Construction Contracts Amendment Bill
Bill proposes amendments to the Construction Contracts Act 2002, which sets out default process payment arrangements and a dispute resolution process. Amendments include changes to the enforcement process, hindering the scope of contracts covered by the Act and treating residential and commercial contracts more similarly. The Bill has been in Parliament for some time, but is now nearing enactment.
Weathertight Homes Resolution Services Bill
This Bill proposes changes to the Weathertight Homes Resolution Services Act. It was introduced in February 2015, and submissions are due on 16 April. The Bill proposes reasonably technical amendments that will nevertheless be significant for some claimants to the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service.
New Zealand Flag Referendum Bill
This Bill sets out the proposed process for two referenda on a possible new New Zealand Flag. Submissions on the Bill are due 23 April 2015.
Human Rights Amendment Bill
Bill seeks to establish a full-time Disability Rights Commissioner in the Human Rights Commission and make other changes to the role and structure of the Commission. The Bill was introduced in 2011, and reviewed by Select Committee in 2014. The Government now looks to be progressing the Bill with the second reading debate having started earlier this month.
Radiation Safety Bill
This Bill proposes long-awaited changes to the legal framework for handling radiation services (the existing Act has been in place since 1965). The Bill was introduced at the end of last year, with submissions now due by 22 April.
New Zealand Business Number Bill
The Bill will allow companies, government agencies, incorporated societies, partnerships, trustees of trusts, sole traders and other entities to apply for business numbers, aimed at making interaction with government easier. The Bill sets out rules for collection, access and sharing of information as part of the business number register. The Bill was introduced on 31 March, but no date for submissions has yet been set.
Other Bills that are due for reporting-back from Select Committee in the near future include:
- Health and Safety Reform Bill
- Hawkes Bay Regional Planning Committee Bill
- Christchurch City Rates Valuation Bill
- Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill
- Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
- Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effect) (Transitional Provisions) Amendment Bill
- Gambling Amendment Bill
DISCUSSION PAPERS AND OTHER CONSULTATION
Rules Reduction Taskforce
Submissions to the newly formed Rules Reduction Taskforce have been called for by on Monday 1 June 2015. The Rules Reduction Taskforce is reviewing housing and property rules. The Government is seeking input on rules and regulations, both at national and local level, that property owners, builders, tradespeople, businesses and the public believe are irrelevant or unnecessary red tape. The Taskforce is chaired by National MP Jacqui Dean.
A review of future possible governance arrangements for Environment Canterbury is underway. The review is considering the structure that should apply from 2016, when the present Commissioner arrangements expires. Submissions are due on the discussion document by 1 May 2015.
Insurance dispute resolution schemes
The Ministry of Economic Development is consulting on a proposal to increase the maximum amount of compensation awarded by insurance dispute resolution schemes from $200,000 to $350,000. The change will, in effect, encourage more disputes to be taken to the schemes. Submissions are due by 13 April 2015.
Customs and Excise Act changes
Proposals to amend the Customs and Excise Act 1996 to adapt to recent changes in technology and business practice are under consultation. The proposed changes include broader information sharing between government agencies. Submissions are due 1 May 2015.
Gambling Fee changes
The Department of Internal Affairs is consulting on proposed changes to fees for the licensing of gambling. The proposed changes mainly affect Class 4 gambling (electronic gaming archives in pubs and clubs). Submissions are due 13 April 2015.
Wholesale Investor Exclusion
The Financial Markets Authority is seeking submissions on the exclusion for wholesale investors (minimum investment of at least $750,000). The Authority is considering whether a class exemption is warranted and also whether some of the requirements of the current exclusion are too restrictive and unnecessary. Submissions are due 22 April 2015.
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