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Watching Brief – June 2019

Home Insights Watching Brief – June 2019

Matter of opinion

When Tomorrow Comes…

With the introduction of the Zero Carbon Bill to Parliament, the Coalition Government has taken a firm step towards a climate resilient future in New Zealand, but it appears that the path is not yet clear of political hurdles. The Zero Carbon Bill had its first reading in Parliament on Tuesday 21 May 2019 and was referred to the Environment Select Committee for consideration. You can read the Bill here.

The Bill was a central policy in the confidence and supply agreement between the Greens and the Labour party as well as the coalition agreement with NZ First in 2017. The Ministry for the Environment held consultation on the key policy decisions implemented by the then proposed Bill in June 2018 and posed several options for each of the main elements, such as the long-term target, the establishment of an advisory/monitoring body and whether there should be any provision for adaptation requirements. However, the introduction of the Bill to Parliament was delayed until this year as further negotiation was required to reach consensus within the Government and to attempt to obtain bipartisan support

While the Bill aims to create clear and stable climate policy, several compromises have been made in the drafting process in order to get the Bill introduced without further delays, and with cross-party support. However, the Minister for Climate Change Issues, James Shaw, who has played a pivotal role in seeking to gain consensus across parties, recognises that these compromises are necessary. As identified in the Productivity Commission report on transitioning to a low emissions economy released last year, without cross-party support, the required stable and credible policy settings simply will not be achieved.

Structure of the Zero Carbon Bill
As currently proposed, the Zero Carbon Bill has not raised anything particularly unexpected in the framework it will establish for mitigating and adapting to climate change. The structural elements consulted on through the Ministry for the Environment consultation remain as follows:

  • An independent Climate Change Commission: which will act as an independent body that provides advice, and performs monitoring and reporting functions.  
  • A long-term (2050) target for "net-zero" emissions of all greenhouse gases except biogenic methane (which has a more specific target). 
  • Emissions budgets to be set out for each five-year period, with three in place at any time.
  • An adaptation framework, which requires a national climate risk assessment and corresponding national adaptation plan to be prepared at regular intervals. This also includes a Ministerial power to request information from "reporting organisations" to inform the assessment and plan.

This framework is touted as the most appropriate approach for cross-party agreement, by setting out legally mandated outcomes and process without prescribing specific policies. These "stepping-stone" budgets will only be as successful as the policies that reflect tangible action. Further, compromises have arguably resulted in reduced accountability mechanisms that would bind future governments, such as the express exclusion of any court remedy (aside from a public declaration for a failure to meet the long-term target or any emissions budget), and more flexibility to revise emissions budgets once they are set than was initially anticipated. Will this provide enough certainty for business to invest in the shift to Zero Carbon?

Despite the negotiations that have already taken place, the National party has taken issue with the scale of emissions reductions proposed by the biogenic methane target, which was set to reflect expert advice including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Special Report in 2018.  With the Labour and Green Parties having opened the door to cross-party discussion, the challenge remains for National to agree that a consensus based approach is vital. As we approach election year, National's position will inevitably be shaped by the views of its support base.

Select Committee issue
Given the above, the public response to the Bill will play a central role in driving, or discouraging, political consensus on these issues. Perhaps anticipating this, James Shaw has identified some key areas for consideration during the Select Committee process:

  • How (or if) the Bill should be taken into account when interpreting other legislation.
  • Whether legal liability for breaching the Bill should be prescribed or left to evolve under the common law.
  • Whether the Climate Change Commission should be advisory or if it should have decision making powers.
  • Whether the proposed targets are too ambitious or conservative for the commitment made to stay within the global target of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • Whether international aviation and shipping emissions should be included or excluded.
  • The Crown's protective and consultative obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Reporting obligations
Of importance to many lifeline utilities and local authorities is the ministerial power to request information, given the definition of "reporting organisations" in the Bill is so broad (for example, it also includes crown entities).

In sum, this adaptation framework does impose additional obligations on reporting organisations through the reporting and planning requirements. It also presents an opportunity for the reporting organisations to prepare for the wide range of obstacles that climate change will present, and to collaborate with others to create and implement strong strategies that safeguard each organisation's functions and make New Zealand climate resilient.

Submissions are now being accepted and close on Tuesday 16 July 2019. The Select Committee is expected to report back to Parliament by 21 October 2019. For a more comprehensive overview from our Environment, Planning and Natural Resources Team, see here.

In the news

Latest Emissions Trading Scheme reforms target transparency and compliance

On 16 May 2019, the Minister for Climate Change, the Hon James Shaw, released the government's second tranche of changes to New Zealand's Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS).  These changes will be consolidated with the tranche one changes (released in December 2018) into a single bill amending the Climate Change Response Act 2002, the bill which establishes the NZ ETS.

With a focus on delivering greater transparency and compliance, the tranche two changes aim to encourage greenhouse gas emissions reductions and increase forestry planting. Key changes, highlighted by the Minister include:

  • providing for greater public access to information concerning the NZ ETS, including the emissions of individual NZ ETS participants;
  • altering the existing penalty regime to separate it into two categories in relation to: a) reporting compliance and b) surrender/repayment obligations; and
  • improving the auction process under the scheme, including by removing the current fixed price option ceiling and enabling a potential price floor in future.

Amendments to the NZ ETS are intended to be considered by Parliament alongside the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which is expected to pass at the end of 2019. Together these two bills seek to give effect to New Zealand's commitment to the Paris Agreement and, most critically, support the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to levels that help limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Read the Ministry for the Environment's more detailed breakdown of the changes here.

Customs consulting on EU-NZ Free Trade Agreement rules of origin proposals

New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) is negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union's 28 member states. The long awaited negotiations were formally launched in June 2018 and are expected to last two to three years.

One of the areas being negotiated is tariff reductions and related 'rules of origin'. Rules of origin provisions determine what goods are eligible for tariff preference under the FTA, the documentary and procedural requirements businesses need to follow, and the verification procedures for enforcement agencies.

NZ Customs will form part of the delegation negotiating the FTA and is currently consulting on the rules of origin proposals. Businesses had until 21 June 2019 to provide input on how the proposals might affect them. Further details about the proposals, along with the other areas being negotiated, can be found on MFAT's website.

Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal launched

The Government has launched an initiative which aims to provide a flexible and cost-effective way for Canterbury homeowners to resolve their outstanding insurance claims relating to the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes. Justice Minister Andrew Little notes the Tribunal will "be a circuit-breaker for those disputes that have dragged on for too long and for people who deserve closure and to move on with their lives."

The Tribunal was established under the Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal (2019) Act and is empowered to consider claims for physical loss or damage to residential buildings, property and land in the Canterbury earthquakes. Under the new Tribunal system, homeowners can elect to have their cases heard by the Tribunal and can have their cases transferred from the High Court to the Tribunal and homeowners. They can choose to have a representative receive communications for them, an advocate who can speak on their behalf, and a support person to accompany them to all Tribunal conferences and hearings.  

The Tribunal is located in Christchurch and is chaired by former District Court Judge, Chris Somerville. For more information, see the tribunal website.

MBIE investigating imports of preserved peaches from China, South Africa and Spain

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) recently initiated two trade remedy investigations to determine whether the anti-dumping duties levied on imports of preserved peaches from South Africa and China should remain in place. A third investigation regarding imports of preserved peaches from Spain is ongoing.

