Great government roundup


Key developments in public law, regulation, government and politics for the week ending 9 September 2016.

Public law

  • The Auditor‑General has released the findings of its inquiry into awarding a management contract for a hotel in Niue. In respect of the question whether the tender for a hotel operation to brand and operate the resort followed due process and whether all potential and actual conflicts of interest were declared, the Auditor‑General’s view is that there was a standard procurement process.

  • 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 2016.

Regulation

  • The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released a discussion paper on emerging issues in the communications sector. The paper looks at a number of issues that are increasingly relevant in New Zealand markets, such as content rights, ‘over the top’ services and transition to fibre networks. Submissions are due 14 October 2016.

  • The Australian Government has released an exposure draft on proposed amendments to Australian competition law following the recommendation of the Harper Review. The draft includes amendments to the use of market power provisions (MBIE is currently considering amending the equivalent New Zealand provision). Consultation on the exposure draft is open until Friday 30 September 2016.

  • The Productivity Commission is consulting on its draft report on urban planning, which examines most appropriate system for allocating land use in cities. Submission are due Monday 3 October 2016.

  • 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 2016.

  • 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 2016.

  • The Commerce Commission has warned AirAsia over its use of opt‑out pricing and disclosure of a processing fee.

  • 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.

  • The Commerce Commission is consulting updated draft guidelines designed to assist lenders when setting credit fees. Submissions are due Monday 24 October 2016.

Government

  • Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman has announced that Bill Moran and Jason Shoebridge has been appointed to the Sport NZ Board.

  • Inland Revenue has released a discussion document on changes to address hybrid mismatch arrangements, a strategy used by some large multinationals to shift profits overseas and minimise their New Zealand tax. Submissions are due Monday 17 October 2016.

  • Parliament has passed the Housing Legislation Amendment Bill under urgency. The House considered the First reading, Second reading, committee stage and Third reading of the Bill back to back. The bill was not sent to select committee.

  • 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. Submission are due Friday 16 September.

  • Land Information Minister Louise Upston has invited comments on whether New Zealand should adopt the International Open Data Charter. Views can be shared in an online forum until Friday 30 September 2016.

Politics

  • Nikki Kaye has taken leave of her Ministerial portfolios. Gerry Brownlee will act as Minister of Civil Defence. Nathan Guy will act as Minister for ACC. Anne Tolley will act as Minister for Youth. Ms Kaye’s Associate Education responsibilities will be taken by Hekia Parata.

  • Green MP Kevin Hague has announced that he is stepping down to take up a new role as CEO of Forest and Bird. With Kevin’s resignation, Barry Coates will come into Parliament as the next person on the Green Party list.

  • Foreign Minister Murray McCully has named Peter Marshall as New Zealand’s new High Commissioner to the Cook Islands.

  • Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has announced that an extra $24.4 million will be made available to community housing providers to increase the supply of social housing in Auckland.

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