The only Bill on which submissions to select committee are currently sought is the Christchurch City Council (Rates Validation) Bill. The Bill validates a number of rates and penalties for non-payment where irregularities occurred in the relevant council resolutions. Submissions are due 31 July 2014.
Despite there being only one Bill under consultation, select committees will be busy dealing with other Bills on which submissions have already been made. These include the Health and Safety Reform Bill, the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill, the Education Amendment Bill No.2, and the Statutes Amendment Bill No. 4 (which amends a wide range of Acts).
Bills introduced and awaiting first reading include the Crimes (Match-fixing) Amendment Bill and the Gambling Amendment Bill No. 3. The first Bill topically addresses match-fixing risks presented by the Cricket World Cup and FIFA U-20 World Cup that New Zealand is hosting next year. The Gambling Amendment Bill focuses mainly on rules around Class 4 gambling (for non-casino electronic machines in bars and clubs).
The House rises on 31 July 2014 in the lead-up to the election on 20 September 2014. All Bills before the House at that time automatically lapse. However, the new House is able to reinstate any Bill it wishes, at the same stage that the Bill had previously reached. This allows the new House to determine which Bills to continue.
Bills currently before the House include taxation and trade measures Bills, Treaty Settlement legislation, the Employment Relations Amendment Bill and the Companies and Limited Partnerships Amendment Bill.
Consultation documents currently released or other consultation that will commence shortly includes:
- Privacy Act: The Government has announced proposed changes to the Privacy Act, in response to a Law Commission report, and will conduct targeted technical consultation.
- Independent Forestry Safety Review: The Review Panel has released a consultation document on proposals to improve health and safety in the forestry sector. Submissions close 4 July 2014.
- Crown Proceedings Act: The Law Commission is reviewing this Act, which deals with the situations in which the Crown may be sued. Submissions are due 1 August 2014.
- Playing by the rules: Strengthening enforcement of employment standards: The paper is aimed at improving the enforcement of employment standards, which protect vulnerable workers.
- Introducing a Bounded Public Interest Test into the New Zealand Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties Regime: The Bill follows the recent removal of anti-dumping duties on imported residential construction materials. The paper considers whether or not to impose a public interest test under the Dumping and Countervailing Duties Act 1988. Submissions are due 30 June 2014.
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