Appropriation (2015/16 Estimates) Bill
Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill
Construction Contracts Amendment Bill
Environmental Reporting Bill
Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
Human Rights Amendment Bill
Insolvency Practitioners Bill
Judicature Modernisation Bill
Natural Health and Supplementary Products Bill (formerly the Natural Health Products Bill)
New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Amendment Bill
Organised Crime and Anti-corruption Amendment Bill
Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months Paid Leave) Amendment Bill
Radio New Zealand Amendment Bill
Reserves and Other Lands Disposal Bill
Standards and Accreditation Bill
Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill


Acts awaiting assent

Harmful Digital Communications Bill


Acts assented

Appropriation (2014/2015 Supplementary Estimates) Act 2015
This Act provides parliamentary authorisation of the individual appropriations and changes contained in ‘The Supplementary Estimates of Appropriations for the Government’ for the year ended 30 June 2015. These estimates were presented to the House as part of the 2015 Budget process.

Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) (Transitional Provisions) Amendment Act 2015
This Act amends The Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012 by replacing section 162(5). The Act provides that if an application for a marine consent is lodged and accepted by the Environmental Protection Authority no less than nine months before the end of the permit, the activity may continue without a marine consent until the application is decided and appeals are determined.

Imprest Supply (First for 2015/16) Act 2015
This Act provides a statutory mechanism allowing Parliament to provide the Government with the authority to incur expenses before the advance of appropriations in an Appropriation Act and to make capital injections in advance of authorisation under an Appropriation Act. The Act provides financial authority from the start of the 2015/16 financial year until the Appropriation (2015/16 Estimates) Bill is passed. The financial authorities provided for in this Act will be repealed upon commencement of the Appropriation (2015/16 Estimates) Bill.

Social Assistance (Portability to Cook Islands, Niue, and Tokelau) Act 2015
This Act makes a number of amendments to the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001, the Veterans Support Act 2014 and the Social Security Act 1964. The Act amends the residential qualification for New Zealand Superannuation and allows certain eligible persons residing in the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau to be able to be able to apply from those locations for, and receive, New Zealand Superannuation or veterans pensions.


Legislative instruments

Building (Dam Safety) Regulations Revocation Order 2015
Fisheries (Notification of Tangata Tiaki/Kaitiaki for Area/Rohe Moana of Te Rūnanga o Moeraki) Notice 2015
Fisheries (Notification of Tāngata Tiaki/Kaitiaki for Area/Rohe Moana of Te Rūnanga o Awarua) Notice 2015
Fisheries (Notification of Tāngata Tiaki/Kaitiaki for Mātaitai Reserve at Oreti Beach) Notice 2015
Fisheries (Notification of Tāngata Tiaki/Kaitiaki for Mātaitai Reserve at Lake Forsyth (Wairewa)) Notice 2015
Health Sector Transfers (NZ Health Partnerships Limited) Order 2015
Medicines (Designated Prescriber – Dietitians) Regulations 2015
Public Finance (Road Safety Trust) Order 2015
Public Finance (Transfers Between Outputs) Order 2015

In the week ahead

What’s coming up in the House

The Government will look to progress a number of Bills on the Order Paper, including the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Amendment Bill and the Environmental Reporting Bill.

The House will rise for a two week recess from Thursday 2 July, resuming on Tuesday 21 July.

In committee

Recent Committee meetings

Select Committees met over the last two weeks. Most Select Committees considered estimates of appropriations in the Vote for the 2015/16 financial year in their respective sectors.

The Māori Affairs Committee was briefed on whānau access to and management of Tūpāpaku.

The Privileges Committee continued to consider the question of privilege regarding use of social media to report on parliamentary proceedings. Clerk of the House of Representatives, Mary Harris, submitted that rules or regulations to police the use of social media by Members of Parliament (MPs) should not be introduced.  Ms Harris submitted that social media allowed MPs an opportunity to have positive interactions with the New Zealand public.  However, Ms Harris did note that MPs must realise that comments made in the House or a Select Committee via social media will not carry the benefit of parliamentary privilege.  Ms Harris also submitted that the prohibition on the use of official television coverage for satire, ridicule and/or denigration should be reconsidered.

The Regulations Review Committee, as part of its ongoing investigation into regulations, considered current oversight of disallowable instruments that are not legislative instruments.

In trade

TPP negotiations update: Obama secures fast-track legislation

Following on from the United States Senate passing (by 60 to 38) the highly contentious Trade Promotion Authority Bill, President Obama has signed that Bill into law. The Bill will grant Obama fast-track powers to negotiate international trade agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). What this means is that, when treaties such as the TPP are presented to the Senate for its ratification, the Senate is restricted to an up or down vote (as opposed to amending the text of the treaty provision by provision). The ability of the Senate's pro-trade bloc to obtain 60 votes is important, as it provides a filibuster-proof majority. It remains to be seen whether those 60 votes will be maintained when (or if) the TPP is placed before the Senate.      

