New members’ bills

The four bills selected for first reading are:

Commerce (Supermarket Adjudicator and Code of Conduct) Amendment Bill – Mojo Mathers

This Bill amends the Commerce Act 1986 to require that a supermarket adjudicator is established, to resolve disputes between supermarkets and suppliers. The adjudicator will be funded by a levy of supermarkets and suppliers and will have power to involve the Commerce Commission when required.

You don’t need a government appointed regulator to solve commercial disputes between supermarkets and suppliers, let alone one funded by a compulsory levy on them. We already have the Commerce Act.

Yes Countdown was a bit of a bully with some of its suppliers, and they suffered a media backlash and have lost market share as a result, and also quite a few suppliers.  I would vote against.

Overseas Investment (Protection of New Zealand Homebuyers) Amendment Bill – Phil Twyford

Under the provisions of this Bill, non-residents will be granted permission to purchase a residential property only if they intend to live here permanently or their purchase adds to our existing housing stock.

Would also vote against this bill.  The impact on house prices of foreign buyers is relatively minor compared to land supply issues. And it may also breach CER with Australia.

Oaths and Declarations (Endorsing the Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi) Amendment Bill – Marama Fox

The purpose of this bill is to ensure that a person taking any oath set out in statute may, in addition to the words of the oath, elect to state that they will perform their duties in accordance with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. This recognises that the Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand’s founding document and the Government is committed to fulfilling its obligations as a Treaty partner.

I’m against as the principles of the Treaty are not well defined, and people may them use such an oath to justify breaking the law by saying they are required to by their oath. Also it is not for people to act in accordance with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi – but for the Government as a whole.

Social Security (Stopping Benefit Payments for Offenders who Repeatedly Fail to Comply with Community Sentences) Amendment Bill – Mark Mitchell

This bill would give the Department of Corrections the power to issue warnings to persons who have not complied with community-based sentences, with the consequence of withholding benefit payments.

Sounds reasonable. There may be some fish-hooks in it, but worth considering at select committee.

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