The New Zealand Government will need to handle these investigations carefully. This is especially as they follow hot on the heels of two High Court judgments and one High Court Order (all issued within the past 10 months) that quash Ministerial decisions relating to trade remedy investigations and order MBIE to reconsider the related investigations anew. In our view, the Government will be anxious to ensure that these reconsideration investigations progress without the undue attention, inconvenience and expense of further judicial involvement.

Parties interested in making submissions in relation to MBIE's Sunset Review of Anti-dumping Duties on Canned Peaches from South Africa and its Reconsideration of Anti-Dumping Duties on Preserved Peaches from China should contact [email protected]. Submissions are due by late June/early July 2019.

Government consults on GST integrity

The Inland Revenue Department is currently consulting on an issues paper on how to align an aspect of Goods and Services Tax (GST) with international best practice and principles. In announcing the consultation, Revenue Minister Hon Stuart Nash said: "New Zealand's tax rules are held up internationally as a model for a good way to levy and collect a GST. Our system of GST works because of its simplicity and coherence. But that simplicity requires a lot of ongoing maintenance to keep pace with changes."

Mr Nash wants New Zealand's GST rules on telecommunication services and other remote services more aligned with the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) guidelines for GST and Value Added Tax (VAT). Similarly, the previous government introduced GST on services purchased online such as online music streaming.

Under the OECD's best practice guidelines, a consumer's usual place of residence is used to determine which country has the right to tax consumption of remote services. This means a remote service should generally be subject to New Zealand GST when it is applied to a New Zealand-resident consumer. The OECD's guidelines define remote services as 'services where it is not necessary for the supplier and the consumer to be in the same place' (for example, a digital download). The OECD’s definition of remote services is broad and includes telecommunication services.

Under the guidelines, supplies of telecommunications services on, for example, international roaming services, should be subject to GST when consumed by a New Zealand resident, regardless of the consumer’s location. It would ensure services rules are consistent with international best practice such as the United Kingdom and European Union.

Submissions on the consultation close on 28 June 2019. See the consultation paper here.

Civil Aviation Bill released for consultation

The Minister of Transport, Hon Phil Twyford recently released an exposure draft of the Civil Aviation Bill (Bill), which seeks to merge and modernise New Zealand's key pieces of aviation legislation:

  • the Civil Aviation Act 1990 (which establishes the framework for civil aviation safety, security and economic regulation); and
  • the Airport Authorities Act 1966 (which empowers airport authorities to establish and operate airports).

The Bill follows a broader consultation on the legislation, which was undertaken by the Ministry of Transport in 2014. See that review here.

The changes are broad and in the words of Minister Twyford, "touch on every part of the aviation sector – from drones to lost luggage". Some of the proposed changes include:

  • a new drug and alcohol management scheme for aviation operators;
  • clarification of powers and responsibilities in aviation security;
  • amendments to the authorisation regime for airline alliances; and
  • implementing 'Just Culture' principles in the reporting of aviation incidents (which seeks to encourage open and honest reporting by introducing leniency in the enforcement of minor infringements).

More information on the Bill, including the exposure draft itself and an associated commentary document, can be found here.

Submissions on the exposure draft of the Bill close on 6 July 2019. The Ministry of Transport is aiming to have the Bill introduced to Parliament within the next 12 months, and passed in mid/late 2020.

Infrastructure Pipeline launched

On 9 May 2019, the Government launched a prototype Infrastructure Pipeline tool, intended to provide the infrastructure market with better information about the timing, sequencing and scale of future infrastructure projects.

The Infrastructure Pipeline tool was developed by the Treasury's Infrastructure Transactions Unit and includes data from five capital-intensive central government agencies: the Ministries of Education and Health, the New Zealand Transport Agency, the New Zealand Defence Force, and the Department of Corrections. This data has identified 174 projects with an estimated value of over $6.1 billion in the pipeline.

The development of a "fulsome pipeline" was identified as a priority in the draft Construction Sector Accord, published on 14 April 2019, and is consistent with the Accord's purpose "to strengthen the partnership between government and industry and be a catalyst to transform the construction sector for the benefit of all New Zealand."

The prototype Infrastructure Pipeline tool was developed in the lead-up to the establishment of the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission in late 2019. The data from the prototype Infrastructure Pipeline tool will gather feedback on the pipeline's form and function, which will assist the Commission in fully developing the Infrastructure Pipeline Tool to eventually include data from all central government agencies, local government, and private sector projects. The feedback may further assist the Commission in its main task of developing a 30-year infrastructure strategy.

The data behind the Infrastructure Pipeline will be updated quarterly, with the next update expected soon to reflect any changes resulting from Budget 2019. 

New Code of Conduct for Financial Advice Services approved

In May 2019, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, Kris Faafoi, approved a new Code of Professional Conduct for Financial Advice Services (Code). The Financial Advice Code Working Group prepared the Code following consultation held with the industry, consumers and other interested parties.

The Code will set standards of competence, conduct and client care to those providing regulated financial advice. Minister Faafoi said that anyone giving financial advice to consumers will need to act fairly and with integrity when they give advice, and to meet a minimum standard of competence.  Businesses that provide financial advice will need to be licensed.

While approved, the Code is not yet in force. The Code will apply after the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act 2019 comes into force (expected around mid-2020). Businesses will have at least six month prior to the commencement date to obtain a transitional licence, which provides businesses a two-year safe harbour period from the commencement date to become fully licenced and meet the competency requirements set by the Code. 

The Code can be found here. More information on the changes to regulation of financial advice can be found here.

Launch of the New Zealand-Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy

The Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage have launched the New Zealand-Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy. Over 250 submissions were made prior to the launch of the Strategy and helped inform its final content.

The Strategy sets out five key outcomes for tourism in New Zealand:

  • Tourism sector productivity improvements.
  • Aotearoa New Zealand delivers exceptional visitor experiences.
  • Tourism protects, restores and champions New Zealand-Aotearoa's natural environment, culture and historic heritage.
  • New Zealanders' lives are improved by tourism.
  • Tourism supports thriving and sustainable regions.

These outcomes fall under five themes – the economy (te ōhanga), the environment (te taiao), international and domestic visitors (ngā manuhiri o te ao, o Aotearoa anō hoki), New Zealanders and our communities (tātou o Aotearoa me ō tātou hapori), and regions (ngā rohe).

In order to meet the outcomes above, the Government has developed a work programme and prioritised four streams intended to deliver across multiple outcomes:

  • Coordination across the tourism system – MBIE and Department of Conservation taking a leadership approach to coordinate the Government’s tourism efforts across the public sector.
  • Long-term sustainable funding mechanisms - implementing the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy and accompanied strategic investment plan.
  • Destination management and planning – working with local government regarding planning and marketing their destinations.
  • Better data and insight – identifying future trends, and sharing data to support the industry.

MBIE plans to report back each year on progress made on the key outcomes above, and the impact the Tourism Strategy is having on ordinary New Zealanders.

Government invests in clean energy centre

Last month, the Government announced the launch of a new clean energy centre, to be based in Taranaki, with the aim of assisting New Zealand's transition to a low-emissions economy. The National New Energy Development Centre will research all clean energy opportunities, including hydrogen, offshore wind, solar power and new forms of energy storage. It is expected to help create new business and jobs in the Taranaki region, which has long been the country's top energy producer.

The investment follows a $100,000 grant from the Provincial Growth Fund made in April last year, to investigate the possibility of a clean energy centre. $27 million has been allocated in this year's Wellbeing Budget to set up the Centre, alongside a further $20 million over four years to establish a new research fund for cutting edge energy technology. The Government views this investment in science as one of the best ways New Zealand can contribute to the fight against climate change, and it complements their other environmental initiatives, including the recently announced Zero-Carbon Bill and changes to the ETS. No timeframe has yet been announced for the Centre's completion.