The securing of fast track powers will surely lead to a ‘ramping up’ of TPPA negotiations in July. Indeed, Trade Minister Hon Tim Groser expects the coming month will mark the real showdown for the 12 nations’ negotiator. It is expected that these final stages will prove to be the most critical so far for New Zealand in securing a good deal. 

Minister Groser claims that New Zealand officials will look to finalise the basic political deal by the end of July. The months that follow would then be set aside to tease out legal technicalities.


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 (2015)

Charles Parsons (NZ) Limited

Woven fabrics containing wool:

  • Ref: A99993 “Bradmen”; 55% polyester, 45% wool; weight 220g/m² – 2,000m²
  • Ref: N91466 “New Academy”; 55% polyester, 45% wool; weight 260g/m² – 5,000m²

5515.13.29

7 July

Knitted fabrics:

  • Ref: PB4290 “Silly Putty”; 100% modal – 5,000m²
  • Ref: PF15292 “Little Hound”; 60% polyester, 40% nylon – 5,000m²
  • Ref: PF15297 “Howling”; 100% acrylic pile on 100% polyester base – 3,000m²
  • Ref: PF15298 “Mountain King”; 100% acrylic pile on 100% polyester base – 3,000m²
  • Ref: PF15299 “Bear Island”; 100% acrylic pile on 100% polyester base – 3,000m²
  • Ref: PF15300 “Animal Farm”; 100% acrylic pile on 100% polyester base – 3,000m²
  • Ref: PF15302 “Bad Moon”; 100% acrylic pile on 100% polyester base – 3,000m²
  • Ref: PF15319 “Odin”; 100% acrylic pile on 100% polyester base – 3,000m²
  • Ref: PF15213 “Festival Pelliccia (Stark)”; 100% polyester pile – 3,000m²
  • Ref: PF15214 “Galattico Maglia (Web of Lies)”; 93% acrylic, 7% wool – 3,000m²

60.01
60.05
60.06

7 July

Airspec (NZ) Limited

Mobile cable carriers (crocodile type), fitted with electrical cable and electrical plug and sockets, of a type used to connect aircrafts to ground power outlets

8544.42

7 July

In consultation

New

Who

What

By when (2015)

Commerce Commission

Input methodologies review – invitation to contribute to problem definition

21 August

Review of state of competition in the diary industry

10 July

Department of Conservation

Proposal to rename scenic reserve on West Coast of South Island ‘Merfin Scenic Reserve’

17 July

Intention to make declarations about new marine mammal viewing and swimming permits on the Abel Tasman and Kaikoura coasts

22 July

Intention to transfer and release a number of species of a new fish farm in Nelson

24 July

Intention to grant concession to Auckland Council for lease of two barracks buildings at Fort Takapuna Recreation Reserve

28 July

Intention to grant concessions in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park Village amenities area for construction of staff accommodation

7 August

Electricity Authority

HVDC component of Transpower’s proposed variation to the Transmission Pricing Methodology

14 July

Hedge market development: Enhancing trading of hedge products consultation paper

21 July

Access to Tariff and Connection data Consultation Paper and Tariff Information in Consumer Search Decisions Sapere Paper

4 August

Transmission Pricing Methodology: options working paper and companion paper consultation

11 August

Environmental Protection Authority

Submissions on a modified reassessment of the fungicide Esteem

17 July

Submissions on application for release of the herbicide GF-2687

20 July

Submissions on application for modified reassessment of a range of substances under Environmental Protection Authority Chemical Review 2012-2014

28 July

Inland Revenue Department

Approval – Income Tax – Currency conversions methods for branches

22 July

Income tax – scenarios on tax avoidance 2015

23 July

Official Issues paper on “Bright-line test” for sales of residential property requiring income tax to be paid on gains from the sale of certain residential property and sold within two years

24 July

Ministry for the Environment

Consultation on a proposed National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry

11 August

Ministry for Primary Industries

Review of fisheries sustainability measures for selected fish stocks for the 2015-16 fishing year

17 July

Standard and guidance documents on draft general transitional facilities for uncleared risk goods

24 July

Boarder clearance levy to recover costs for processing travellers entering and departing New Zealand

28 July

Discussion and consultation on draft IHS report on semen and embryos from horses (equidae) from specified countries

21 August

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Land Access Rules for Telecommunications Companies when installing fibre broadband

24 July

Ministry of Justice

Marine and Coastal (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 relating to wardens for promoting compliance with wāhi tapū prohibitions and discussion document

31 July

PHARMAC

Proposal to list a range of interventional cardiology products supplied by N. Stenning & Co New Zealand Limited

3 July

Proposal to list epoprostenol injection in Section H of the Pharmaceutical Schedule

10 July

Reserve Bank

Macro prudential policy – consultation on changes to loan-to-value ratio restrictions

13 July

Capital adequacy – changes to definition and recognition of capital instruments

3 August

Standards New Zealand

Methods of sampling and testing road aggregates

10 July

Standards New Zealand
- Joint standards

Dimensions and mechanical properties of tapping screws:

