Public Sector Reform Bill Passes

by Desk Editor on Thursday, May 31, 2012 — 12:33 AM

The Crown Entities Reform Bill passed into law on Wednesday night.

It was split into three bills for its third reading; the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Amendment Bill, Mental Health Commission Amendment Bill and Charities Amendment Bill (No 2).

All parties supported the creation of the Health Promotion Agency to replace the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand and the Health Sponsorship Council which it abolishes.

The Greens, Maori Party and Mana 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 with the addition of Labour and New Zealand first also opposed winding the Charities Commission into the Department of Internal Affairs.

Jo Goodhew explained the Government’s reasons for backing the bill.

Numerous opposition MPs spoke against the bill 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, they argued.

Just after the dinner break Education Minister Hekia Parata made a personal explanation to the House concerning a reply during Question Time concerning whether she received a list of schools that would be hit by the loss of teachers.

Parliament rose at 10pm interrupting the second reading debate of the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Bill.

The bill which is opposed by the opposition parties seeks to put in place a management regime for deep sea activities.

Environment Minister Amy Adams said the regime was needed though it would cover little activity in reality.

It was clear that Labour and Green MPs would oppose the bill saying while legislation was needed to cover the area, this bill was not the right one.

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