Ombudsman's New Guidelines on the Official Information Act and Local Government Official Information

The Chief Ombudsman published new guidelines on the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) and Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA). All the guides are supported by detailed case studies. The new guidelines relate to the following areas:

  • Withholding requested information on commercial grounds;
  • Withholding requested information on negotiation grounds;
  • Disclosing information generated during the public tender process; and
  • Consulting third parties before making a decision on an OIA request.

The most significant change relates to the obligations on agencies in relation to a requester's identity when consulting with third parties. The previous position was that a requester's identity should be disclosed, unless there is a good reason not to. However, the Ombudsman advises that the new position is that an agency should not disclose the identity of an individual seeking information in their personal capacity without the requester's consent. The change in position reflects the Ombudsman's consultation with the Privacy Commissioner, which considered that it was inappropriate to volunteer such information.

All of the Ombudsman's existing guidelines are under review and new guidelines are being developed. These guidelines will help agencies better comply with their obligations when navigating the OIA and LGOIMA, which can be challenging.

For more information on the new guidelines, see here.

Financial Markets Authority (FMA) Issues 10 Warnings under AML/CFT Act

In May 2019, the FMA issued 10 formal warnings under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act (AML/CFT Act).  These warnings were for:

  • Reporting entities that failed to have their risk assessment and AML/CFT programme audited every two years; and
  • Reporting entities that did not conduct their audits in a timely manner, missing their due dates by several months.

The warned entities were not publicly named by the FMA.

The FMA requires every reporting entity to have an audit of its AML/CFT risk assessment and programme completed every two years, and to provide that audit report to the FMA when requested. The FMA conducts annual reviews of a selection of reporting entities' AML/CFT processes, including reviewing independent audit reports regarding those processes. While only ~70 (of the total 800) reporting entities were assessed as part of this 2019 review, a similar number were assessed in 2018 and 2017. Liam Mason, FMA Director of Regulation, noted that "entities we supervise should understand that if we didn’t examine your report this year, there is a strong possibility we will be looking at your report next year."

Given that the AML/CFT regime has now been in place for five years in New Zealand, the FMA has indicated that it is seeking increasingly robust AML/CFT processes from reporting entities. The FMA's press release is available here.

Progress of legislation

New Bills

Appropriation (2017/18 Confirmation and Validation) Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Grant Robertson
This Bill was passed under urgency and has received Royal Assent. See 'Acts Assented' below for a summary of the resulting legislation.

Appropriation (2018/19 Supplementary Estimates) Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Grant Robertson
This Bill seeks parliamentary authorisation of the individual appropriations and changes contained in the Supplementary Estimates of Appropriations for the Government of New Zealand for the year ending 30 June 2019. The individual appropriations and capital injections are set out in Schedule 1, 2, and 3 of the Bill.

Appropriation (2019/20 Estimates) Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Grant Robertson
This Bill seeks parliamentary authorisation of the individual appropriations contained in The Estimates of Appropriations for the Government of New Zealand for the year ending 30 June 2020. The individual appropriations, expenses, and capital injections are contained in Schedules 1 – 4 of the Bill.

Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Stuart Nash
This Bill was passed under urgency and has received Royal Assent. See 'Acts Assented' below for a summary of the resulting legislation.

Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon James Shaw
The purpose of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill (the Bill) is to provide a framework by which New Zealand can develop and implement clear and stable climate change policies that contribute to the global effort under the Paris Agreement to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5° Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The Bill sets out a framework for climate change action that aims to assist New Zealand to mitigate and adapt to climate change. It also contains mechanisms for increasing transparency of decisions relating to climate change. This includes processes, time frames, reporting obligations, monitoring, and considerations to take into account. See a more comprehensive summary of the features of the Bill from our Environment, Planning, and Natural Resources team here.

Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Kris Faafoi
This Bill aims to strengthen requirements to lend responsibly, especially in relation to requirements regarding how affordability and suitability tests should be conducted, limiting the accumulation of interest and fees on high-cost loans, and providing new remedies and penalties for non-compliance.

Key changes that the Bill would introduce to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA) include:

  • A limit on the accumulation of interest and fees on high-cost loans to 100% of the original loan principal, over the life of the loan. This would apply only to loans with an annualised interest rate of 50% or more.
  • All directors and senior executives of lenders offering consumer credit contracts will be required to meet a “fit and proper person” test in order for the lender to register on the Financial Service Providers Register. This requirement will also apply to mobile traders. Directors and senior executives of lenders will have new duties to ensure that lenders comply with the CCCFA.
  • Enforcement provisions will be strengthened, including by providing civil pecuniary penalties and statutory damages for breaches of lender responsibility principles.
  • Regulation-making powers will provide for greater prescription about how assessments of affordability and suitability must be conducted. The presumption that lenders can rely on information provided by borrowers and guarantors without objective verification will be removed.
  • Debt collectors will be required to disclose key information about the debt to the debtor, at the commencement of debt collection action.

This Bill replaces the withdrawn Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Amendment Bill.

District Court (District Court Judges) Amendment Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Andrew Little
This Bill was passed under urgency and has received Royal Assent. See 'Acts Assented' below for a summary of the resulting legislation.

Education (School Donations) Amendment Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Chris Hipkins
This Bill would implement a school donations scheme for decile 1–7 schools, whereby schools will be paid a nominal amount per student if the school agrees to comply with certain conditions upon choosing to participate in the scheme.

The Bill would amend the Education Act to create a new category of grants called discretionary grants. The Bill provides that the Minister may pay discretionary grants to school boards, subject to the condition that a board does not seek or receive any solicited voluntary payments from parents, and any further conditions that the Minister determines.

The Bill would also enable funding provided as discretionary grants to be effectively recovered from boards that have failed to comply with the conditions of that funding. Funds could be recovered by reducing a future grant to the school, rather than requiring the school to refund money to the Ministry of Education.

Excise and Excise-equivalent Duties Table (Budget Measures—Motor Spirits) Amendment Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Phil Twyford
This Bill was passed under urgency and has received Royal Assent. See 'Acts Assented' below for a summary of the resulting legislation.

Farm Debt Mediation Bill (No 2)
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Damien O'Connor
This Bill would establish a farm debt mediation scheme which will require creditors with security interests in farm property to offer mediation to farmers before taking an enforcement action in relation to that debt, and allow farmers to initiate statutory mediation with a secured creditor.

Under the statutory scheme, secured creditors of farm businesses would be required to offer statutory mediation before taking an enforcement action in relation to debt secured over farm property (including land, chattels, and licences). Farmers would also be able to initiate mediation, without needing to meet any statutory criteria other than having debt secured over the farm business.

There is no obligation on either party to participate in mediation. However, if a farmer declines to mediate, the creditor would be able to apply for an enforcement certificate, which will allow enforcement action to proceed in line with the terms and conditions of the loan agreement. If the creditor declines to mediate, the farmer could apply for a prohibition certificate, which would prevent the creditor from taking any enforcement action related to that debt for six months.

Immigration (International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy) Amendment Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Iain Lees-Galloway
This Bill was passed under urgency and has received Royal Assent. See 'Acts Assented' below for a summary of the resulting legislation.

Imprest Supply (First for 2019/20) Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Grant Robertson
This Imprest Supply Bill would provide the sole financial authority to incur expenses and capital expenditure and make capital injections from the start of the 2019/20 financial year until the Appropriation (2019/20 Estimates) Bill is passed.

Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Phil Twyford
This Bill would establish Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities as a Crown entity. Kāinga Ora would be tasked with two roles—being a public housing landlord, and leading and co-ordinating urban development projects. To enable Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities to do this effectively, the Bill would consolidate central government housing and urban development delivery capability by:

  • disestablishing Housing New Zealand Corporation (Housing New Zealand) and its development subsidiary, HLC (2017) Limited (HLC);
  • putting Housing New Zealand and HLC’s functions and assets into Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities, including Housing New Zealand’s shares in the subsidiaries Housing New Zealand Limited and Housing New Zealand Build Limited;
  • repealing the Housing Corporation Act 1974; and
  • putting some of the functions and assets related to KiwiBuild that currently sit in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development into Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities.

For the time being, the Bill would not transfer the Land for Housing Programme to Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities. This is because further engagement needs to be undertaken with iwi to ensure the Crown’s Treaty settlement obligations are being met both now and in the future.

Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Kris Faafoi
This Bill would amend the Land Transport Act 1998 (the Act) to regulate the maximum fees charged by wheel clamp operators. The Bill would set a maximum wheel clamping fee of $100 that can be charged in relation to a parking breach in a parking place on a road that is not under the control of an enforcement authority (ie, not a motorway, state highway, or government road or a road under the authority of local government). The Bill is intended to apply to operators who use wheel clamping as an enforcement method on private property, who do not have powers under an enactment to enforce parking. It is not intended to apply to parking enforcement of the public road system, as transport legislation provides a specific regime for enforcement authorities (such as the Police, the New Zealand Transport Agency, and local authorities) to address parking breaches. Nor is the Bill intended to apply to wheel clamping that is authorised by an enactment (such as under freedom camping legislation).

The Bill would make it an offence for a person to charge more than the maximum fee, or to fail to remove, or arrange for the removal of, the wheel clamp. These offences would be enforced by the New Zealand Police. The Bill would also provide for the ability to prescribe the maximum fee in regulations.

Maritime Transport (Offshore Installations) Amendment Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Julie Anne Genter
This Bill would amend the Maritime Transport Act 1994. The Bill is intended to provide certainty in relation to the liability of insurers (or, in the case of financial security, the persons providing the financial security) to the Crown and to other third parties who are affected by pollution in the event of a major marine oil spill. The Bill would also clarify that marine protection rules made under the Act may specify the types of liability that will need to be insured against and may provide for the insurance or other financial security to cover the cost of well control measures and other costs of implementing marine oil spill contingency plans.

The amendments to the Act would be supported by amendments to the rules, which would specify more detailed requirements relating to the insurance or financial security. The rules would include a scaled framework for specifying the amount of cover required, based on the modelling of a credible worst-case scenario event from that particular installation.

Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Dr David Clark
This Bill is an omnibus Bill that seeks to amend both the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 and the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013. The Bill would:

  • classify AMB-FUBINACA and 5F-ADB as Class A drugs;
  • affirm the existing discretion to prosecute for possession and use (for all drugs) and specify that when considering whether a prosecution would meet the public interest requirements, consideration should be given to whether a health-centred or therapeutic approach would be more beneficial; and
  • enable temporary drug class orders to be issued for emerging and potentially harmful substances.

New Zealand Business Number Funding (Validation and Authorisation) Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Stuart Nash
This Bill was passed under urgency and has received Royal Assent. See 'Acts Assented' below for a summary of the resulting legislation.

New Zealand Infrastructure Commission/Te Waihanga Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Shane Jones
This Bill would establish the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission / Te Waihanga (the Commission) as an autonomous Crown entity. The Commission would be tasked with:

  • developing broad public agreement on long-term infrastructure strategy;
  • enabling co-ordination of infrastructure planning; and
  • providing advice and best-practice support to infrastructure projects.

All of the Commission’s functions are advisory only and there would be no changes to decision-making powers for Ministers or departments that invest in or maintain infrastructure, or to the overall accountability for those decisions.

The Commission’s main function is intended to be to co-ordinate, develop, and promote an approach to infrastructure that encourages infrastructure -and services that result from infrastructure - that improve well-being. In addition, the Commission will have two groups of functions: strategy and planning, and support for projects.

New Zealand Public Health and Disability (Waikato DHB) Elections Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Dr David Clark
This Bill would exempt the Waikato District Health Board (the Waikato DHB) from the 2019 triennial local body election. This legislation will have the effect of extending the time that the Waikato DHB is governed by a commissioner until a newly elected board takes office following the 2022 triennial local body election.

Ombudsmen (Protection of Name) Amendment Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Andrew Little
The Ombudsmen (Protection of Name) Amendment Bill intends to protect the use of the name “Ombudsman” by restricting its use to—

  • an Ombudsman appointed under section 3 of the Ombudsmen Act 1975;
  • a person appointed to a position established by the Chief Ombudsman under section 11 of the Ombudsmen Act 1975 (such as that of Assistant Ombudsman or Deputy Ombudsman); or
  • any public sector department or organisation approved by the Minister responsible for the administration of the Ombudsmen Act 1975.

The Bill would allow two existing private sector entities (the Banking Ombudsman Scheme Limited and the Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme Incorporated), which currently have permission from the Chief Ombudsman, to continue to use the name “Ombudsman”. It also includes a saving provision in respect of the private sector entity Financial Services Complaints Limited (FSCL). If the application FSCL has made under the current section 28A is approved by the Chief Ombudsman, it will also be able to use the name “Ombudsman” in accordance with that permission.

Oranga Tamariki Legislation Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Tracey Martin
This Bill has received Royal Assent. See 'Acts Assented' below for a summary of the resulting legislation.

Organ Donors and Related Matters Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Dr David Clark
The Bill is an omnibus Bill that would enable the implementation of a number of recommendations set out in Increasing Deceased Organ Donation and Transplantation: A national strategy (2017) (the Strategy) that are aimed at increasing New Zealand’s deceased organ donation and transplantation rates.

A national organ donation agency would be created to oversee and lead implementation of the Strategy. The national agency would have a role in:

  • raising the profile of organ donation;
  • supporting effective clinical governance;
  • working with the health sector to co-ordinate donation and transplantation processes; and
  • providing expert advice and information to the sector, Government, media, and public.

The national agency would be established within an existing Crown entity. To enable this, the Bill broadens the functions of the New Zealand Blood Service that are provided for under the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000.

The Bill would also amend the Compensation for Live Organ Donors Act 2016 in relation to compensation to be paid to live organ donors while they recuperate from donor surgery. The Bill would provide for those who are not currently eligible for compensation under the Act but who clearly fall within its purposes.

Partnership Law Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon David Parker
This is a Bill to re-enact, in an up-to-date and accessible form, the Partnership Act 1908. The Bill is a revision Bill prepared under subpart 3 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012. The Bill would not make any substantive legislative changes.

Racing Reform Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Rt Hon Winston Peters
This Bill has received Royal Assent. See 'Acts Assented' below for a summary of the resulting legislation.

Rights for Victims of Insane Offenders Bill
Type of Bill: Member's
Member in Charge: Hon Louise Upston
The Bill would rename the verdict of ‘not guilty on account of insanity’ to ‘the acts or omissions are proven but the defendant is not criminally responsible on account of insanity’. The Bill provides certain victims of insane offenders with a right to be sent a copy of any certificate of clinical review stating that detention is no longer necessary. Those victims would then have a right to make a submission to the Minister about whether continued detention is necessary or, if relevant, to the Mental Health Review Tribunal for a review of the patient’s condition.

Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Jenny Salesa
This Bill would amend the Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 to prohibit smoking in motor vehicles carrying children and young people under 18 years of age.

Social Assistance Legislation (Budget 2019 Welfare Package) Amendment Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Carmel Sepuloni
This Bill was passed under urgency and has received Royal Assent. See 'Acts Assented' below for a summary of the resulting legislation.

Support Workers (Pay Equity) Settlements Amendment Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Dr David Clark
This Bill would give effect to elements of the following settlement agreements:

  • the agreement in respect of vocational and disability support workers signed by the Crown and the relevant parties on 17 July 2017; and
  • the agreement in respect of mental health and addiction support workers, signed by the Crown and the relevant parties on 25 July 2018.

The agreements follow a pay equity claim and settlement agreement, known as the TerraNova Settlement, which gave rise to the principal Act. That agreement is available on the Ministry of Health website here.

Veterans' Support Amendment Bill
Type of Bill: Government
Member in Charge: Hon Ron Mark
This Bill has received Royal Assent. See 'Acts Assented' below for a summary of the resulting legislation.

Bills awaiting first reading

Autonomous Sanctions Bill
Broadcasting (Games of National Significance) Amendment Bill (No 2)
Broadcasting (New Zealand on Air and Te Māngai Pāho Reporting Requirements) Amendment Bill
Crimes (Coward Punch Causing Death) Amendment Bill
Education (Strengthening Second Language Learning in Primary and Intermediate Schools) Amendment Bill
Farm Debt Mediation Bill (No 2)
High-power Laser Pointer Offences and Penalties Bill
Holidays (Bereavement Leave for Miscarriage) Amendment Bill
Maritime Transport (Offshore Installations) Amendment Bill
New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income (Fair Residency) Amendment Bill
Protection for First Responders and Prison Officers Bill
Rights for Victims of Insane Offenders Bill
Shark Cage Diving (Permitting and Safety) Bill

Bills defeated

Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Bill
Member in charge: Rino Tirikatene
Ayes 54: New Zealand Labour 46; Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand 8.
Noes 66: New Zealand National 55; New Zealand First 9; ACT New Zealand 1; Ross 1.

Health and Safety at Work (Volunteer Associations) Amendment Bill
Member in charge: Harete Hipango
Ayes 57: New Zealand National 55; ACT New Zealand 1; Ross 1.
Noes 63: New Zealand Labour 46; New Zealand First 8; Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand 8.

Psychoactive Substances (Increasing Penalty for Supply and Distribution) Amendment Bill
Member in charge: Simeon Brown
Ayes 56: New Zealand National 55; Ross 1.
Noes 64: New Zealand Labour 46; New Zealand First 9; Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand 8; ACT New Zealand 1.


Bills withdrawn

Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Amendment Bill

Bills before Select Committee

Submissions open


Select Committee

Closing date for Submissions (2019)

Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill

Environment Committee

16 July

Kāinga Ora—Homes and Communities Bill

Environment Committee

11 July

Partnership Law Bill

Justice Committee

25 July

Support Workers (Pay Equity) Settlements Amendment Bill

Health Committee

15 October

Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Bill

Health Committee

Not yet called

Submissions closed


Select Committee

Report Due (2019)

Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill

Environment Committee

5 August

Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill

Finance and Expenditure Committee

30 October

Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill

Justice Committee

17 October

Education (School Donations) Amendment Bill

Education and Workforce Committee

19 August

Election Access Fund Bill

Governance and Administration Committee

24 June

Financial Markets (Derivatives Margin and Benchmarking) Reform Amendment Bill

Finance and Expenditure Committee

21 October

Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill

Transport and Infrastructure Committee

9 October

Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill

Health Committee

22 July

New Zealand Infrastructure Commission/Te Waihanga Bill

Finance and Expenditure Committee

26 August

New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute Vesting Bill

Māori Affairs Committee

23 September

Ombudsmen (Protection of Name) Amendment Bill

Governance and Administration Committee

8 November

Organ Donors and Related Matters Bill

Health Committee

2 October

Regulatory Systems (Economic Development) Amendment Bill (No 2)

Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee

21 August

Regulatory Systems (Housing) Amendment Bill (No 2)

Social Services and Community Committee

21 August

Te Pire Haeata ki Parihaka / Parihaka Reconciliation Bill

Māori Affairs Committee

3 July

Bills awaiting second reading

Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Bill
Companies (Clarification of Dividend Rules in Companies) Amendment Bill as reported back from select committee
Copyright (Marrakesh Treaty Implementation) Amendment Bill as reported back from select committee
Dog Control (Category 1 Offences) Amendment Bill as reported back from select committee
Electoral (Entrenchment of Māori Seats) Amendment Bill as reported back in the briefing from select committee
End of Life Choice Bill as reported back from select committee
Equal Pay Amendment Bill as reported back from select committee
Health (Drinking Water) Amendment Bill as reported back from select committee
Health (Fluoridation of Drinking Water) Amendment Bill
Health (National Cervical Screening Programme) Amendment Bill as reported back from select committee
Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary Bill
KiwiSaver (Foster Parents Opting in for Children in their Care) Amendment Bill as reported back from select committee
Legislation Bill
New Zealand Public Health and Disability (Waikato DHB) Elections Bill
Ngāi Te Rangi and Ngā Pōtiki Claims Settlement Bill
Privacy Bill as reported back from select committee
Regulatory Systems (Workforce) Amendment Bill (No 2) as reported back from select committee
Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Renewal of Licences) Amendment Bill (No 2)
Statutes Amendment Bill as reported back from select committee
Tauranga Moana Iwi Collective Redress and Ngā Hapū o Ngāti Ranginui Claims Settlement Bill
Thames–Coromandel District Council and Hauraki District Council Mangrove Management Bill

Bills awaiting third reading

Appropriation (2019/20 Estimates) Bill
Contempt of Court Bill (retitled from the Administration of Justice (Reform of Contempt of Court) Bill)
Corrections Amendment Bill
Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Bill
Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Levy) Amendment Bill
Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2)
Ngāti Rangi Claims Settlement Bill
Psychoactive Substances (Increasing Penalty for Supply and Distribution) Amendment Bill
Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No 2)
Trusts Bill

Bills awaiting royal assent

Appropriation (2018/19 Supplementary Estimates) Bill
Imprest Supply (First for 2019/20) Bill
Taxation (Annual Rates for 2019–20, GST Offshore Supplier Registration, and Remedial Matters) Act

Acts assented

Accident Compensation Amendment Act 2019
This Act makes a number of changes regarding dual eligibility of superannuation and weekly compensation under the accident compensation scheme. The Act amends the Accident Compensation Act 2001 and the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001 to establish that claimants (or dependents of a deceased claimant) will no longer be required to elect either weekly compensation or superannuation payments, and instead be able to concurrently receive both payments. The age limit restricting weekly compensation from those close to or of the superannuation qualification age is removed and surviving spouses are now eligible to receive up to five years of weekly compensation. The Veterans' Support Act 2014 is amended to continue to align the accident compensation schemes for veterans with the Accident Compensation Act.

The Act also makes a number of discrete changes to the accident compensation scheme. These include:

  • expanding the definition of persons "Ordinarily resident in New Zealand" to allow aligned treatment of spouses, partners, children, and other dependants of New Zealand workers posted overseas, with their entitlements if the accident had occurred in New Zealand;
  • disestablishing the Accident Compensation Appeal Authority (which heard appeals from the Accident Compensation Act 1972 and Accident Compensation Act 1982); and
  • extending the period between reviews of treatment costs, set out in Regulations, from one to two years.

