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Parliament passes new legislation

11 April 2019

Parliament has given a third reading to a number of bills, several of which have now received the Royal assent.

The Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Bill was read a third time on 10 April and is due to receive the Royal assent on 11 April. The bill has a commencement date of the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.

During the rapid progress of the bill, Police Minister Stuart Nash released a Supplementary Order Paper which proposed a legal framework for the gun buyback which will occur.

The SOP reflects changes which arose from the select committee process. It set out the framework for dealing with the legal ownership of weapons, magazines and parts and the broad approach for determining payments.

“The regulations will create a framework to set compensation based on make, model and condition of the items. They will provide for rights of review and appeal,” Mr Nash says.

“Independent advisors will develop the price list for approval by Cabinet. A separate expert panel of advisors will be established to determine fair compensation for high value firearms.

“Police have also consulted extensively with Australian officials to familiarise themselves with the pitfalls and legal risks encountered there. Australia has had almost thirty amnesties and buyback schemes since the 1990s.

“The new measures make it clear that surrendered firearms will be the property of the Crown. Owners will be compensated for them, if the guns were lawfully obtained and the person had the appropriate firearms licence. Price lists will be set out in regulations which are now being drafted.

“This framework provides certainty for all participants in this process and sets out a clear appeal process if the compensation is disputed.

“A number of transitional measures are also being put in place to handle one-off questions.  This includes weapons which were in transit from overseas when the ban took effect. Customs officials may deliver them to Police as part of the amnesty and buyback arrangement."

Mr Nash says the regulations are expected to be considered by Cabinet in May. If necessary, the amnesty can be extended by a month or so to run alongside the buyback.

The Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Bill was read a third time on 4 April and received the Royal assent on 8 April.

The bill amends the Commerce Act 1986 to introduce a criminal offence for cartel conduct.

The bill aims to promote the detection and deterrence of cartels and improve the Commerce Commission’s ability to enforce the prohibition of cartel conduct. This would facilitate New Zealand’s contribution to enforcement efforts against global cartels.

The bill,

  • introduces a new criminal offence for cartel conduct;
  • introduces new defences for the criminal offence;
  • sets the maximum sanctions for the cartel offence;
  • provides for matters relating to the criminal cartel proceedings;
  • provides for a two-year transitional period before commencement of the criminal offence.

The bill is in two parts. Part 1 provides for the criminalisation of cartels by inserting a new section 82B to 82E after s82A. Part 2 provides for consequential and related amendments.

The Act comes into force on the second anniversary of the date of Royal assent.

The Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill had its third reading on 4 April and received the Royal assent on 8 April. This is an omnibus bill that makes amendments to ensure that the conduct and client-care obligations of financial service providers and the regulation of financial markets remain fit for purpose, and also addresses misuse of the financial service providers register by off-shore entities.

Anyone giving financial advice to retail clients will need to be engaged by a licenced Financial Advice Provider (or be licensed as a Financial Advice Provider). Advice can now be given directly (e.g online), through financial advisers and/or through nominated representatives.

The new conduct and competence requirements provide that all those giving financial advice will be held to conduct and competence requirements including giving priority to client’s interests and disclosure requirements.

The bill amends the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 and the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008 and repeals the Financial Advisers Act 2008.

A number of sections come into force the date after the Act receives the Royal assent and the rest of the Act comes into force on a date appointed by the Governor-General by Order in Council, but no later than 1 May 2021.

The Accident Compensation Amendment Bill received its third reading on 9 April. This amends the Accident Compensation Act 2001 to address a number of issues in ACC coverage and to correct regulatory duplication, errors and inconsistencies.

The bill:

  • removes the requirements for ACC clients, and their dependents, to choose between weekly compensation and New Zealand Superannuation or the Veteran's Pension. This provision will come into force on 1 July 2019;
  • addresses the gap in coverage for spouses, partners, and dependents of New Zealand employees posted overseas;
  • allows surviving spouses to receive up to 5 years of weekly compensation, regardless of age;
  • disestablishes the Accident Compensation Appeal Authority.

Most of the bill comes into force on the day after the Royal assent.

The Social Security (Winter Energy Payment) Amendment Bill was read a third time on 10 April. Part 1 of the bill, which relates to the winter energy payment for winter periods in and after the 2019 calendar year, comes into effect on 1 May 2019. The rest of the bill commences on the day after the date of the Royal assent.

The new law amends the Social Security Act 2018 to ensure that two groups of people are eligible for the winter energy payment:

  • People who are receiving government funding for long-term residential care or residential care services who are not eligible for the Residential Care Subsidy (RCS) or Residential Support Subsidy (RSS).

  • People who are absent from New Zealand for longer than four weeks at any one time during the winter period would receive the WEP for the first 28 days of that absence.

Last updated on the 11th April 2019