Commerce Committee The Committee continued to hear submissions on the Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill. A range of submitters made different points in support or in opposition of the Bill (or certain aspects of it), as follows:
- The Problem Gambling Foundation considers the Gambling Act 2003 has largely been a success but welcomed the opportunity to address some issues, such as lowering the amount required to play pokie machines, enforcing breaks, and mandatory training for hosts.
- Local Government New Zealand stated the Bill will require more local government funding. On the same point, Wellington City Council stated that it would not require more resources to distribute the proceeds of gambling.
- Techlink Entertainment submitted in support of player-tracking and pre-commit cards that the Bill would introduce.
- New Zealand Rugby Union supports the intent of the Bill but is concerned about potential impacts on community sport.
- Hospitality New Zealand suggested there should be a more flexible approach to relocating licensed venues than the Bill currently provides.
Finance and Expenditure Committee The Committee heard submissions on the Climate Change Response Bill. A number of submitters, such as Generation Zero, suggested that the Bill amounted to a reduction in New Zealand's effort to address climate change. Others made suggestions as to what the Bill should contain, for example:
- New Zealand Carbon Farming Group recommended a 50% cap on the importation of international limits. The Environmental Defence Society also supports a cap on international units if the requirement to back New Zealand units with Kyoto units is removed.
- The Meat Industry Association supports the delayed entry of livestock emissions. Federated Farmers and Beef and Lamb New Zealand also submitted in support of the move to keep agriculture out of the ETS.
- The Trust for the Destruction of Synthetic Refrigerants and McAlpine Hussmann Ltd both submitted on the Bill's changes to greenhouse gases in refrigerants.
- The New Zealand Wind Energy Association submitted that a carbon charge would increase the up-take rate of renewable technology.
- A number of submitters raised concerns about the Bill's proposed changes to the forestry sector and stated that the Bill should encourage planting and forestry to maintain the current carbon surplus. For example, the New Zealand Anglican Church Pension Board suggested that pre-1990 forests be brought into the second commitment period of the ETS on the same basis as post-1990 forests, to improve planting rates.
Justice and Electoral Committee The Committee heard submissions on the Register of Pecuniary Interests of Judges Bill over the past two weeks. The New Zealand Bar Association submitted in opposition to the Bill, stating that judges and MPs are in different positions and therefore should not be subject to the same level of transparency. The Association also stated that the Bill would limit judges' rights to privacy without addressing any current mischief. The New Zealand Law Society also opposed the Bill, stating that the current law is satisfactory. The Society favours a self-regulation approach.
In contrast, another submitter stated the Bill only scraped the surface of the problems within the judiciary.
Local Government and Environment Committee The Committee heard submissions in Christchurch on the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill.
The Hurunui District Council opposes the Bill's changes to mayoral powers and removal of the four well-beings from the purpose of local government, as they are vital for councils' operations and flexibility. The Council also noted that the changes could open councils to litigation based on ultra vires actions. Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu submitted that the Bill should be strengthened by the inclusion of a Treaty of Waitangi clause. It stated that the four well-beings are inherent in Māori beliefs, and that there should be sustainable development and iwi consultation on all issues.
Federated Farmers supports the Bill and emphasised the need for efficiency and effectiveness of local government. The Bill would achieve this by focusing local government on core activities with closer scrutiny.
The Committee also heard submissions on the Waitaki District Council Resources and other Land Empowering Bill. Te Runanganui O Waitaha me Maata Waka opposes the development of the Wanbrow site for reasons of tikanga Māori, Māori conservation practices, and wildlife concerns. Other submitters stated that the land was intended to be a public reserve and therefore should not face development.
Government Administration Committee The Committee heard a briefing on the Lobbying Disclosure Bill from its promoter, Green Party MP Holly Walker. The Bill seeks to bring transparency to the practice of lobbying in New Zealand by establishing a register of lobbyists, requiring lobbyists to file quarterly returns of lobbying activities and creating a code of conduct for lobbyists. Holly Walker discussed four principles that will guide the Bill through its select committee stage, as follows:
- Lobbying is a legitimate activity.
- It is important that New Zealand has an open and accessible Government and people should be able to engage with Government.
- There is a public right to know who has access to and influence on MPs.
- Lobbying needs to be practical, workable and fair.
Social Services Committee The Committee heard one submission from Sir Peter Gluckman on the Families Commission Amendment Bill. Gluckman supports the research and evaluation unit that the Bill would establish. The unit would undertake the development of knowledge for policy information and policy evaluation, and Gluckman supports its establishment within the Families Commission rather than the Children's Commission or another independent Crown entity.
Transport and Industrial Relations The Committee heard submissions on the Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi Day and Anzac Day) Amendment Bill. The Bill would give workers a Monday off work if those holidays fall on a weekend day, when the worker otherwise would not work. Submitters had various views, for example:
- The Employers and Manufacturers Association said that a majority of employers opposed the Bill due to the increased costs it would bring. The New Zealand Retailers Association and the Meat Industry Association also oppose the Bill due to its cost.
- The Tourism Industry Association New Zealand's members mostly support the Bill because of the positive impacts of domestic tourism.
Other submitters made suggestions about what the Bill should contain. Hospitality New Zealand said the industry was divided between supporters and opponents for the Bill. HNZ suggested changing the Bill such that Waitangi Day and Anzac Day always fall on a Monday. The Manufacturing & Construction Workers Union submitted that there should be 11 public holidays each year for workers.