Lawyers and Conveyancers Amendment Act

This Act is divided into two parts. The first ends the renaming of Queen's Counsel as Senior Counsel. It restricts eligibility for appointment to Queen's Counsel to a specified category of lawyers practising independently as barristers sole and requires Queen's Counsel to practise in ways to maintain independence.

The second part of the Act makes a number of other amendments, including:

  • clarifications as to lawyers and conveyancing practitioners holding non-voting shares in incorporated law firms and conveyancing firms respectively;
  • require a power of attorney to be given for any periods during which the lawyer or conveyancer in sole practice is an undischarged bankrupt
  • require applications for a review by the Legal Complaints Review Officer to be lodged within a 30-working-day period commencing on the day after a copy or notice of the decision or action is brought to the applicant's attention
  • make clear the Disciplinary Tribunal's and the High Court's powers in respect of a person enrolled as a barrister and solicitor but not practising as a barrister, a barrister and solicitor, or a solicitor;
  • reduce the quorum for the making of interim name suppression orders by the Disciplinary Tribunal;
  • clarify the Disciplinary Tribunal's jurisdiction over former lawyers and conveyancing practitioners; and
  • repeal transitional provisions relating to the Disciplinary Tribunal.

Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Act 2012

This Act amends the Local Government Act 2002 and is aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of local government. In particular, it:

  • significantly redefines the LGA's purpose statement (limiting the scope of local authorities' activities to the provision of "good quality" local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions in a way that is most cost-effective for households and businesses, rather than the broad achievement of the four "well beings" (social, economic, cultural and environmental));
  • provides the Minister for Local Government with new powers to assist and intervene in the affairs of local councils in cases of emergency or where the local authority is unable or consistently fails to meet its statutory purpose (this ranges from powers to assist to powers to intervene);
  • requires local authorities to be more fiscally responsible, including strengthening council governance provisions (particularly relating to employment and remuneration) and mayoral powers, and requiring regulations that set benchmarking standards in relation to income, expenditure and debt levels; and
  • streamlines the reorganisation procedures for local government, giving the Local Government Commission greater flexibility to develop reorganisation proposals including community-led proposals.
  • See the article above for further information about the likely practical implications of the legislation.

Ngāti Manuhiri Claims Settlement Act

This Act gives effect to certain provisions of the deed of settlement dated 21 May 2011 that settles the historical claims of Ngāti Manuhiri for breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi. The Act records the acknowledgements and the apology offered by the Crown to Ngāti Manuhiri. The Act is separated into cultural and commercial redress:

  • Cultural: The Act provides cultural redress through the Crown's acknowledgement of the cultural significance of certain statutory areas for Ngāti Manuhiri and the issuing of Protocols by responsible Ministers.
  • Commercial: The Act provides redress in relation to deferred selection properties, licensed and unlicensed Crown forest land and a right of first refusal over properties transferred to of Ngāti Manuhiri pursuant to the deed of settlement

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Claims Settlement Act

The purpose of this Act is to give effect to certain provisions of the deed of settlement dated 5 November 2011 that settles the historical claims of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei for breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi. The Act records the acknowledgements and the apology given by the Crown in the deed of settlement. The Act is separated into cultural and commercial redress:

  • Cultural: The Act includes the Crown's acknowledgement of the cultural significance of certain statutory areas for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and the issuing of Protocols by responsible Ministers.
  • Commercial: The Act authorises the Crown to transfer commercial properties to give effect to the deed of settlement, including the Narrow Neck Property.

The Act also builds on the settlements reached in earlier Acts (Orakei Block (Vesting and Use) Act 1978 and the Orakei Act 1991) by carrying over matters of continuing relevance and specifying the powers and functions of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei in relation to the Ōrākei Block.