New Zealand Law Society - Two non-COVID-19 bills introduced to Parliament

Two non-COVID-19 bills introduced to Parliament

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Two bills were introduced to Parliament before it adjourned until 28 April 2020.

Moriori Claims Settlement Bill

This was introduced by Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little. It gives effect to certain matters contained in the deed of settlement signed on 14 February 2020 by the Crown and Moriori. The bill would come into effect on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.

The deed provides for the final settlement of all the historical Treaty of Waitangi claims of Moriori resulting from acts or omissions by the Crown before 21 September 1992. The bill contains provisions related to settlement redress that require legislation for their implementation. Other aspects of the settlement are provided for only in the deed because they do not require legislative authority.

The bill is in three parts, as follows:

  • Part 1 sets out the purpose of the bill, provides that the provisions of the bill take effect on the settlement date unless a provision states otherwise, specifies that the bill binds the Crown, and defines terms used in thebBill, including Moriori and historical claims.

  • Part 2 sets out in six subparts the cultural redress for Moriori and includes provisions for protocols, a statutory acknowledgement, deeds of recognition, overlay classifications, official geographic names, customary fishing regulations, and vesting of cultural redress properties.

  • Part 3 sets out in two subparts commercial redress for Moriori and includes the provisions for the transfer of commercial redress properties and a right of first refusal (shared with Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri) in relation to Crown and Canterbury District Health Board land that is declared surplus on the Chatham Islands.

Veterans' Support Amendment Bill (No 2)

This was introduced by Defence Minister Ron Mark. It proposes to implement recommendations made by the Paterson Report.

The bill focuses on improving access to services for veterans, improving support for veterans' families, supporting veterans and their families at the end of the veteran's life, and removing unfair provisions of the Veteran's Support Act 2014.

The Veterans’ Support Act 2014 was passed with multi-party support. It replaced the War Pensions Act 1954. Section 282 required the operation of the Act to be reviewed as soon as practicable after the second anniversay of the commencement of Part 3. It required consideration of any amendments that are necessary or desirable and required the Minister to present a copy of the report to the House of Representatives.

Professor Ron Paterson was commissioned to undertake the review. He consulted widely with the veterans community and interested parties and in March 2018 delivered his report entitled Warrant of Fitness—An independent review of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 (the Paterson Report). The Paterson Report contained 64 recommendations.

Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand’s (VANZ) Short-Term Improvements Programme (2019/20), which addresses priorities for veterans and will provide immediate improvements in fairness and equity, is implemented by this bill, which focuses on:

  • improving access to services for veterans; and

  • improving support for veterans’ families; and

  • supporting veterans and their families at the end of the veteran’s life; and

  • removing unfair provisions of the Act.

VANZ’s Medium-Term Improvements Programme, beginning in late 2020, will address more complex issues and provide sufficient time for a more thorough revision of the Act as required.

The bill has a commencement date of 1 October 2020.

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