The Governance and Administration Committee has examined the Statutes Amendment Bill and recommends that it be passed with the amendments.
A statutes amendment bill is an omnibus bill that seeks to amend various statutes and is designed to provide a legislative vehicle for technical, short, and non-controversial amendments to existing legislation.
Associate Minister for Justice and Courts Aupito William Sio is the MP in charge of the bill which was introduced on 9 August 2018.
This Statutes Amendment Bill, as introduced, seeks to amend 42 Acts administered by various government agencies.
Sections 46 and 47 and Part 35 will come into force on 1 July 2020. The rest of the Act will come into force the day after the date of the Royal assent.
The committee’s main recommendations
The bill would amend the Burial and Cremation Act to ensure that the auditing requirements for cemetery trusts are consistent with the requirements of other trust boards in New Zealand. The committee recommends amending clause 14 so the provision is more in line with the Charities Act 2005.
The committee recommends removing Part 9 (which would give coroners the same power as a judicial officer to punish for contempt of court during an inquest) of the bill as this matter is currently addressed in the Administration of Justice (Reform of Contempt of Court) Bill.
The committee recommends adding clause 33A to Part 11 of the bill, to amend section 375. This section provides that convictions are not to be recorded for infringement offences. The amendments would clarify that the provision applies to all infringement offences, regardless of whether there is express reference to a conviction.
The committee recommends inserting Part 13A to amend section 49, which sets a deadline to apply for a rehearing in the Disputes Tribunal.
The current deadline of 20 working days to apply for a rehearing should be changed to a 20 working day deadline would reduce confusion for applicants.
Clause 50 under Part 14 of the bill would amend provisions in the District Court Act regarding contempt of court.
As this matter is now being addressed in the Administration of Justice (Reform of Contempt of Court) Bill it does not need to be included in this bill and the committee recommends removing clause 50 from the bill.
The committee recommends inserting Part 17A. New clause 59B would repeal section 289(4) of the Food Act, removing the current restriction on the chief executive’s ability to delegate certain powers regarding the publishing of privileged statements. This would ensure the Act achieves its full intended purpose.
Proposed amendments would make it clear that, if a resident’s deportation liability was suspended and then subsequently reactivated, they could lodge an appeal during either the period of suspension or reactivation.
Parliamentary Service Act 2000
The committee recommends inserting Part 26A to replace all references to “General Manager” in the Act with “Chief Executive”. This would more accurately reflect the nature of the position.
As introduced, clause 98 (regarding requirements for end-of-year performance information for multi-category appropriations) would only apply to Crown entities and departments. The committee recommends amending clause 98 to include organisations and companies listed in Schedule 4 or Schedule 4A.
The committee also recommends amending clause 101, which relates to organisations specified in Schedule 4. Clause 101 would insert an additional column in Schedule 4 regarding the requirement for an annual statement of performance expectations. The amendment would apply that requirement to three of the organisations listed in Schedule 4.
The committee recommends inserting Part 38A to clarify that where payment of an infringement fee is to be made at a specified address, that this would not require payment to be made in person at a physical address.
The committee also recommends inserting new section 21B to clarify that infringement and reminder notices can specify more than one method of payment.