Bills before Parliament on which submissions are being sought include:
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 stage.
Other consultation on legal issues currently underway includes:
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.