  • hexagon head;
  • steel slotted pan head;
  • steel slotted countersunk;
  • steel slotted countersunk (oval) head;
  • cross-recessed pan head;
  • cross-recessed countersunk (flat) head;
  • cross-recessed countersunk (oval) head; and
  • heat treated steel tapping screws

15 July

Information technology – Home Electric Systems (HES) architecture:

  • Part 3.1: Communication layers for network based controls of HES Class 1;
  • Part 3.2: Communication layers for transport, network and general parts of dada link layer for network controls;
  • Part 3.3: User process for network based controls;
  • Part 3.4: System management procedures for network based controls;
  • Part 3.5: Media and media dependant layers – powerline; and
  • Part 3.6 Media  and media dependant layers – twisted pair

24 July

Methods for sampling and analysis of ambient air Method 17: determination of gaseous compounds in ambient air

7 August

Sun protective clothing – evaluation and classification

7 August

Explosive atmospheres:

  • Part 1: Equipment protection by flameproof enclosures 'd'

7 August

Household and similar electrical appliances – Safety:

  • Part 2.81 foot warmers and heating mats

7 August

Supplementary cementations materials:

  • Part 1: fly ash;
  • Part 3: amorphous silica

13 August

Approval of test specification – electric shaver units

13 August

Explosive atmospheres:

  • Part 2: Equipment protection by pressurized enclosure 'p';
  • Part 5: Equipment protection powdered filing 'q';
  • Part 6: Equipment protection by oil immersion 'o';
  • Part 26: Equipment protection level 'Ga';
  • Part 29.2: Gas detectors - selection, installation, use and maintenance; and
  • Part 10.2: Classification of areas - combustible dust atmospheres

26 August

Domestic solid fuel burning appliances – Test fuels part 2: Softwood

28 August

Current

Who

What

By when (2015)

Commerce Commission

Transpower TPM operational review initial consultation paper

Ongoing

Department of Conservation

Changes in status of New Zealand bat, bird, reptile and frog taxa to inform a revision of the lists for these groups in the New Zealand Threat Classification System

31 October

Review of wildlife, research and collection authorisations undertaken on public conservation land

Ongoing

Inland Revenue Department

Feedback on Non Resident Withholding Tax related party and breach lending

3 July

Draft changes to the Tax Administration Act 1994 – Meaning of “due and payable” under section 91E(4)(d)(i)

8 July

Internal Affairs

Fire Services Review discussion document proposing:

  • enhancement of the status quo;
  • coordinated service delivery; or
  • national fire service

10 July

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Submissions on property regulations and local rules that are irrelevant or unnecessary

Ongoing

Supplementary Financial Markets Conduct Regulations to be made under the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013

2 July

Review of Financial Advisors Act and Financial Service Providers Act

22 July

Proposed system to manage buildings and life-safety risks after a state of emergency

24 July

Standards New Zealand
- Joint standards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wheelchairs:

  • Part 3 determination of effectiveness of brakes; and
  • Part 8 requirements and test methods for static, impact and fatigue strengths

Wheelchair seating:

  • Part 9: interface pressure mapping for seating in the clinical setting; and
  • Part 12: Apparatus and method for cushion envelopment testing

1 July

Pliable building membranes and underlays Part 1: Materials (Revision of AS/NZS 4200.1:1994)

17 July

Luminaries Part 2.12: Particular requirements – Mains socket outlet mounted nightlights

14 July

Approval and test specification – minimum safety requirements for Lampholder adaptors

20 July

Household and similar electrical appliances – Safety:

  • Part 1 General Requirements;
  • Part 2.40 electrical heat pumps, air-conditioners and dehumidifiers;
  • Part 2.58 commercial electric dishwashing machines;
  • Part 2.65 air-cleaning appliances;
  • Part 2.82 amusement machines and personal service machines;
  • Part 2.95 drives for vertically moving garage doors for residential use amendment 1;
  • Part 2.11 tumble dryers;
  • Part 2.111 electric ondol mattress with a non-flexible headed part;
  • Part 2.2: vacuum cleaners and water-suction cleaning appliances;
  • Part 2.30 Room heaters;
  • Part 2.31 Range hoods and other cooking fume extractors;
  • Part 2.4 spin extractors;
  • Part 2.5 dishwashers;
  • Part 2.6 Station cooking ranges, hobs, ovens and similar appliances;
  • Part 2.7 washing machines; and
  • Part 2.9 grills, toasters and similar portable cooking appliances

24 July

Safety of power transformers, power supplies, reactors and similar products Part 1: General requirements and tests

24 July

Electric motor-operated hand-held tools, transportable tools and lawn and garden machinery – Safety. Part 2.9: Particular requirements for hand-held tappers and threaders

24 July

PVC-U pipes and fittings for drain, waste and vent application. (Revision of AS/NZS 1260:2009)

29 July

Te Puni Kōkiri

Review of Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 and amendments designed to make it easier for Māori land owners to use and develop their land whilst also respecting Māori land as a taonga tuku iho

7 August

Worksafe

Workspace exposure standards for respirable quatrtz/respirable crystalline silica

7 August


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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