New Zealand Law Society - Select committees report back on bills

Select committees report back on bills

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Parliamentary select committees have released reports on three bills, recommending the passage of one, that one not proceed, and reporting deadlock on the third.

The Government Administration Committee's report on the Official Information (Parliamentary Under-Secretaries) Amendment Bill recommends that the bill be passed with an amendment.

The bill would amend the definition of Minister of the Crown in the Official Information Act 1982 to include Parliamentary Under-Secretaries. The committee recommends simplifying the proposed definition of "Minister of the Crown" by removing reference to "Associate Minister".

The Commerce Committee has reported on the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, stating that the votes were tied and it was unable to reach agreement on whether to recommend that the bill be passed.

The bill seeks to give territorial authorities the power to create a bylaw to allow shops to open in all or part of their districts on Easter Sunday. Employees would also have the right to refuse to work on Easter Sunday without giving a reason.

The Social Services Committee has reported on the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration (Preventing Name Change by Child Sex Offenders) Amendment Bill, recommending that the bill not be passed.

The bill is a member's bill which would change the definition of "eligible person" in the principal Act. This would have the effect of making people who have been convicted of certain offences, and whose convictions have not been quashed, ineligible to apply to register a name change.

The committee says it agrees that child sex offenders should not be able to change their name for improper reasons, and it believes an adequate solution is to require registered offenders to get the prior approval of the Commissioner of Police before applying for a name change, as proposed in the committee's amended version of the Child Protection (Child Sex Offender Register) Bill.

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