Appropriation (2017/18 Confirmation and Validation) Act 2019
This Act confirms the Public Finance (Transfers Between Outputs) Order 2018, which was made under section 26A of the Act. It also confirms expenses and capital expenditure incurred for the 2017/18 financial year with the approval of the Minister of Finance under section 26B of the Act.

Arbitration Amendment Act 2019
This Act amends the Arbitration Act 1996, making a number of discrete changes. A clarification is added to avoid the possibility that a party could raise a late procedural challenge against an arbitral tribunal on jurisdictional grounds that could invalidate an award that had taken a lot of time and expense to arrive at. This change would encourage parties to try to solve the substantive point at issue. It achieves this by declaring that failure to pursue a request made under s 16(3) in a timely manner operates as a waiver of any right to later object to a ruling of the arbitral tribunal as to its jurisdiction.

The Act alters the benchmark for determining when the provision that an arbitral award may be set aside by the High Court would apply. It also removes the ability for one party in a dispute to trigger a process to appoint an arbitrator if the other party failed to respond to a communication within seven days of receiving it.

Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Act 2019
This Act amends the Arms Act 1983 to prohibit semi-automatic firearms, magazines, and parts that can be used to assemble prohibited firearms. The Act inserts new provisions to provide a general prohibition on importing, selling, supplying, or possessing any of the following:

  • A semi-automatic firearm (other than a pistol), with some exceptions.
  • A pump-action shotgun that is capable of being used with a detachable magazine.
  • A pump-action shotgun that has a non-detachable tubular magazine or magazines that can hold more than five cartridges or magazines.
  • Magazines for shotguns that can hold more than five cartridges.
  • Magazines for any other firearm that are detachable and can hold:
    • 0.22 calibre or less rimfire cartridges and more than 10 of those cartridges; or
    • more than ten cartridges and can be used with a semi-automatic or fully automatic firearm.
  • Any other magazine that can hold more than ten cartridges.
  • A part of a prohibited firearm, including a component, that can be applied to enable, or take significant steps towards enabling, a firearm to be fired with, or near, a semi-automatic action.

A small number of firearms licence holders are permitted under the Act to import, sell, supply, and possess semi-automatic firearms and other items for genuine and justifiable reasons. They need to apply to the Police to obtain the necessary approvals in order to qualify for the exemptions. The Act provides an amnesty for prohibited firearms, magazines, and parts to be surrendered to licensed dealers and the Police by 30 September 2019

A number of new offences are created by the Act, with penalties ranging from two to 10 years imprisonment. These include the following:

  • unlawful possession of prohibited firearms, magazines, and parts;
  • using or intending to use a prohibited firearm to resist arrest or commit offence;
  • unlawful possession of a prohibited firearm in a public place;
  • presenting a prohibited firearm at another person;
  • possession of a prohibited firearm while committing any offence that has a penalty of imprisonment for three years or more;
  • carrying a prohibited firearm with criminal intent;
  • importing prohibited items without a permit;
  • knowingly supplying or selling a prohibited firearm to a person who does not hold a permit to import or possess one;
  • using a prohibited part to assemble or convert a firearm into a prohibited firearm; and
  • knowingly supplying or selling a prohibited part.

Building Amendment Act
The Act amends the Building Act 2004 to create a scheme to manage buildings affected by emergencies (such as earthquakes). The Act gives a territorial authority or Civil Defence Emergency Management decision-maker the ability to designate an area for emergency management of buildings. A range of persons may now exercise a number of powers in relation to buildings within the designated area. These powers include post-event assessments, orders to evacuate, requiring people to stay away from buildings, information requests from building owners, and orders to conduct works to remove or reduce risks posed by a building (without needing resource consent). The Act allows for checks on this power, including reviewing the powers designated every 90 days, limiting the total time they can be used to six years, and introducing a framework for recognising personal and property rights.

Further, the Act provides the Chief Executive of MBIE with a power of investigation into significant building failures. This includes powers to restrict access to an investigation site, enter the site, take samples and evidence, undertake works, and request information or documents from any person. The Act imposes restrictions on the sharing of information collected under the power of investigation. The Chief Executive of MBIE may publish a report following the investigation, including findings of the investigation, recommendations about building design, and any other matter relating to building design.

Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal Act
This Act establishes the Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal. The tribunal's purpose is to provide speedy, flexible, and cost-effective services to help resolve insurance claims between policyholders and insurers, or between insured persons and the Earthquake Commission under the Earthquake Commission Act 1993.

The Tribunal is empowered to take an inquisitorial approach to settling claims, appoint independent advisors, and be proactive when managing cases. If a claim is currently the subject of Court proceedings, the parties are able to apply to have matters transferred to the Tribunal. If appropriate, the Tribunal is able to direct the parties to mediation. The Tribunal also has the power to order any remedy that a court can order, including general damages for things such as mental stress.

Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Act 2019
This Act amends the Commerce Act 1986 to introduce a criminal offence for cartel conduct. Cartels are formed when rival firms agree not to compete with each other. A cartel is an anticompetitive arrangement by competitors to do any of the following:

  • fix, control, or maintain prices;
  • establish output restrictions or quotas; or
  • share or divide markets by allocating customers, suppliers, territories, or lines of commerce.

For a more comprehensive overview of the Act, see an update from our Competition Law team here.

Crimes Amendment Act 2019
This Act repeals three provisions in the Crimes Act 1961:

  • Section 71(2), which protected spouses and civil union partners in cases where they would otherwise be an accessory after the fact to an offence. It gave an immunity to a person who assists their spouse or civil union partner and any other party to the offence to escape after arrest or to avoid arrest or conviction.
  • Section 123, which contained an offence of blasphemous libel. This offence has not been prosecuted in New Zealand since 1922 and may conflict with freedom of expression now protected under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.
  • Section 162, which contained the year-and-a-day rule. The rule provided that no one is criminally responsible for the killing of another person unless the death takes place within a year and a day after the cause of death.

In addition, the amendment Act creates two new offences.

  • Section 220A is inserted, creating an offence of "theft of livestock and other animals"
  • Section 231A is inserted, creating an offence of "entry onto agricultural land with intent to commit an imprisonable offence"

District Court (District Court Judges) Amendment Act
This Act amends the District Court Act 2016 to increase the maximum number of District Court Judges that can be appointed at any time from 160 full-time equivalents to 182 full-time equivalents.

Excise and Excise-equivalent Duties Table (Budget Measures—Motor Spirits) Amendment Act
This Act amends the Excise and Excise-equivalent Duties Table to increase the rates of excise duty and excise-equivalent duty on motor spirits on 1 July 2019 and 1 July 2020. This Act also amends the Land Transport Management (Apportionment and Refund of Excise Duty and Excise-Equivalent Duty) Regulations 2004 to consequentially increase the refunds available under those regulations

Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act 2019
The Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act overhauls the financial advice regime that was implemented in 2008, and seeks to ensure consistency in the conduct and client-care obligations of persons who provide financial services. Amendments are also made to the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008 to address the misuse of the financial service providers register by offshore entities. 

For a more detailed analysis of the changes the Act introduces, see an update from our Banking and Finances team here.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Levy) Amendment Act 2019
This Act amends the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 to amend the period in which the Minister is required to make regulations in relation to levies. Further, it delays the commencement of specific provisions to allow insurers and brokers to make changes to their systems, and exempts public museums, public art galleries, whare taonga, and the New Zealand Defence Force from the levy.

Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Amendment Act 2019
This Act amends the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 by implementing recommendations that arose from reviews undertaken in 2009 and 2012. The amending Act seeks to clarify the original Act's interpretation and improve its operation in order to ensure that health practitioners are competent and fit to practice. In particular, the amendment Act:

  • clarifies that responsible authorities can receive and act on information from members of the public about the practice, conduct, or competence of health practitioners;
  • makes information about orders made by an authority under the Act more accessible;
  • in respect of professional misconduct, would allow responsible authorities to delegate their power to appoint a professional conduct committee to a committee, and give responsible authorities discretion to refer notices of minor offences to a professional conduct committee;
  • allows the chairperson of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal to issue an order for the non-publication of names at any time before a charge is heard;
  • allows a responsible authority to order the suspension of a practitioner’s practising certificate or registration where the practitioner is involved in a criminal proceeding or an investigation and the authority believes the practitioner’s alleged conduct poses a risk of serious harm to the public; and
  • empowers the Governor-General, on the recommendation of the Minister of Health, the power by Order in Council to amalgamate existing authorities when it is in the public interest.

Immigration (International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy) Amendment Act
This Act amends the Immigration Act 2009 to provide for the collection of an international visitor conservation and tourism levy (IVL). The IVL will be collected by Immigration New Zealand through the immigration system. The Act allows for regulations to be made to require visitors to pay the IVL alongside fees for temporary entry class visa applications and electronic travel authority (ETA) requests. The Act also allows for the regulations to determine who is required to pay, the amount they are required to pay, and any exemptions from the requirement to pay. The Act also expands the section of the principal Act that allows for automated decision making, to include automated decision making for the ETA, which is one mechanism by which the IVL is collected.

Insolvency Practitioners Regulation Act and Insolvency Practitioners Regulation (Amendments) Act
Initially the Insolvency Practitioners Bill, this legislation was divided into two separate Bills by the Committee of the Whole House. These two Acts require liquidators to be licenced and meet basic standards of honesty and competence.

The Insolvency Practitioners Regulation Act:

  • introduces a regime that will include competence, honesty and integrity criteria in relation to obtaining and retaining a licence to act as an insolvency practitioner (this will come into effect 12 months after the Bill receives royal assent)
  • provides methods for holding practitioners to account

The Insolvency Practitioners Regulation (Amendments) Act makes other amendments to the Companies Act and Receiverships Act. This Act is aimed at updating these pieces of legislation to make sure they are still fit for purpose and reflect the new Insolvency Practitioners Regulation Act. The amendments:

  • update these Acts to reflect new requirements for the licensing of insolvency practitioners
  • increase the transparency of practitioner appointments
  • alters practitioner reporting requirements.

Local Electoral Matters Act 2019
The Act amends the Local Electoral Act 2001 to allow partial trials of new voting methods in local elections. It also amends the Electoral Act 1993 to:

  • allow local authorities to access date of birth information from the database of registered electors
  • clarify that researchers could be supplied with date of birth information and age group information for the purpose of analysing voter participation in local elections.

Local Government Regulatory Systems Amendment Act 2019
This is an omnibus Act that amends seven statutes administered by the Department of Internal Affairs relating to local government matters. The amended includes:

  • Dog Control Act 1996: amended to require local authorities to produce reports about various dog control matters.
  • Local Electoral Act 2001: amended to include the principle that the Act is designed to implement representative and substantial electoral participation in local elections and polls.
  • Local Government Act 1974: amended to ensure that explanation for right of appeal is publicly available when a council uses a special consultative procedure to declare a specified road to be a pedestrian mall.
  • Local Government Act 2002: amended to update interpretation definitions, reduce filing requirements, and improve document accessibility.
  • Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987: amended to update and clarify public notification requirements, particularly those for extraordinary or emergency meetings.
  • Local Government (Rating) Act 2002: amended to remove the requirement to send a copy of any resolution setting rates to the Secretary for Local Government, and instead require only that it be made publicly available.
  • Rates Rebate Act 1973: amended to update the definition of income to reflect changes arising from the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, to clarify provisions relating to the eligibility of retirement village residents in relation to rates rebates, and to exclude the winter energy payment from the definition of 'income' when assessing eligibility requirements.

Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Act 2019
This Act implements the following three main changes:

  • restoring the purpose of local government “to promote the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of communities”;
  • restoring territorial authorities’ power to collect development contributions for any public amenities needed as a consequence of development; and
  • making a minor modification to the development contributions power so that it is clear that advances of financial assistance from the New Zealand Transport Agency that are recoverable do not affect the power of territorial authorities to collect development contributions for projects financed using that mechanism.

New Zealand Business Number Funding (Validation and Authorisation) Act
This Act validates the imposition and collection of fees under the Companies Act 1993 and the use of the fees to fund the New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) register and provides for future funding. In particular, the Act:

  • retrospectively validates the imposition, collection, and use, for NZBN register and related functions, of fees prescribed and collected under the Companies Act 1993;
  • amends the Companies Act 1993 to provide that regulations under that Act may authorise fees collected under that Act to be used to fund the NZBN register and related functions (and amends the Companies Act 1993 Regulations 1994 accordingly); and
  • amends the NZBN Act to insert a regulation-making power that will enable the NZBN register and related functions to be funded from fees, charges, or levies payable by entities that have been allocated a New Zealand Business Number.

Oranga Tamariki Legislation Act
This Act implements consequential and minor amendments and transitional provisions to eleven Acts and a related set of Regulations. It seeks to ensure that the intended impacts of including 17-year-olds in the youth justice jurisdiction are fully achieved. The Act:

  • updates the definition of “young person” in several Acts to align with the definition in the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989;
  • clarifies the procedures and processes that would be applied to 17-year-olds, particularly in relation to bail, and taking and retaining bodily samples;
  • inserts transitional provisions into several Acts to clarify whether the adult or youth jurisdiction should apply to a 17-year-old, depending on the date that the proceedings commenced;
  • modifies a provision in the 2017 Act containing legislative errors that gives the Court and lawyers representing children unintended powers in relation to urgent interim orders; and
  • removes or corrects minor drafting errors in the 2017 Act.

Racing Reform Act
This Act makes changes to the New Zealand racing industry following an April 2018 report which provided recommendations for reform. It amends the Racing Act 2003 and the Gaming Duties Act 1971 to bring into effect a period of transition and various financial changes to the industry.

Significant changes made by the Act include:

  • providing a basis for collecting revenue from offshore betting operators that provide betting services to persons residing in New Zealand;
  • providing for safeguards relating to offshore charges;
  • requiring the Minister to publish a statement explaining why they consider the rates of the charges to be fair and reasonable and also the purposes for which any money collected from the charges may be applied;
  • progressively reducing over a three-year period, and then repealing, the totalisator duty currently paid by the New Zealand Racing Board to the Crown under the Gaming Duties Act 1971;
  • removing the distribution formula set out in section 16 of the Act, allowing the application and distribution of racing funds to be determined by regulations; and
  • permitting the relevant body to offer betting products on sports not represented by a qualifying domestic national sporting organisation, provided an agreement is in place with Sport New Zealand.

Social Assistance Legislation (Budget 2019 Welfare Package) Amendment Act
This Act gives effect to the income support policy changes announced through Budget 2019. The Budget 2019 initiative Incomes for People Receiving Benefits – Indexing Main Benefits, Removing Deductions, and Changing Abatement Thresholds requires amendments to the Social Security Act 2018, Child Support Act 1991, and Veterans’ Support Act 2014, in order to be brought into effect.

