Bills before Parliament on which submissions are being sought
Communications Bill. The Bill provides measures to deal
with harmful digital communications and includes a new civil
enforcement regime, new criminal offences to deal with the most
serious harmful digital communications, and amendments to existing
legislation. Submissions due 21 February 2014.
Bill. The Bill provides for a wide range of matters
relating to the administration of the Courts including the
appointment of judges, judicial reporting, meritless proceedings,
electronic operation of court processes, court powers to award
interest on money claims, procedural matters relating to civil
appeals between the High Court and the Court of Appeal, arbitration
procedures, and online publication of final written judgements. The
Bill also proposes to re-enact the rules for judicial review.
Submissions due 21 February 2014.
Amendment Bill. The Bill makes changes to the regulation
of accountants and auditors. Changes include widening the range of
people competent to perform an audit, enabling more people who are
competent to perform statutory accountancy functions to do so,
reducing restrictions on the legal form of audit firms, introducing
a requirement for independent assurance of financial statements for
medium-sized and large charities, and allowing the New Zealand
Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) to restructure itself.
Submissions due 3 March 2014.
Local Government Amendment
Bill (No. 3). The Bill makes various changes relating to
local government processes and governance arrangements,
decision-making and charging practices, and asset management. The
main changes are additions to the process for transferring regional
council functions to territorial authorities and vice versa,
allowing the creation of local boards as part of local government
reorganisation under the Local Government Commission, changes to
consultation requirements, amendments to requirements for
development contributions, and provision for development
agreements. Submissions are due on 14 February 2014.
The Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment
Bill has been introduced but submissions have not yet been
called The Bill proposes a range of new measures relating to
earthquake-prone buildings, including a requirement for territorial
authorities to assess the seismic capacity of existing buildings,
requiring that work on earthquake-prone buildings is undertaken
within 20 years, and enabling territorial authorities (that are
building consent authorities) to issue building consents for
earthquake strengthening work without requiring other upgrades
(e.g. for access and facilities for people with disabilities and
for means of escape from fire).
The Overseas Investment (Owning our Own Rural Land)
Amendment Bill, a private members Bill, has been
introduced by Hon Phil Goff. The aim of the Bill is to amend the
Overseas Investment Act 2005 to limit the sale of rural land to
foreign buyers. The Bill has not yet been referred to Select
Committee. The government is likely to oppose the Bill and it is
possible it may be voted down before the Select Committee
Other consultation on legal issues currently underway
Financial Markets Conduct Regulations. The
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is currently
consulting on further regulations under the Financial Markets
Conduct Act 2013. The draft regulations provide for the governance
regime, regulations relating to financial product markets, and
conduct obligations for discretionary investment management
services. Feedback is requested by 14 March 2014, with the
regulations intended to come into force in mid-2014.
Fair Insurance Code. The Insurance Council is
seeking submissions in its review of the Fair Insurance Code. The
Code sets out principles for insurance companies' dealings with
customers and claims, complaints procedures, and also deal with
catastrophes and disasters. All members of the Insurance Council
must comply with the Fair Insurance Code. Submissions on the review
are due by 1 March 2014.
Loan-to-value restrictions. The Reserve Bank is
consulting on the operation of an exemption from the loan-to-value
(LVR) restrictions. The consultation focusses on the exemption of
new residential construction. Submissions on the consultation paper
are due by 14 February 2014.
The online version of our statute book, at
legislation.govt.nz, is now official.
Legislation.co.nz has long been available and a useful reference
point. However, it could not be relied on as being an authoritative
statement of legislation, which is especially important in
litigation and some other situations when giving advice.
The Legislation Act 2012 remedies that, recognising the online
version as official. This will save considerable time and effort
for lawyers in checking hard copy versions of legislation.
The delay in implementation since the Legislation Act was passed
has occurred becuase the Parliamentary Counsel Office has been
undertaking the essential task of cross-checking an enormous amount
of legislation to ensure the online versions are correct.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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The Government of India ("GOI") has allowed for 100% Foreign Direct Investment ("FDI") in the education sector under the automatic route.
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