A number of new bills have been introduced to Parliament this week.
Education and Training Bill
The Education and Training Bill was introduced on 2 December 2019.
This bill establishes and regulates an education system to provide New Zealanders with lifelong learning opportunities so that they engage fully in society. Minister for Education Chris Hipkins is in charge of the bill.
Some of the provisions of the Education Act 1964 and the Education Act 1989 are dated and do not reflect current policy or practice and some of these systems are regulated by provisions in the Industry Training and Apprenticeships Act 1992 and the State Sector Act 1988. The bill will consolidate this legislation into a single statute, replicating provisions from the introduction version of the Education (Vocational Education and Training Reform) Bill and the Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill.
Other provisions have been updated to modernize language, correct errors, address inconsistencies and remove redundant provisions. For example, “special schools” are renamed as ‘specialist schools”, “correspondence school” with “distance school” and defining the latter to reflect the use of digital technologies to deliver education.
New licensing criteria is established for early education services to allow for licensing decisions to reflect demographic and community needs.
The offence for a service provider operating without a licence without reasonable excuse is amended to carry a maximum penalty of $50,000 (clause 27).
The bill provides for police vetting of all adults who live or may be present in a home in which children are receiving early education (clause 24).
Primary and secondary schooling
The bill clarifies that the right to free State education includes the right to attend school for all the hours that the school is open (clause 32). Students with special education needs have the same rights to education at State schools as others (clause 33).
To protect the quality and reputation of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) qualification, the Bill prohibits, with two exceptions, the offshore awarding of NCEA (clause 426) and makes it an offence (carrying a maximum penalty of $10,000 to breach the prohibition – clause 509A)
The lack of certainty around the use of physical restraint by school staff is clarified in clauses 95 to 97.
Clause 56 provides that religious instruction will now be an opt in, not an opt out process.
Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti o Waitangi
A number of amendments in the bill give effect to The Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti oWaitangi. At the school level, changes to board objectives require the board to work to ensure their plans, policies and curriculum reflect local tikanga Māori, mātauranga Māori and te ao Māori, that all reasonable steps are taken to make instruction available in te reo Māori and tikanga Māori, and that equitable outcomes are achieved for Māori students (clause 9).
The bill enables the Minister to establish local complaint and dispute resolution panels to help students and their whānau who have not been able to resolve serious rights-based disputes with the school (Subpart 9).
Sections 86, 129, 133 to 141, 151, 152, and clause 3 of Schedule 6 come into force on 1 January 2023.
Section 122(1)(d) comes into force on 1 January 2021. The rest of this Act comes into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.
Racing Industry Bill
The Racing Industry Bill was introduced on 5 December 2019 by the Minister for Racing, Winston Peters. The bill finalises the post-transition governance structure of the racing industry, creates a legislative framework to enable property to better benefit the racing industry, and enables new ways of seeking approval for betting products.
The bill creates a new Racing Industry Act that amalgamates the existing provisions from the Racing Act 2003, with policy decisions agreed by Cabinet in November 2019.
Part 1 contains the preliminary provisions of the bill.
Part 2 (clauses 8 to 44) deals with the conduct of racing and contains provisions relating to the 3 racing codes and racing clubs, the transfer of assets and surplus racing venues of racing clubs to the racing codes, and the racing integrity system.
Clause 33 establishes the Racing Integrity Board (RIB) as an entity independent from the racing codes that is responsible for all integrity functions and oversees a compliance arm and an adjudicative arm that operate independently of each other.
Clause 35 contains the functions and powers of the Board. Clause 37 requires TAB NZ, each racing year, to provide funding to the Board at an amount agreed between the TAB NZ and the Board to enable the Board to perform its functions efficiently and effectively.
Clauses 42 to 44 provides that the chief executive of the Department of Internal Affairs may appoint inspectors for the purposes of inspecting racecourse and TAB NZ premises.
Part 3 (clauses 45 to 65) and Schedules 3 and 4 contain provisions relating to TAB NZ. Clause 45 establishes TAB NZ and clause 46 provides for membership of the governing body of TAB NZ. The members must have experience and knowledge in racing and sport administration at a national level, the betting industry, preventing and minimising harm associated with gambling and business, marketing or economics.
Clauses 49 to 50 set out accountability requirements of that apply to TAB NZ including preparing financial statements for each racing year, providing the Minister with business plans, and statements of intent for each racing year.
Part 4 (clauses 66 to 95) relates to betting and TAB venues.
Subpart 1 (clauses 66 to 85) authorises TAB NZ to conduct racing and sports betting under the bill and contains related provisions.
Subpart 2 (clauses 86 to 95) deals with gambling conducted at Tab venues and requires TAB NZ to pay a problem gambling levy.
Part 5 (clauses 96 to 119) deals with offshore betting charges and other matters. Offshore betting operators are required to pay charges in New Zealand in respect of bets that they take on racing and sporting events held in New Zealand and from bets that they take from people located in New Zealand (Subpart 1).
Clauses 17 and 18, clause 5 of Schedule 1 come into force on the day after the date on which the bill receives the Royal assent.
Clauses 33 to 41 (Racing Integrity Board) come into forces on a date appointed by Order in Council and, to the extent that those provisions have not earlier been brought into force, they come into force on 1 January 2022.
The rest of the bill comes into force on 1 July 2020.
Urban Development Bill
The Urban Development Bill was introduced on 5 December 2019. Minister for Urban Development Phil Twyford is in charge of the bill.
This is an omnibus bill introduced under Standing Order 263(a) because the because the amendments deal with an inter-related topic that can be regarded as implementing a single broad policy. That policy is to provide for functions, powers, rights, and duties of the Crown entity Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities (Kāinga Ora) to enable it to undertake its urban development functions.
The introductory material says change is needed to the ways urban areas are developed so that cities can make room for growth. It says the current New Zealand urban development system does not effectively facilitate the delivery of complex or strategically important projects the market would not otherwise deliver, particularly those revitalising urban areas.
Specific features of bill
The bill establishes a specified development project process (SDP process) for complex urban development projects, the kind that struggle in the current environment due to the need to co-ordinate the activities of multiple central and local government agencies and private sector participants. The development plan is the core document that will provide an outline of how development will be undertaken within a project area. There will be public consultation on the contents of the draft development plan (clause 38).
Where approved by the development plan, Kāinga Ora and its partners will have access to a tool-kit of powers that currently exist through numerous separate pieces of legislation. Each power is designed to address a specific barrier to development, such as planning constraints, aging infrastructure and limited funding. Powers will include the ability to override, add to, or suspend provisions in the RMA, act as a consent authority and levy targeted rates and development contributions.
Part 1 contains the preliminary provisions, purpose and principles.
Part 2 relates to specified development projects. Clauses 28 to 30 set out the general provisions including key features, and criteria for establishing a specified development project.
Clauses 33 to 42 set out the requirements for an assessment of a potential specified development project and for Kāinga Ora to provide a project assessment report. Requirements include identifying certain constraints and opportunities for the project, seeking engagement with Māori and key stakeholders and public notification of the proposed key features.
Clauses 50 to 53 relate to the making of an Order in Council establishing a project as SDP.
Part 3 contains the effect of specified development projects, transitional period, resource consenting and designations for specified development project, reserves and conservation interests and infrastructure.
Part 4 contains provisions for funding of specified development projects.
Part 5 provides for general land acquisition powers.
Part 6 contains powers of entry, governance, and delegation.
The Act will come into force on the day after the day on which it receives the Royal assent. Section 292 is treated as coming into force on 1 October 2019.