Lobbying Disclosure Bill
The Committee continued to hear submissions on the Lobbying Disclosure Bill over the past two weeks. Submitters, such as Graeme Edgeler, raised concerns about the current form of the Bill despite supporting its wider aims. Submitters also raised specific concerns with the Bill. For example:
Clerk of the House of Representatives: raised concerns about the effect of the Bill on MPs. The Bill could also encroach on the separation of powers between the Judiciary and the Executive as it could invite judicial examination of parliamentary proceedings.
The Office of the Auditor-General: raised concerns about the Bill's substantial extension of functions of the Office. It noted that an expert role would be required.
The New Zealand Public Service Association: noted some gaps in the Bill relating to senior public servants with responsibilities in funding and procurement. The Association supports a "cooling-off" period for past MPs and senior public servants subsequently employed by major corporations.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months Paid Lease) Amendment Bill
The Committee also heard submissions on Sue Maroney's Member's Bill - Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months Paid Leave) Amendment Bill. The Bill would extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks. The Minister of Finance has announced a financial veto of the Bill. Submitters spoke to a range of issues, including the cost of the Bill.
Business New Zealand supports paid parental leave but not the Bill's extension to six months due to the indirect costs on businesses.
Graham Howell opposed Business New Zealand's position, instead emphasising the social and economic benefits of the Bill.