Great government roundup


Key developments in public law, regulation and government for the week ending 4 November 2016.

Public law

The Auditor-General has published its report following its Inquiry into the Saudi Arabia Food Security Partnership. The report found no evidence of corruption, but raised significant concerns over the actions of Foreign Minister Murray McCully. A summary of the report is available here.

Proposed legislation allowing the Government to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Bill, has passed its second reading. The Select Committee received 85 submissions on the Bill.

The Crown has signed a Deed of Settlement with Ahuriri Hapu settling their historical Treaty claims. Financial and commercial redress includes $19.5 million and the right to buy shares in the Kaweka and Gwavas Crown Forest Licensed lands. Pakake, Heipipi Pa Historic Reserve and Conservation House in Napier will be vested in Ahuriri Hapu as part of their cultural redress.

Regulation

The Commerce Commission has published its Letter of Unresolved Issues in respect of the Vodafone acquisition of Sky Television. The Letter suggests that the Commission has outstanding questions regarding rights to premium content. Submissions on the Letter are due Friday 11 November 2016.

The Commerce Commission has released a Draft Determination proposing to continue the regulation of number portability services for both local and mobile telephone numbers for another 5 years. Number portability enables a customer to switch telecommunications providers while retaining the same telephone number. Submissions on the Draft Determination are due Thursday 1 December 2016.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has released a discussion paper on credit contracts focusing on the rights of borrowers when a lender fails to properly disclose key information about the loan. Submissions are due Monday 28 November 2016.

Government

The New Zealand Labour Party held its annual conference in Auckland on 4 and 5 November. As well as various speeches and announcements, the event included the launch of the Future of Work Commission's Final Report.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully has announced that US Secretary of State John Kerry will visit New Zealand next week. Secretary Kerry will travel to Wellington for meetings with the Prime Minister and Minister McCully, and to lay a wreath at New Zealand’s National War Memorial.

Prime Minister John Key has announced the President of the Republic of Hungary, János Áder, will visit New Zealand from November 13-16 coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution. The President will visit Wellington, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

Abby Foote has been appointed to the Board of Television New Zealand for a 3 year term. Ms Foote is a Christchurch-based professional director with a background in law and accountancy.


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