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Watching Brief - February 2022

Home Insights Watching Brief - February 2022

Matter of opinion

The other virus…


As the Omicron wave builds towards its peak in Aotearoa New Zealand, it's right that the Government, media and public focus remains firmly on the pandemic, public policy measures to deal with it, and how we as a society shape our future in its wake.

However, political events and trends from overseas, which also wash up on our shores with the same relentless inevitability and effect as the Coronavirus, must not be lost sight of in the midst of the current challenges. Arguably, they are more virulent and almost certainly will be of more moment and of longer term consequence, as painful as the current tragedies are.

There are different ways to name this other virus. At its most simplistic or short-hand, it is political populism. In its wake comes the quiet erosion of the norms of good government in a democracy. These norms have been built up over centuries of trial and error, and represent the distilled wisdom of experience. They include such things as respect for the laws made in parliament; the rule of law; an independent judiciary; media freedom; freedom of expression; an acceptance of the conventions of public life; and on self-restraint by the powerful.

As we look to other democracies against which we measure and benchmark ourselves – the UK; Australia; Canada; and the USA – there is much to be concerned about. Every institution – and many of these are institutions of the mind – if not under siege, is being quietly (and in some cases, systematically) eroded. In the US it ranges from physical assault on the actual legislative arm of the Government to voter suppression measures and flushing public records down the toilet.

Or, take the UK as another instructive example. Core principles of Westminster democracy are being placed under enormous strain in the Mother of Parliaments: the scope of judicial review; not misleading the House; the operating principle of cabinet Government; the earlier proroguing of parliament; comity with the judiciary – the list goes on.

It has taken the unlikely hero of former UK Prime Minister Sir John Major, to call this out. It was famously (and somewhat waspishly) said of Sir John that he ran away from the circus to join an accounting firm. However, in precise, moderate and clear prose, he has dissected the current malaise. His full speech to the Institute for Government on 10 February 2022 (available here) is well worth a read (an edited version also appeared in The Guardian here). Maybe a little grey boredom is what is required in a world painted too colourfully in mainstream and social media.

Here, we need to take seriously the concerns articulated so well by Sir John. Institutions matter. The conduct of key actors matters. The self-discipline of members of parliament and of the Government matters. And, as citizens and public participants in the inevitable messiness of democracy, our self-discipline matters too.
The risk, of course, is that the institutions built up over generations and so hard-wired into our way of life that their value and importance has been taken for granted, and pass unacknowledged, can be lost incrementally, and lost quickly.

As we in Aotearoa New Zealand look at the turmoil on our own Parliamentary front lawn, it is time to pause and take stock. What matters in our democracy in the South Pacific – and why? We won't know what we have lost, until it's gone.

 

In the news

Budget 2022 – focus areas announced


In December 2021, the Government announced its two policy areas of focus for the 2022 Budget: embedding health reforms and climate change.
 
Health reforms
 
This year's Budget will make significant investments towards implementing the public health sector reforms announced by the Minister of Health in early 2021. This includes replacing the existing district health board system with one national organisation (Health New Zealand), establishing a new Māori Health Authority, and creating a dedicated Public Health Agency. Budget 2022 will also mark the beginning of the transition to multi-year funding for New Zealand's public health system, which will increase funding certainty for long-term planning. This change is intended to establish these new entities on a "sustainable footing".
 
Climate change
 
The Budget Policy Statement 2022 recognises that climate change is one of the "most pressing long-term challenges" facing New Zealand and the wider global community. As such, the Government has expressed its intention to make significant investments across multiple Budgets to support a transition towards a low-emissions and climate resilient economy.
 
The cornerstone of this focus will be the establishment of a Climate Emergency Response Fund (CERF) that will be allocated towards initiatives that support climate change objectives. This fund will be made up of the proceeds from the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme. For Budget 2022, the CERF will focus on initiatives and programmes aimed at delivering the emissions reductions outlined in the Government's first Emissions Reduction Plan. The plan will be released by 31 May 2022.
 
To read the full Budget Policy Statement, please click here.
 

Wholesale electricity market – 100% renewable electricity supply consultation


The Market Development Advisory Group (MDAG) has begun investigating how the wholesale electricity market might operate with 100% renewable electricity supply and has published an issues discussion paper for consultation.
 
