Public Sector Reform Bill Debated

by Desk Editor on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 — 10:00 PM

The Crown Entities Reform Bill did not complete its committee stage Wednesday night due to parties opposing aspects of the bill.

All parties supported Part One of the omnibus public sector reform bill which creates the Health Promotion Agency to replace the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand and the Health Sponsorship Council which it abolishes.

Labour, Greens, NZ First, Maori Party and Mana all opposed transferring the functions of the Mental Health Commission to the Health and Disability Commissioner, which includes establishing a new Mental Health Commissioner to carry out advocacy and monitoring functions.

The same parties also opposed winding the Charities Commission into the Department of Internal Affairs.

Numerous opposition MPs spoke against the bill with Trevor Mallard saying the Charities Commission changes were the most obnoxious part of the bill as it was a premature killing off of the Commission ahead of a review of the Charities Act.

It would be difficult for the Commission to remain independent within the Department, he said before the debate took a rather strange tack into the religious beliefs of some MPs.

Due to delaying tactics from those opposing the bill the committee stage debate was interrupted when the House rose at 10pm

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