Great government roundup


Key developments in public law, regulation, government and politics for the week ending 2 September 2016.

Public law

  • The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee is considering the New Zealand Intelligence and Security Bill. The Bill implements the Government response to the Report of the First Independent Review of Intelligence and Security in New Zealand and replaces the four Acts that currently apply to the GCSB, the NZSIS, and their oversight bodies. Submissions on the Bill are due Friday 7 October.

  • The Law Commission has initiated a project to consider reform of the judicial remedy of declaratory judgments. The terms of reference of the review can be found here.

  • The Court of Appeal has found that the Director-General of Conversation acted unlawfully by revoking the special conservation status of a small portion of the Ruahine Forest Park in order to facilitate a land swap making way for the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme. The decision to revoke has been set aside.

  • The High Court has ordered that the decision of the Department of Corrections to prevent a professional journalist from attending a meeting between Scott Watson and Gerald hope be quashed. The Department is required to reconsider the decision in light of the Court’s judgment. A copy of the judgment is available here.

Regulation

  • The Commerce Commission is consulting on the process for its review of Fonterra’s Milk Price Manual for the 2016/17 season. Submissions are due Thursday 8 September.

  • The Commerce Commission is consulting on the discussion paper released as part of its market study on telecommunications backhaul services. Submission are due Friday 23 September.

  • The Electricity Authority is consulting on ‘reorienting’ its advisory group structures, following its decision to disestablish the Wholesale Advisory Group and the Retail Advisory Group. This includes a proposal to establish an Innovation and Participation Advisory Group to focus on issues specifically related to new technologies and business models, and consumer participation. Submission are due Tuesday 20 September.

  • The Reserve Bank has released a ‘short history’ of prudential regulation and supervision in New Zealand.

  • The Commerce Commission has released a report detailing its findings in the energy retail sector as part of an ongoing review of standard form consumer contracts.

  • The Commerce Commission has applied to the High Court for clarity on clarity about how consumer credit laws apply to loans offered by peer‑to‑peer lender Harmoney and other peer‑to-peer lenders.

  • The Commerce Commission has issued a warning letter to Wellington Electricity Lines Limited after it failed to comply with minimum standards for electricity network reliability.

Government

  • The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has published Electricity Demand and Generation Scenarios, a report to support long-term investment in New Zealand’s electricity transmission grid.

  • The Ministry for Primary Industries is consulting on its discussion paper ‘Biosecurity 2025’. Submissions are due Friday 9 September.

  • The Ministry of Justice is consulting on Phase Two of the anti‑money laundering and countering financing of terrorism regime. Submissions are due Friday 16 September.

  • The Ministry for the Environment is consulting on the regulation of jettisoned material from space launch vehicles in New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

  • The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has launched a new website aimed at consumer protection.

Politics

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully has announced that Rachel Maidment, Maurice Williamson and Karena Lyons have been appointed Consuls‑General to Guangzhou, Los Angeles and Hawaii respectively.

  • Police Minister Judith Collins has welcomed a new Police policy to attend all house break-ins,

  • Prime Minister John Key will travel to Laos next week for the East Asia Summit, before heading to the Federated States of Micronesia for the Pacific Islands Forum.

  • Minister for Small Business Craig Foss has announced $100,000 to help Havelock North Village get back on its feet following the gastroenteritis outbreak.

  • Labour’s Chief of Staff, Matt McCarten, has resigned to head up Labour’s new office in Auckland.

  • Minister for the Environment Nick Smith has given a speech on the importance of fresh water to New Zealand and government policy in the area.

  • Minister of Finance Bill English has given a speech on the prospects for the New Zealand economy, with some emphasis on the implications for the public sector.


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