The objective of the project is for the MDAG to develop recommendations to the Electricity Authority (Authority) on what changes should be made to the wholesale electricity market, assuming 100% renewable supply, to ensure economically efficient price signals (from short- to long-term) to meet the statutory objective of enabling reliable supply by, and promoting competition and efficient operation in, the electricity industry for the long-term benefit of consumers. The evolution of the wholesale electricity market is a critical project on the Authority's 'Energy Transition Roadmap', future-proofing the market to respond to increasing renewable electricity generation, more smart technology, and more distributed energy resources, such as batteries and electric vehicles, connected to the system.
 
The project will occur over three stages:

  • Issue discovery [where we are now]: understanding the way in which the electricity system is likely to behave with 100% renewable supply and identifying the key issues that may need to be addressed from a market design perspective. 

  • Option identification and analysis: identifying and analysing options to address the problems established in the first stage. 

  • Recommendations and proposal: reporting with recommendations to the Authority’s Board.

Consultation on MDAG's issues paper is now open, with submissions due by 15 March 2022. Options to address the key issues will be considered in the next stage of the project and will be separately consulted on later in 2022.

More information on the project can be found on the Authority's website
 

New Zealand's border set to reopen


The Government has announced its 5-step plan to reopen New Zealand's border, beginning 27 February 2022. Managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) will be removed for most travellers in steps over 2022, replaced by self-isolation and tests on arrival. Unvaccinated travellers, and those who do not meet New Zealand's vaccination requirements, who are eligible to enter New Zealand will continue to enter MIQ. The Government's 5-step plan is as follows:

  • Step 1 (from 11:59pm 27 February 2022): fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and residents and other eligible travellers (eg people with border exceptions), arriving from Australia can self-isolate upon arrival instead of entering MIQ. 

  • Step 2 (from 11:59pm 13 March 2022): fully vaccinated New Zealanders and other eligible travellers from anywhere in the world will be able to self-isolate upon arrival instead of entering MIQ. Similarly, fully vaccinated skilled workers earning at least 1.5 times the median wage, travellers on a working holiday scheme, and partners and dependent children of New Zealand citizens and residents can enter New Zealand from anywhere in the world and self-isolate upon arrival. 

  • Step 3 (from 11:59pm 12 April 2022): fully vaccinated temporary work and student visa holders who can still meet their visa requirements, and up to 5,000 international students for semester 2, can enter New Zealand from anywhere in the world and self-isolate on arrival.

  • Step 4 (by July 2022): all travellers from Australia, visitors from countries who do not need a visa (visa waiver visitors), visitors from other countries who already hold a valid visitor visa and travellers arriving under the Accredited Employer Work Visa categories that are fully vaccinated can enter New Zealand and self-isolate upon arrival.

  • Step 5 (from October 2022): all visa categories will reopen from October 2022, including visitor and student visas.

Self-isolation is only available for fully vaccinated travellers who are eligible to enter New Zealand. Travellers must isolate for 7 days in New Zealand, and will need to return a negative rapid antigen test on day 0/1 and day 5/6 to leave self-isolation.
 

Consultation opens on the National Environmental Standard for Sources of Human Drinking Water


The Ministry for the Environment is consulting on changes to the National Environmental Standard for Sources of Human Drinking Water (NES-DW). The NES-DW requires councils, while deliberating on resource consents and regional plans, to consider the effects of proposed activities on sources of drinking water. The purpose of the NES-DW is to minimise the contamination of drinking water supplies. 
 
The Government considers that the current NES-DW is not for fit for purpose, citing the 2016 campylobacter outbreak in Havelock North, where contaminated drinking water resulted in the hospitalisation of almost 60 people.
 
Three key changes have been proposed that are intended to enable water suppliers to improve and maintain drinking water quality, as follows:

  • standardising the definition of source water areas;
  • bolstering regulation of activities adjacent to water sources; and
  • increasing the number of water suppliers on the register.

The Ministry for the Environment seeks feedback on these proposed changes. Submissions are due by 6 March 2022. 
 
