Financial Reporting Bill

Type of Bill: Government

Member in charge: Hon Craig Foss

This Bill would replace the Financial Reporting Act 1993.  The Bill would also make consequential amendments to a number of other Acts, including replacing Part 11 of the Companies Act 1993, and amending the Limited Partnerships Act 2008, the Partnerships Act 1908, the Building Societies Act 1965, the Friendly Societies and Credit Unions Act 1982, the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1908.

The Bill is intended to:

  • Reduce compliance costs by removing or reducing reporting obligations where they are unnecessary or excessive. In particular, by removing a requirement for non-large non-issuer companies to prepare general-purpose financial reports. It will instead, be left to shareholders to decide whether financial reports will need to be prepared.
  • Strengthen the law where the current reporting requirements do not adequately meet users’ needs. In particular, it will empower the External Reporting Board to issue financial reporting standards for a range of entities, including registered charities.
  • Rationalise the interface between the Financial Reporting Act and other Acts.
  • Modernise and standardise general-purpose financial reporting concepts and language (for example, by standardising accounting record keeping requirements) across much of the statute book.

The Bill does not include specific provisions that relate to financial reporting by issuers, as the intention is that the substantive reporting requirements for issuers will eventually be included in the Financial Markets Conduct Bill by a Supplementary Order Paper.

Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Member's Bill

Member in charge: Louisa Wall

This Bill would amend the Marriage Act 1955 so that same-sex couples are permitted to obtain marriage licences. The 1955 Act does not define marriage and makes no explicit reference to a marriage being between a man and a woman.  In 1997 the Court of Appeal held in Quilter v Attorney General that the wording and scheme of the Act could not accommodate same-sex marriage. The Court placed particular emphasis on Schedule 2 of the Act, which provides that a man may not marry certain female relatives and a woman may not marry certain male relatives, to find that the Act only applies to opposite-sex couples.  The Bill would also amend that Schedule to use gender neutral language. The Bill is likely to achieve majority support at its first reading, as Prime Minister John Key has said he would support it at its initial stage, and is likely to support it thereafter.

Minimum Wage Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Member's Bill Member in charge: Dr David Clark

This Bill would amend the Minimum Wage Act 1983 to require an Order in Council to be made to increase the minimum wage rate from $13.50 to $15 per hour from 1 April 2013.  The chances of the Bill passing its first reading are slim as the Opposition parties require one further vote and Peter Dunne has indicated that he will not be supporting it.

Ombudsmen (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Member's Bill

Member in charge: Hon Shane Jones

This Bill would insert a new section into the Ombudsmen Act 1975 that would allow the Ombudsmen to set guidelines for recovering the costs of their investigations from the agencies being investigated.  The new section would not apply to investigations initiated by an Ombudsman on their own motion, or referred to the Ombudsmen by the House of Representatives or by the Prime Minister.  The legislation is aimed at ensuring that the resourcing constraints, as highlighted in the 2011 financial review of the Office of the Ombudsmen, do not prevent access to due process.  It also aims to promote greater compliance of government departments and agencies with legislative requirements.

Resource Management (Restricted Duration of Certain Discharge and Coastal Permits) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Member's Bill  

Member in charge: Catherine Delahunty  

This Bill would amend the Resource Management Act 1991 so that when granting permits for discharges to water where “exceptional circumstances” justify it, such permits can only be issued for up to 5 years.  Currently such permits may be issued for up to 35 years.

State-Owned Enterprises and Crown Entities (Protecting New Zealand's Strategic Assets) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Member's Bill  

Member in charge: Hon Clayton Cosgrove

This Bill would entrench Schedules 1 and 2 of the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986 and Schedule 2 of the Crown Entities Act 2004, meaning that any proposal to partly or wholly privatise a State enterprise or Crown entity company would require support from 75% of all members of the House of Representatives, or alternatively, from a majority of voters in a referendum.