Great government roundup


Key developments in public law, regulation, government and politics for the week ending 9 September 2016.Great government roundup Key developments in public law, regulation, government and politics for the week ending 16 September 2016.

Public law

  • The Chief Ombudsman has released a decision relating to a request for information regarding the business case for Wiri Prison. The Ombudsman has agreed with the Department of Corrections that cost of capital information should be withheld.

  • 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 Commerce Commission has released its final report on Fonterra's base milk price calculation for the 2015/16 season.

  • The Commerce Commission has given clearance to Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH to acquire 100% of the shares and assets in Merial, the animal health business of Sanofi S.A.

  • Vodafone New Zealand Limited has been fined $165,000 in the Auckland District Court after pleading guilty to making false price representations in breach of the Fair Trading Act, following the filing of legal charges by the Commerce Commission.

  • The Commerce Commission has filed charges against Bikes International Limited and Bike Retail Group Limited (which both operate as Bike Barn) relating to misleading pricing practices.

  • 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.

Government

  • The Government has introduced legislation amending land transport regulation, partly in response to the market entry of Uber in New Zealand.

  • The Government and Auckland Council have signed a Heads of Agreement, under which the Government will fund 50 percent of Auckland's City Rail Link.

  • Inland Revenue has released a discussion document on changes to address hybrid mismatch arrangements, a strategy used by some large multinationals to shift profits.

  • 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.


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