New Zealand: New legislation and consultation papers currently available

Last Updated: 3 April 2014

Bills before Parliament on which submissions to Select Committees are sought include:

Education Amendment Bill (No. 2)

The Bill proposes changes to the professional regulation of teachers, the governance and quality assurance regime for tertiary education institutions, and introduces an additional ground for deregistering private training establishments. There are also changes relating to international students, including a dispute resolution scheme. The New Zealand Teachers Council is to be replaced with the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand. Submissions due Wednesday 30 April 2014.

Environmental Reporting Bill

The Bill introduces a system for regular and independent reporting on environmental matters at a national level. Submissions due Thursday 17 April 2014.

Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Bill

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 and that work on earthquake-prone buildings is undertaken within 20 years. The Bill also enables 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). Submissions due Thursday 17 April 2014.

Health and Safety Reform Bill

The Bill makes a range of changes to New Zealand's workplace Health and Safety regime following the recent Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety and the Pike River Royal Commission. See Health and Safety news. Submissions due Friday 11 April 2014.

Energy (Fuels, Levies and References) Amendment Bill

The Bill proposes amendments to the Energy (Fuels, Levies and References) Act 1989 to provide for the costs of meeting New Zealand's oil stockholding treaty obligation under the Agreement on an International Energy Programme to be met through a levy on fuel. Submissions due Thursday, 17 April 2014.

The Statutes Amendment Bill (No. 4) has been introduced to Parliament but not yet referred to Select Committee. The Bill proposes amendments to a range of Bills, most of which should be non-controversial. Legislation affected includes the Animal Welfare Act 1999, the Biosecurity Act 1993, the Copyright Act 1994, the Land Transfer Act 1998, the Local Government Act 1974, the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 and the Official Information Act 1981. No time for submissions has yet been set.

The Government has responded to the Law Commission's reviews of the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 and the Trustee Act, agreeing to new legislation in both areas. The next step is for the Government to develop the new legislation.

Other consultation

Other consultation on legal issues currently underway includes:

Inquiry into Oversight of Disallowable Instruments that are Not Legislative Instruments (DINLIs). The Regulations Review Committee of Parliament is carrying out a review into the rules for Parliamentary oversight of DINLIs, a particular form of delegated legislation (often called deemed regulations). Submissions due Thursday 3 April 2014.

New Zealand Business Number Extension. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is proposing to extend the coverage of the New Zealand business number to all businesses, government agencies and commercial entitles. Submissions due Friday 11 April 2014.

Business Growth Agenda. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is seeking general feedback on six initiatives aimed at growing the economy, including capital markets, infrastructure and innovation.

Cost-of-capital input methodolies. The Commerce Commission is starting further work on its cost of capital input methodologies. The work follows a High Court judicial review of the existing methodologies and is focussed on the question of whether it is appropriate to use the 75th percentile estimate of the weighted average cost of capital (WACC). The WACC is an important input into setting the prices for regulated electricity distribution businesses, gas pipeline businesses and for Transpower, and is also relevant to information disclosure by airports regulated under the Commerce Act. Submissions on the update paper are invited until 1 May 2014.

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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