Additionally, the newly established water services regulator Taumata Arowai is also currently running a consultation focusing on other areas of drinking water regulation, including drinking water standards and rules. More information is available here.
 

Auckland transport infrastructure initiatives announced


In late January 2022, the Minister for Infrastructure, Hon Grant Robertson and the Minister for Transport, Hon Michael Wood, announced key developments to Auckland's transport infrastructure, including:

  • key decisions on a Waitematā Harbour crossing to be brought forward to 2023, to integrate with light rail and with new rapid transit to the North Shore and North West;

  • progressing light rail from the Auckland's CBD to the airport; and

  • creating a linked-up rapid transport network as part of a 30-year plan.

Alongside these plans, the Government is designing a business support package for those businesses that will be impacted by significant disruptions.

The plans are intended to boost economic recovery by creating up to 97,000 new jobs, and 66,000 homes by 2051.
 

Close Contact Exemption Scheme for critical services


The Government recently announced a voluntary Close Contact Exemption Scheme for businesses that support critical supply chains. The scheme seeks to ensure essential services can continue running during the Omicron outbreak and takes effect at Phases Two and Three of the Government's Omicron response. 
 
Critical services eligible for the scheme include food production, health and emergency services, lifeline utilities such as power, water and transport, critical financial services, news media, social welfare, and animal welfare services. To join the scheme, businesses self-assess against set criteria. 
 
Once part of the scheme, vaccinated workers identified as close contacts can continue to work if they provide a negative rapid antigen test result, and are asymptomatic for COVID-19. During the close contact isolation period, workers will be required to isolate outside of work, and to return a negative rapid antigen test result before each shift. Businesses taking part in the scheme may use their own testing kits, or, alternatively, workers can collect free testing kits from designated collection sites. For more information on the scheme, or to register as a critical service, see here.
 

Sustainable biofuels mandate


In December 2021, the Minister for Energy and Resources, Hon Megan Woods, and the Minister for Transport, Hon Michael Wood, announced a sustainable biofuels mandate with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector. This means that New Zealand is set to join over 60 other jurisdictions who have introduced similar measures.

From 1 April 2023, fuel wholesalers will be required to reduce the total greenhouse gas emissions for transport fuels they sell, by a set percentage each year. This will be done through the sale of sustainable biofuels as part of the wholesale fuel supply. Short-term targets mandate a reduction of 3.5% in emissions by 2025, and current indications are that the longer-term goal will be to reduce wholesaler emissions by 9% by 2035. 

Additional measures include a requirement for biofuels to meet specified sustainability criteria to certify that they do not impact on food production or indigenous biodiversity. The mandate also includes reporting requirements for fuel suppliers to demonstrate compliance with reduction targets and an accompanying penalty regime for non-compliant suppliers. 

The current biofuel mandate comes in advance of a potential introduction of a separate mandate for aviation fuel. The Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) are currently working with the aviation sector to consider the unique challenges that the sector faces and are completing a feasibility study examining the potential for the domestic production of sustainable aviation fuel.

The legislation and regulations set to give effect to the mandate are expected to be introduced and passed in 2022.
 

Consultation opens on onshore fuel stockholding levels


MBIE has opened consultation on a proposed requirement for a minimum onshore fuel stockholding level and the options for how this level could be achieved. As part of this process, MBIE is also proposing to change the formula for calculating the petroleum and engine fuel monitoring levy.
 
From the Government's perspective, the move by Refining NZ to switch to an import only terminal and end refinery operations at Marsden Point by April 2022 is a significant change in the fuel supply chain that affects New Zealand's fuel security. As a result, in September 2021, Cabinet asked officials to investigate the option of increasing minimum levels of fuel stock held in New Zealand to improve our fuel security in the event of a fuel disruption. 
 
The preferred option for minimum onshore fuel stockholding levels is 28 days of cover for diesel and its biofuel equivalent, and 24 days of cover for other liquid transport fuels (namely petrol and jet fuel). These stockholding levels have also been proposed in Australia. The minimum onshore fuel stockholding requirement would be reviewed after five years of implementation.
 
