Friday, July 28, 2006

In the ballot XIV

Another batch of Member's Bills currently in the ballot. Previous batches are indexed here:

Minimum Wage and Remuneration Amendment Bill (Darien Fenton): Not technically in the ballot anymore, as it has been drawn - but its not on Knowledge Basket yet either, and there's been little fanfare about it being drawn. The bill would amend (and rename) the Minimum Wage Act 1983 to create a minimum rate of remuneration for contracts for services, such as those being increasingly used to evade employment law at the bottom end of the labour market, or governing the work of people like circular deliverers, or tradesmen such as tilers or painters. it would also extend the jurisdiction of the Employment Relations Authority to allow the minimum to be enforced.

It is unclear how Taito Phillip Field feels about this bill.

Regulatory Responsibility Bill (Rodney Hide): This bill would require all laws and regulations to comply with a set of principles of "responsible regulatory management". The principles themselves are heavily based in Libertarian ideology, and require that (for example) Acts and regulations preserve "freedom of contract and the right to property" and "preserve and respect causes of action at common law that have provided long-standing protection against harm caused by strangers". They would also bar any changes to existing structures of legal rights unless it would serve an "essential public interest" (defined in narrow economic terms), and require full compensation (including a share of any future benefits) for any "impairment" of rights. It is, in other words, Gordon Copeland's New Zealand Bill of Rights (Private Property Rights) Amendment Bill on steroids, and while it is not legally enforceable (unlike Copeland's bill), the practical effect would be to make it very difficult for the government to regulate or legislate to, for example, limit pollution or redress existing inequalities unless it could be shown to be financially profitable to do so.

Airport Authorities (Sale to the Crown) Amendment Bill (Darren Hughes): Darren Hughes represents Otaki, and one of the concerns in his electorate is Paraparaumu Airport. This was flogged off for a song by the National government in 1995, in violation of its duties under the Treaty of Waitangi and the Public Works Act, and much of it has now been onsold for windfall profits by a succession of buyers, to the anger of the local community (who are seeing their airport disappear) and former owners and local Maori. The bill would aim to prevent this sort of thing happening in the future, by amending the Airport Authorities Act 1966 to provide for the Crown to have first right of purchase on any airport land when it came up for sale, thus giving the government the option of purchase to keep an airport running. It would also require airport companies to consult with the Ministry of Transport over their duties under the Public Works Act, which should ensure that land taken under the Act is returned to its original owners rather than being onsold.

As usual, I'll have more bills as they trickle in.


Duncan: Quite apart from the problems of long-term, irreversible damage, "common law" means protection for the rich, and victimisation for the poor. It's simply no protection at all.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 8/03/2006 03:46:00 PM