The Prime Minister's Statement presented to Parliament on 7 February 2017 outlines plans for the Government legislation programme over the year until Parliament is dissolved on 22 August for the General Election on 23 September.
Mr English refers to the following legislative plans:
This year, the Government will progress legislation to strengthen tax rules as part of its work with the OECD to clamp down on base erosion and profit shifting, which can allow multi-nationals to pay little or no tax. The legislation will implement the recommendations from the Shewan Inquiry, and allow further sharing of tax data with foreign authorities.
Legislation will be introduced this year to put into effect the Government’s response to the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles.
Legislation will be progressed to simplify border clearance and make customs and excise requirements clearer. The Government will continue work on options to streamline the collection of duty on low-value physical imports, and will this year implement the trusted traveller programme, making it easier for low risk passengers and goods to go through border clearance.
The Government will also progress the Marine Protected Areas legislation this year, to ensure New Zealand’s vast oceans are sustainably managed and protected to support local communities, the economy and the environment.
Legislation will be progressed this year to amend the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act to ensure the continued efficiency and contestability of dairy markets in New Zealand, and legislation will come into force that enables wine and spirit makers to register the geographical origins of their products.
This year, legislation will be introduced to simplify broadcasting regulatory regimes to make them technology-neutral and more responsive to the fast-changing media markets.
Legislation to reform the Resource Management Act will be progressed, to reduce costs and delays for homeowners and businesses, and the Government will also proceed with reform of the Building Act.
Legislation to amend the Local Government Act will be progressed this year, allowing local authorities to create more shared services across regions, particularly for core infrastructure such as transport, water and sewerage.
Regulatory changes will be made to increase transparency around fees in KiwiSaver annual statements, and legislation will also be progressed to strengthen the financial advisors regime.
On 1 April, the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki will be established, and will be responsible for overseeing the care and protection of New Zealand’s vulnerable children and young people.
The Government will this year extend state care and protection up to the age of 18, and legislation will be progressed to allow young people to remain in state care up to the age of 21, and for the most vulnerable up to the age of 25.
Legislation will be progressed this year to allow greater flexibility for schools, including allowing them to welcome their new entrants in groups on certain days of the term.
This year the Government intends to update the legislative framework and improve the transparency of the intelligence and security agencies in line with the recommendations in the independent review of intelligence and security.
Legislation will be progressed this year to bring volunteer, career, urban and rural firefighters together in one, integrated, new national service, with the new Fire and Emergency Service expected to be established on 1 July 2017.