MBIE has proposed the following options for achieving a target level of onshore fuel stocks:

  • the Government procuring stock or tickets for onshore fuel stocks;

  • requiring fuel wholesale suppliers to meet a minimum onshore fuel stockholding level; and/or

  • establishing a stockholding agency for managing the minimum stockholding obligations of fuel industry participants and the Government.

MBIE is seeking feedback on these options, with submissions due by 28 February 2022.
 

Consultation opens on the New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme


The New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme proposes to provide replacement income when New Zealanders lose their jobs. The scheme has been developed collectively by the Government, Business New Zealand and the Council of Trade Unions.
 
The proposed scheme would support workers who have been made redundant, or who have had to stop working because of a health condition or disability, by providing 80% of their usual salary for up to seven months, up to the current Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) cap. It would also include up to 12 months of support for individuals to retrain. The Government intends for this to give people the time and financial security to find a good job or take part in training or rehabilitation. 
 
The key features of the proposed scheme are as follows:

  • broad coverage for different working arrangements;

  • coverage for job losses due to redundancy, layoffs and health conditions and disabilities;

  • a four-week notice period and four-week payment, at 80% of salary, from employers;

  • a further six months of financial support from the scheme, at 80% of wages or a salary;

  • option to extend support for up to 12 months for training and rehabilitation; and

  • a case management service to support people's return to work.

To be eligible for the scheme, New Zealanders will need to have worked or been on statutory parental leave for at least six months in the past 18 months. Workers will be eligible after six months of levy contributions in the previous 18 months. The eligibility criteria will differ for people who have stopped working because of a health condition or disability, and those who are made redundant.
 
ACC would administer the scheme. The scheme would be funded by levies on wages and salaries, with both workers and employers paying an estimated 1.39% each.
 
Consultation on the Income Insurance Scheme is now open, with feedback due by 26 April 2022. If a decision is made to introduce the proposed scheme, the Government is expected to introduce legislation in 2022, and the scheme could start operating in 2023.
 

In the House

What’s coming up in the House


Parliament resumed sitting on 8 February 2022.
 
A Government motion to confirm orders made under the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 will be debated today. The following orders were scrutinised by the Regulations Review Committee:

  • COVID-19 Public Health Response (COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate) Order 2021;
  • COVID-19 Public Health Response (Air Border) Order (No 2) Amendment Order (No 14) 2021;
  • COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order (No 5) 2021;
  • COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order (No 6) 2021;
  • COVID-19 Public Health Response (Protection Framework) Order 2021;
  • COVID-19 Public Health Response (Isolation and Quarantine) Amendment Order (No 5) 2021; and
  • COVID-19 Public Health Response (COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate) Amendment Order 2021.

The debate on the Prime Minister's statement will continue. The debate is likely to conclude today.
 
Other legislation to be considered will include:

  • the committee of the whole House stage for the Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Bill; and
  • the committee of the whole House stage for the Commerce Amendment Bill.
     

Progress of legislation

Bills introduced


Te Rohe o Rongokako Joint Redress Bill
 
Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Andrew Little
 
This Bill aims to give effect to specific cultural redress shared between Ngāti Kahungunu and Rangitāne and provided for in the respective deeds of settlement. Exclusive redress for each of the settlements is provided for in the respective settlement legislation as required. The respective Rangitāne and Ngāti Kahungunu settlement legislation will settle all historical claims of each group. The Bill is yet to have its first reading.
 
 
Statutes Amendment Bill
 
Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Aupito William Sio
 
This omnibus Bill seeks to amend 41 different statues. The amendments are minor changes, and can therefore be made via an omnibus bill, by virtue of Standing Order 266(1)(f).
 
Seven of the statutes which the Bill may amend focus on allowing consolidation of certain secondary legislation or published instruments made by the same maker to be consolidated. These provisions give the Minister or the Director-General of the relevant agency the ability to amend or replace secondary legislation or published instruments. Consolidation involves revoking one or more existing instruments and making a new instrument with the same effect as the revoked instruments and any further effect authorised by relevant empowering provisions. Only the new or amended parts of the new instrument need to satisfy all the requirements for making those parts. The revoked (and remade) parts need only satisfy the requirements for publication.
 
