The House held its last full sitting day on 31 July 2014 and the 50th Parliament dissolved on the 14 August. The house will not resume until after the election on 20 September 2014. All Bills that were before the House on 31 July lapse, but can be reinstated by the new House post-election. If a change of government were to occur, the new government would likely examine the list of Bills to see which ones it wishes to continue. Otherwise, all the existing Bills are likely to be continued.

The Bills before the House on 31 July and which lapsed included:

  • The Accounting Infrastructure Reform Bill
  • Employment Relations Amendment Bill is returned
  • The Commerce (Cartel and other matters) Amendment Bill
  • Gambling Amendment Bills No.2 and No.3
  • The Harmful Digital Communications Bill
  • The Regulatory Standards Bill

Bills still before Select Committees included the Regulatory Standards Bill, the Crimes (Match-Fixing) Amendment Bill, the Building (Earthquake-Prone Buildings) Amendment Bill, the Environmental Reporting Bill, the Health & Safety Reform Bill, the Art Centre of Christchurch Trust Bill, and the Christchurch City Council (Rates Validation) Bill. Submissions on some of these bills closed only in August. These Bills also lapse.

A considerable amount of the current government's reform programme was therefore still in train on the closing of Parliament.

In a recent speech, the Minister for the Environment outlined proposed changes to environmental laws, including further reform of the Resource Management Act, new Marine Reserve legislation, review of the status of stewardship land, and proposals to deal with specific conservation issues in relation to rivers and North Island Kauri forests.

Consultation is currently occurring on the following matters:

  • National Statement on Science Investment: Submissions due by 22 August 2014.
  • Paid Parental Leave: MBIE is seeking public feedback on a discussion paper that outlines options to increase the flexibility of the paid parental leave scheme. Submissions due 25 August 2014.
  • Legislation Revision: The Parliamentary Council Office is calling for proposals to revise outdated legislation. Submissions due 25 August 2014.
  • Occupational Regulation of Valuators Review: The regulation scheme for valuers is being reviewed by LINZ. Submissions due 26 August 2014.
  • Guidelines on Unfair Contract Terms: The Commerce Commission has released draft guidelines on the new provisions in the Fair Trading Act dealing with unfair contract terms. See here. Submissions due 30 September 2014.
  • Review of Radiocommunications Act: See here. Submissions due 1 October 2014.
  • Review of Civil Aviation and Airport Authorities Acts: See here. Submissions due 31 October 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.