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Parliament giving third readings to four bills

01 November 2018

Parliament has used an extended sitting to give third reading to four bills. The third reading of the Residential Tenancies (Prohibiting Letting Fees) Amendment Bill was completed but the third readings of the other three bills are still not completed.

The Residential Tenancies (Prohibiting Letting Fees) Amendment Bill will come into force on 12 December 2018.

The bill was introduced on 12 March 2018 and amends the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 to prohibit the charging of a letting fee, or any other fee charged to a tenant, in respect of charges for services rendered by a letting agent or any person in relation to a tenancy.

A new section 17A is inserted in the principal Act to prohibit a letting fee. Section 77 of the principal Act is also amended to make it clear that the Tenancy Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to consent to charging of a letting fee.

The Family Violence Bill will come into force on 1 July 2019 once the third reading has been completed. Its stated purpose is to stop and prevent family violence by recognising that family violence, in all its forms, is unacceptable; and stopping and preventing perpetrators from inflicting family violence; and keeping victims, including children, safe from family violence.

The bill imposes a duty on any court or person who exercises a power conferred by or under the Act to be guided in the exercise of the power by that purpose. Section 4 states 15 principles which are to guide the achievement of the purpose of the Act. The legislation also establishes new requirements and processes for the issue of protection orders.

The new law establishes rules and requirements for information sharing by family violence agencies and social services practitioners. Qualified constables will be empowered to issue police safety orders in specified circumstances.

Part 5 establishes provisions for property orders, which confer rights to occupy or tenant specified dwellinghouses, or to apply for an ancillary furniture order.

Part 6 covers procedural matters, including appointment of a lawyer by the court to assist the court or to represent a child or person lacking capacity.

Part 7 contains provisions about programmes and prescribed services, such as notification of safety concerns, development of safety programmes.

The legislation also provides for overseas protection orders and prevention of publication of identifying information of a protected person in public registers.

Originally introduced as the Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill on 15 March 2017, the bill was divided on 30 October 2018. As introduced, its intention was to implement decisions announced by the Government in September 2016 aimed at breaking the pattern of family violence and reducing the harm and cost inflicted on those who suffer violence.

The Family Violence (Amendments) Bill will come into force on 1 July 2019 once the third reading has been completed, with some amendments to the Bail Act 2000, Crimes Act 1961 and Evidence Act 2006 coming into force on 3 December 2018.

Originally introduced as the Family and Whānau Violence Legislation Bill on 15 March 2017, the bill was divided on 30 October 2018. The new law makes amendments to the Bail Act 2000, Care of Children Act 2004, Crimes Act 1961, Criminal Procedure Act 2011, Evidence Act 2006 and Sentencing Act 2002 resulting from enactment of the Family Violence Bill.

The Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill will come into force on the day after receiving the Royal assent, except for parts of section 11 (on 1 January 2020) and part of section 35 (on 1 January 2022). The third reading of this bill has yet to be completed.

The bill amends the Telecommunications Act 2001. It establishes a regulatory framework for fibre fixed line access services, removes unnecessary copper fixed line access service regulations, streamlines regulatory processes, and provides more regulatory oversight of retail service quality. It was introduced on 8 August 2017.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019