The relevant statutes affected by this provision are:

  • Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Act 1997

  • Animal Products Act 1999

  • Animal Welfare Act 1999

  • Biosecurity Act 1993

  • Food Act 2014

  • National Animal Identification and Tracing Act 2012

  • Wine Act 2003

 
The Bill is yet to have its first reading.
 
 
Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-ā-Rua Claims Settlement Bill
 
Type of Bill: Government
Minister in Charge: Hon Andrew Little
 
This Bill was introduced on 4 February 2022 and gives effect to the deed of settlement signed on 29 October 2021 in which the Crown and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-ā-Rua agreed to the final settlement of historical Treaty of Waitangi claims. It is currently awaiting its first reading.
 
 
Firearms Prohibition Orders Legislation Bill
 
Type of Bill: Government
Minister in Charge: Hon Poto Williams
 
This omnibus Bill was introduced in late 2021. The Bill seeks to improve public safety by preventing those who present a risk of violence from being able to access firearms or restricted weapons.
 
The introduction of the Bill was motivated by the Law and Order Committee's Inquiry into issues relating to illegal possession of firearms in New Zealand. The Committee made a number of recommendations, including that firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) be implemented in New Zealand.
 
The main feature of the Bill is the introduction of FPOs.  The courts will be empowered to make FPOs, which would prevent individuals identified as "high-risk" from:

  • accessing or using firearms or other restricted weapons;

  • associating with people in physical possession of firearms that are not in secure storage; or

  • residing at or visiting locations where firearms are held, including gun shops, arms fairs or gun clubs.

Identification as "high-risk" is determined by an individual's conviction of certain specified offences under the Arms Act 1983, the Crimes Act 1966, the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002, or other qualifying offences listed in section 86A of the Sentencing Act 2002. For an FPO to be made against an individual, they must also be over the age of 18 at the time of conviction. The Bill defines the term "firearm or related item" broadly, explicitly including "parts" of any firearm or restricted weapon, and, imitation firearms and ammunition, amongst other things. 
 
The Bill passed its first reading on 9 February 2022, and has been referred to the Justice Committee for deliberation.
 

Paige Harris Birth Registration Bill
 
Type of Bill: Private
Member in charge: Louisa Wall
 
This private Bill seeks to have the Registrar-General register the details of Katherine Elizabeth Harris as mother of Paige Katherine Elizabeth Harris, in addition to the details of Kyle Jason Harris. The Bill seeks for this to be done as if a notice under section 23 of the Births, Death, Marriages and Relationships Registration Act 1995 had been received containing that information and an adoption order had been made in favour of Kyle Jason Harris and Katherine Elizabeth Harris.
 
Paige Harris was born through the assistance of a surrogate. Following Paige's birth, an adoption order under the Adoption Act 1955 was granted naming Kyle Harris as the father. The birth certificate stated the mother as “Not Recorded”.  As Katherine Harris died prior to the birth of Paige Harris there is no means of adding Katherine Harris' name to the birth certificate of Paige Harris, other than by a Private Bill. This Bill would enable both of Paige Harris’ parents to be recorded on her birth certificate under the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 1995.
 

Bills awaiting first reading
 
Bills before Select Committee


Submissions open

Bill

Select Committee

Closing date for Submissions

Education and Training Amendment Bill (No 2

Education and Workforce Committee

18 February 2022

Palmerston North Reserves Empowering Amendment Bill

Environment Committee

18 February 2022

Oranga Tamariki Amendment Bill

Social Services and Community Committee

20 February 2022



Submissions closed

Bill

Select Committee

Report Due

Retail Payment System Bill

Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee

3 March 2022

Girl Guides Association (New Zealand Branch) Incorporation Amendment Bill

Social Services and Community Committee

10 March 2022

Te Pire mō te Hararei Tūmatanui o te Kāhui o Matariki/Te Kāhui o Matariki Public Holiday Bill

Māori Affairs Committee 10 March 2022

Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Hazardous Substances Assessments) Amendment Bill