Social Security (Winter Energy Payment) Amendment Act 2019
This Act amends the Social Security Act 2018 to align with the policy intent in two specific scenarios. The amendments ensure that the following people are eligible to receive the Winter Energy Payment (WEP):

  • People who are receiving government funding for long-term residential care or residential care services who are not eligible for the Residential Care Subsidy (RCS) or Residential Support Subsidy (RSS).
  • People who are absent from New Zealand for longer than four weeks at any one time during the winter period would receive the WEP for the first 28 days of that absence.

The Act also modifies retrospectively the replaced former 1964 Act to authorise the Ministry of Social Development’s decision to pay the WEP to these groups during the last winter period in 2018.

Taxation (Annual Rates for 2018–19, Modernising Tax Administration, and Remedial Matters) Act 2019
This Act amends the Tax Administration Act 1994, the Income Tax Act 2007, and a number of other Inland Revenue Acts. The Act sets the annual rates for 2018-19, introduces amendments regarding the administration of individuals' income tax, and amendments that modernises the tax administration system. The amendments regarding the administration of individuals' income tax would include:

  • removing the obligation for taxpayers to file a tax return if they only earn income reported to Inland Revenue by third parties;
  • reform of the tax code system to allow allocation of more tailored tax codes (especially where a taxpayer has a secondary source of income); and
  • automatic payment of tax refunds.

The Act also:

  • modifies the rules regarding confidentiality of revenue information and introduces a regulation-making power for information sharing with agencies performing public services;
  • rewrites the Commissioner's information collection powers and introduces a regulation-making power for the regular collection of bulk data;
  • extends the current rulings scheme and introduces short-process rulings;
  • amends the scheme that allows the correction of minor errors in tax returns; and
  • clarifies the types of third parties who can be tax agents, representatives, or other third parties providing tax services.

The Act further contains reforms in a number of smaller policy matters and a range of remedial items.

Taxation (Research and Development Tax Credits) Act 2019
The Act amends the Income Tax Act 2007 to introduce a tax research and development (R&D) tax credit to incentivise businesses to perform research and development.

The Act defines the person who is eligible to claim R&D tax credits as a person who performs a core research and development activity in New Zealand, or a contractor performs it on their behalf, carries on a business through a fixed establishment in New Zealand, and may use the results of the relevant core research and development activity for no consideration, or the results are owned by the person  or be a company in the corporate group that owns the activities and the company is resident in a jurisdiction with which New Zealand has a double tax agreement.

The Act defines a core research and development activity as being an activity that is conducted using  systematic approach, has the purpose of creating new knowledge or new or improved processes, services or goods, and has the material purpose of resolving scientific or technological uncertainty. Further, the person will have to spend $50,000 on R&D in a year, and the maximum they can spend is $120 million (unless the Commissioner has given approval).

Generally, a person wanting to receive a tax credit will be required to seek approval from the Commissioner that their activities meet the eligibility criteria. If a person's terminal tax liability for a year is positive, a maximum of $255,000 of their R&D tax credits can be refunded (to the extent of the positive terminal tax liability).

Veteran's Support Amendment Act
This Act amends section 9 of the Veterans' Support Act 2014 to provide for the making of declarations in relation to historical deployments. Declarations can be used by the relevant Minister to ensure those serving in the armed forces are entitled to certain recognition and compensation. The interpretation of section 9 as it previously stood prior to this amendment could not be stretched to provide jurisdiction for the responsible Minister to make declarations in respect of historical (retrospective) deployments (ie, deployments that have already ceased). There was also a strong indication that section 9 did not apply only to deployments that begin after the date the new legislation commenced. This Act ensures that the responsible Minister does have jurisdiction to make declarations in respect of historical deployments.

In trade

Tariff concession applications


Proposed tariff concession

Tariff item

Closing date for objections (2019)

IMCD New Zealand Limited

Sodium Lauryl Glucoside Hydroxypropylsulfonate


2 July

Argyle Schoolwear Limited

Woven fabrics containing wool


2 July

Eurobev Pty Limited

Vegetable pea protein ready for immediate consumption


16 July

Eden Office Seating

Seating shells and cushions of moulded non-CFC cold-cure polyurethane foam with or without embedded interior structures.


16 July

In consultation




By when (2019)

Commerce Commission

Transpower's price-quality path from 2020 draft decision and draft IPP determination

27 June


Mobile market study preliminary findings paper

28 June


Amendments necessary to implement 2020 electricity distribution default price-quality path draft determination and reasons paper

5 July


Emerging views paper on fibre input methodologies

16 July


Electricity distributors 2020-2025 default price-quality path draft decision

18 July

Feedback on telecommunications retail service quality

31 July

Department of Conservation

Application by Southern Discoveries for a lease concession at Cleddau Village, Deepwater Basin in Fiordland National Park

1 July


New assessment of the conservation status of New Zealand marine invertebrates

31 July


New assessment of the conservation status of New Zealand spiders

31 July


Hector’s and Māui Dolphins Threat Management Plan Review

4 August

Department of Internal Affairs

Proposal to share information for customer-chosen services

1 August

Environmental Protection Authority

Application to introduce new fungicide AMICUS to New Zealand

19 July


Application to introduce Method 240 SL Herbicide to New Zealand

31 July

Inland Revenue Department

Issues paper on GST integrity

28 June


ED00214a: Commissioner’s statement on using a kilometre rate for business running of a motor vehicle – deductions

28 June


ED00214b: Commissioner’s statement on using a kilometre rate for employee reimbursement of a motor vehicle

28 June


PUB00344: Income tax – salary and wages paid in cryptocurrency

2 July


Discussion document on proposals to more effectively tax the digital economy in New Zealand

18 July


ED0215: Tax depreciation rate for lay flat hoses

19 July

Land Information New Zealand

The rating valuation of Māori Freehold Land guidance review

5 July

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Options paper on insurance contract law review

28 June


Exposure draft of regulations to be made under section 226 of the Telecommunications Act 2001

3 July


Discussion paper on the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill

2 August


Proposed regulations for dam safety

6 August

Ministry of Transport

Exposure draft of the Civil Aviation Bill that would replace the Civil Aviation Act 1990 and the Airport Authorities Act 1966 with a single new statute

22 July

Ministry for Primary Industries

Review of the Walking Access Act 2008

2 July


Draft Risk Management Programme (RMP) Template for Harvesting, Candling or Packing Eggs

19 July


Proposed animal welfare regulations on significant surgical procedures

24 July


Review of sustainability measures for selected fish stocks for 1 October 2019

26 July


Review of the Campylobacter regulatory limits for meat chickens

1 August 


Proposals to Amend the Maximum Residue Levels for Agricultural Compounds Food Notice December 2018

6 August


Proposal to list urology products supplied by CR Kennedy (NZ) Limited

5 July


Proposal to list products in the surgical suction, chest and wound drainage; and obstetrics and gynaecology categories supplied by W M Bamford

8 July


Proposal to list medical devices supplied by ResMed NZ Limited

15 July


Proposal to list products in the surgical suction, chest and wound drainage products supplied by Teleflex Medical New Zealand

16 July


New Zealand Mining Board of Examiners – review of continuing professional development requirements

1 July


Proposed Safe Work Instruments specifying: additional design standards for cylinders; a new standard for low-pressure fire extinguishers; and

a standard for the design and construction of above ground stationary tanks.

5 July


Proposal to remove the hazardous substances tracking requirements for petrol-methanol blends

12 July


Proposed performance standards for hazardous substance compliance certifiers

26 July


Proposed changes to Workplace Exposure Standards and Biological Exposure Indices 2019

7 August


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