Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2012

This Act makes a number of amendments to the Climate Change Response Act 2002. The key amendments are as follows

  • Keeping the 'two-for-one' (or 'half price') transition obligation in place (with no specified end date), so that ETS participants with emissions obligations are only required to surrender 1 NZU for every 2 tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions.
  • Maintaining the $25 fixed price for NZUs purchased from the Government indefinitely (in order to protect ETS participants if the international carbon price rises sharply over the next few years).
  • Suspending the phase-out of industrial allocation of NZUs indefinitely (which was set to begin next year), associated with the continued ban on exporting of NZUs overseas (except for those NZUs created within the forestry sector).
  • Introducing an express regulation-making power to allow the auctioning of NZUs (within an overall cap on the number of NZUs auctioned and allocated).
  • Removing the requirement to “back” all NZUs issued with a Kyoto unit (to allow for auctioning).
  • Introducing, from 2013, offsetting for owners of pre-1990 forestry land and for owners of land that was in forest at 31 December 1989 but subsequently deforested.
  • Allocating the planned full second tranche of compensation/NZUs to pre-1990 forestry land owners where offsetting is not taken up.
  • Leaving agricultural biological emissions out of the ETS indefinitely (with a review on this position to be carried out in 2015).
  • Aligning the ETS with international greenhouse gas accounting standards by adopting the latest internationally accepted global warming potentials.
  • Removing the ETS obligation on the importation of synthetic greenhouse gases (SGGs) in motor vehicles and goods, and introducing a new levy instead.

Mount Maunganui Borough Reclamation and Empoweting Act Repeal Act 2012

This Act repeals the Mount Maunganui Borough Reclamation and Empowering Act 1975.

Riccarton Bush Amendment Act 2012 This Act updates the governance arrangements for the Riccarton Bush Trustees. The Act amends the Riccarton Bush Act 1914, the Riccarton Bush Amendment Act 1947 and the Riccarton Bush Amendment Act 1949. Specific amendments (among others) are made to:

  • the term, commencement and vacation of office of the trustees;
  • powers relating to committees;
  • delegation of functions and powers; and
  • financial plans, statements of intent, and management plans.

Taxation (Annual Rates, Returns Filing, and Remedial Matters) Act 2012

This Act makes amendments to various Acts and also sets the annual income tax rates for the 2012/13 year. Changes made by the Act include:

  • Amendments to the Income Tax Act 2007 relating to (among other things) the tax treatment of profit distribution plans, unsuccessful software development, earthquake-affected group property, working for families, and banking groups' equity thresholds for thin capitalisation purposes.
  • Amendments to the Tax Administration Act 1994 relating to filing and record-keeping requirements.
  • Amendments to the Goods and Services Act 1985 to deal with a number of issues, including issues relating to the zero-rating of land transactions.

Amendments to the KiwiSaver Act 2006 to increase both the default (minimum) employee contribution rate and the rate for compulsory employer contributions from 2% to 3% for pay periods that start on or after 1 April 2013, as announced in Budget 2011.