Environment Committee

14 March 2022

Human Rights (Disability Assist Dogs Non-Discrimination) Amendment Bill

Social Services and Community Committee

22 March 2022

Local Government (Pecuniary Interests Register) Amendment Bill

Governance and Administration Committee

22 March 2022

Taxation (Annual Rates for 2021-22, GST, and Remedial Matters) Bill

Finance and Expenditure Committee

23 March 2022

Civil Aviation Bill

Transport and Infrastructure Committee

29 March 2022

Electricity Industry Amendment Bill

Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee

29 March 2022

Animal Welfare Amendment Bill

Primary Production Committee

19 April 2022

Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Bill

Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee

19 April 2022

Protection of Journalists’ Sources Bill

Justice Committee

20 April 2022

Crimes (Child Exploitation Offences) Amendment Bill

Justice Committee

20 April 2022

Remuneration Authority Legislation Bill

Justice Committee

26 April 2022

Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill

Pae Ora Legislation Committee

27 April 2022

Data and Statistics Bill

Governance and Administration Committee

9 May 2022

Oversight of Oranga Tamariki System and Children and Young People's Commission Bill

Social Services and Community Committee

16 May 2022

Three Strikes Legislation Repeal Bill

Justice Committee

17 May 2022

Māori Purposes Bill

Māori Affairs Committee

25 May 2022

Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Bill

Māori Affairs Committee

8 June 2022

Accident Compensation (Maternal Birth Injury and Other Matters) Amendment Bill

Education and Workforce Committee

14 June 2022

Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill

Justice Committee

14 June 2022

Maniapoto Claims Settlement Bill

Māori Affairs Committee

15 June 2022

Firearms Prohibition Orders Legislation Bill

Justice Committee

9 August 2022


 

Bills awaiting second reading

 

Committee of the whole House

 

Bills awaiting Royal Assent

 

 

Acts assented


Ahuriri Hapū Claims Settlement Act 2022
 
This Act is related to the deed of settlement (the Deed) signed by the Crown with Ahuriri Hapū, dated 2 November 2016.  The Act:

  • records the acknowledgements and apology given by the Crown to Ahuriri Hapū in the Deed; and
  • gives effect to the Deed, in which the Crown and Ahuriri Hapū agree to a final settlement of all historical Treaty of Waitangi claims of Ahuriri Hapū. The settlement package, that is set out in the Deed includes:
    • an historical account;
    • Crown acknowledgements and apology;
    • cultural redress;
    • $19.5 million in financial and commercial redress; and
    • the right to buy shares in specified Crown Forest Licensed lands.

Ahuriri Hapū are based in the Hawkes Bay Region, and are comprised of seven Hapū, and approximately 1,500 registered members.
 
The Act has the general features of a Treaty settlement act, however it uniquely establishes a statutory multiparty arrangement, Te Komiti Muriwai o Te Whanga, to manage the Ahuriri Estuary, composed of Mana Ahuriri Incorporated, the Department of Conservation, and local authorities.
 
 
Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 2022
 
This Act re-enacts the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Act 1995; gives effect to the recommendations arising from the Minister of Internal Affairs review presented on 10 October 2016; updates and amends provisions in the existing law; and responds to 2 discrete issues raised in the Law Commission's review of burial and cremation law.
 
The Act requires the notification, registration, and verification of information relating to births, deaths, marriages, civil unions, name changes, adoption, and sex. This provides a source of demographic information and other important information for government about health, mortality and other matters. It also provides an official record of births, deaths, marriages, civil unions, and name changes that can be used as evidence of those events and of age, identity, descent, whakapapa, and New Zealand citizenship. The Act also regulates the provision and effect of birth certificates, marriage certificates, civil union certificates, and name-change certificates.
 
 
Education and Training Amendment Act 2022
 
This Act amends the Education and Training Act 2020. The Act makes various amendments which:

  • specify the agencies which the Minister of Education and the Minister for Māori Crown Relations may issue statements of expectations to;

  • clarify that only a person holding a teaching position (not a former teacher) can automatically use physical restraint on a student, and anyone else (including former teachers) must first be approved to use physical restraint by the school that employs them;

  • clarify how and when the Minister or Secretary of Education may intervene in a school and what types of interventions the Secretary may use;

  • allow regulations to be made that reflect the new processes for early childhood education services to gain approval to apply for a licence;

  • ensure that Schedules relating to school enrolment schemes, electing and co-opting board members to boards of State schools, and national student numbers, are not automatically appealed and remain in primary legislation rather than being removed to regulations;

  • extend by another year the current prohibition on tertiary education providers charging a compulsory student services fee; and

  • clarify that education workers who meet the definition of a children's worker under the Children's Act 2014 must be safety checked under that Act, as opposed to being police vetted under the Education and Training Act 2020, and additionally, that all other early childhood centre or school employees must meet the relevant Police vetting requirements under the Education and Training Act 2020.

 
Gambling (Reinstating COVID-19 Modification) Amendment Act 2022
 
This Act amends the Gambling Act 2003 to reinstate a modification of the definition of remote interactive gambling device during a specified period due to the effects of COVID-19. This enables Class 3 lotteries to be conducted remotely until the close of 31 October 2024. Class 3 lotteries are used to raise funds for charitable or non-commercial purposes.
 
 
Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2022

The Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Amendment Act amends the Resource Management Act 1991 with the aim of increasing the supply of housing in areas of high demand, including Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington, and Christchurch.
The two main features of the Act are:

  • The requirement for local authorities in the areas listed above to change planning rules so their residential areas are zoned to allow for "medium density housing". This will allow up to three dwellings, of up to three stories, to be built in those areas.

  • The streamlining of the process for local authorities in the areas listed above to implement the intensification policies contained in the National Policy Statement on Urban Development. 

 
Rights for Victims of Insane Offenders Act 2022
 
This Act amends the Criminal Procedure (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act 2003, the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992, the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003, and the Victims' Rights Act 2002. 
 
The crux of the Act is its change to the prescribed wording of formal findings of the court in situations where an offender lacks the necessary intent to be found guilty of a charge, despite committing the act which forms the basis of that charge. Section 5 of the Act replaces section 20 of the Criminal Procedure (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act 2003 to change the prescribed verdict from "not guilty on account of insanity" to "act proven but not criminally responsible on account of insanity". The change is made in reflection of the need to provide victims with the acknowledgment that the offender was proven to have acted grievously, even if they lacked the intent to be guilty of the action.   
 
The Act also inserts a new section 20(1)(c), which clarifies that a Judge must acquit a defendant on account of their insanity if the finding is made. Pursuant to section 20(1)(b), upon a finding of “act proven but not criminally responsible on account of insanity”, a Judge must explain the meaning of that finding to the defendant. This aims to ensure that the defendant and others in the courtroom understand the verdict, and would help to advance the Act's purpose of supporting victim's rights.
 
 
Sexual Violence Legislation Act 2022

The Act amends the Evidence Act 2006, the Victims' Rights Act 2002, and the Criminal Procedure Act 2011, with the intention to recognise and reduce the trauma that can arise from sexual violence complainants attending court and giving evidence. The key changes made by the Act include:

  • Allowing provision of evidence by complainants of sexual violence in various ways, including use of pre-recorded evidence, giving of evidence in person but without being in the presence of the defendant, or giving of evidence from an appropriate place outside of the courtroom.

  • Allowing consultation with complainants as to their preferred method of giving a victim impact statement, including the potential for closing the courtroom to the public.

  • Limiting evidence that may be adduced by a defendant as to a complainant's sexual experience or disposition.

  • Requiring judges to intervene in circumstances where they consider the subject of a question or the manner in which it was asked is inappropriate.

  • Requiring judges to give the jury directions that are considered necessary or desirable to address any relevant misconception relating the sexual cases.


Subordinate Legislation Confirmation Act 2022
 
This Act prevents the revocation of certain subordinate legislation which would otherwise have been revoked. The Acts under which the subordinate legislation was made would have caused them to lapse at a stated time if a new Act did not confirm them. This Act relates to items of subordinate legislation made in the year ending with the close of 30 June 2021.

This Act confirms a number of regulations and orders under the following acts:

  • Biosecurity Act 1993

  • Commodity Levies Act 1990

  • Customs and Excise Act 2018

  • Fisheries Act 1996

  • New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001

  • Social Security Act 2018

  • Tariff Act 1988

  • Waste Minimisation Act 2008

 

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