Justice Minister Simon Power today announced the appointment of 23 Visiting Justices.
“Visiting Justices play an important role in New Zealand’s justice system,” Mr Power said.
“They have the authority to hear charges and appeals relating to offences against prison discipline, the treatment and conduct of prison inmates, and to inquire into alleged abuses in prisons.”
Barristers and solicitors, as well as Justices of the Peace, can be appointed by the Governor-General to be Visiting Justices.
Mrs Margaret Jane Hubbard has been removed from statutory management, effective from 5pm on 13 November 2011.
Commerce Minister Simon Power said he had received a report from the Registrar of Companies that it was no longer necessary to keep Mrs Hubbard in statutory management.
"The Registrar of Companies has advised me that in the opinion of the statutory managers, Mrs Hubbard is no longer so closely connected to the business of Aorangi Securities Ltd that she must remain under statutory management. The Registrar is also of this view.
The Government is to make a series of changes to bail laws to improve public safety.
The changes build on work the Government achieved in its first 100 days in office to reverse Labour’s 2007 decision which made it easier for defendants to get bail.
“This announcement fulfils the other half of our 2008 election promise to review aspects of the bail system,” Mr Power said.
The Government has agreed to establish a Drug Court pilot in Auckland to deal with offenders with severe alcohol and drug dependencies, Justice Minister Simon Power and Courts Minister Georgina te Heuheu announced today.
The Law Commission’s review of the Misuse of Drugs Act recommended the Government consider establishing a Drug Court pilot subject to a full analysis of the likely cost-effectiveness and availability of funding.
A $10 million investment package to reduce harm from alcohol and drug abuse has been announced by Justice Minister Simon Power and Health Minister Tony Ryall.
The package is designed to assist thousands of people with alcohol and drug related issues of all severities.
The funding, which comes out of alcohol excise revenue, is on top of the approximate $120 million spent on specialist alcohol and drug treatment services each year.
A bill that introduces criminal sanctions to deter hard-core cartel behaviour was introduced to Parliament today by Commerce Minister Simon Power.
“Cartels, by their nature, are secretive and often go undetected, causing substantial harm to businesses, consumers, and the government sector,” Mr Power said.
“Ultimately everyone suffers: increasing costs of production affect the competitiveness of companies in domestic and international markets, while consumers unwittingly pay inflated prices.
A bill that tightens rules around company directors and company registration was introduced to Parliament today by Commerce Minister Simon Power.
“New Zealand has an international reputation as one of the best and most trusted places in the world to do business,” Mr Power said.
“However, that is threatened by overseas interests using New Zealand-registered shell companies to undertake criminal activity.
A bill to establish a full-time Disability Rights Commissioner who will promote and protect the rights of disabled people was introduced to Parliament today by Justice Minister Simon Power.
“Having a dedicated Disability Rights Commissioner at the Human Rights Commission reinforces this Government’s commitment to promoting and monitoring mechanisms that will really make a difference to the lives of disabled people,” Mr Power said.
A bill that re-directs to victims of crime all compensation paid to prisoners was introduced to Parliament today by Justice Minister Simon Power.
The Prisoners’ and Victims’ Claims (Redirecting Prisoner Compensation) Amendment Bill provides that any compensation awarded to a prisoner and not paid to the direct victims must be used to fund general services for victims of crime.
A bill which overhauls securities law to improve financial market conduct and restore investor confidence in New Zealand’s financial markets was introduced to Parliament today by Commerce Minister Simon Power.
The 560-page Financial Markets Conduct Bill is the result of a comprehensive review of securities law and takes into account the work of the Capital Markets Development Taskforce, the effects of the global financial crisis, and the failure of finance companies.
The 49th Parliament passed 293 Government bills, the Acting Leader of the House, Simon Power, said today.
Parliament rose last night for the general election on November 26, and will be dissolved on October 20.
Some 293 Government bills received the Royal assent, and as of today 18 further bills are awaiting assent. The Governor-General will consider those 18 in the coming weeks. Also receiving the Royal assent during the 49th Parliament were two members' bills, two local bills, and five private bills.
The Government is satisfied with steps taken by the Law Society to address concerns about the quality of legal aid providers and is not planning to appoint an independent regulator for the profession, Justice Minister Simon Power said today.
Dame Margaret Bazley’s report in 2009 into legal aid identified serious problems with the quality of legal services and criticised the Law Society for its over-reliance on complaints as an indicator of lawyers who are failing to perform.
Commerce Minister Simon Power and Customs Minister Maurice Williamson today welcomed new powers to help crack down on people who import and sell counterfeit goods.
The Trade Marks Amendment Act and the Copyright Amendment Act, which come into force today, gives new powers to the Ministry of Economic Development and the Customs Service to investigate and prosecute people involved in the manufacture, importation, and sale of illegal goods.
Cabinet has approved an inquisitorial-style package of reforms that will dramatically improve the way child witnesses are treated in the criminal justice system, Justice Minister Simon Power announced today.
He said the package has been shaped by an Auckland University of Technology report on child witnesses, his visit to Germany and Austria last year to investigate inquisitorial systems of justice, and consultation with stakeholders.
Justice Minister Simon Power tonight welcomed Parliament’s unanimous support for the first reading of a bill to overhaul victims’ rights.
The Victims of Crime Reform Bill delivers on the Government’s promise to expand victims’ rights and make the criminal justice system more responsive to the needs of victims, who are in the system through no fault of their own.
“I simply don’t buy the argument that empowering victims will disrupt the court’s dispassionate assessment of the facts,” Mr Power said.
Justice Minister Simon Power today welcomed Parliament’s passage of the omnibus Criminal Procedure (Reform and Modernisation) Bill which is a milestone in efforts to put the right to a timely trial back at the heart of the criminal justice system.
“New Zealand’s key criminal procedure laws date back to the 1950s and have been subject to years of ad hoc reform,” Mr Power said.
An audio-visual link between Manukau District Court and Mt Eden Corrections Facility went live today, Justice Minister Simon Power and Corrections Minister Judith Collins announced today.
AVL technology allows prisoners to appear in court by video link rather than in person. It is used mainly for procedural hearings, such as list appearances, call-overs, and bail hearings. It can be used for trials, but only with the consent of the defendant.
New Zealand has ratified two treaties at the United Nations – one criminalises serious violation of children's rights, the other criminalises attacks on UN peace-builders.
Justice Minister Simon Power deposited New Zealand's instruments of ratification today.
The Acting Leader of the House, Simon Power, advises that Parliament’s Business Committee has agreed to the following schedule for MPs’ retiring from Parliament to present their valedictory statements.
Tuesday 27 September
5:45pm Sue Kedgley
Wednesday 28 September
5:30pm Hon. Mita Ririnui
5:45pm Keith Locke
Thursday 29 September
5:00pm Dr Ashraf Choudhary
5:15pm Hon. Heather Roy
5:30pm Hon. Sir Roger Douglas
5:45pm Hon. George Hawkins
Justice Minister Simon Power is calling for public feedback on a discussion document into the Government’s ground-up review of the Family Court.
The Family Court is the second busiest court, and deals with families and children at highly stressful times of their lives. In the 2009/10 year it dealt with 58,000 families and 66,976 applications.
Justice Minister Simon Power will lead the New Zealand delegation to the opening week of the 66th United Nations General Assembly in New York next week.
The High-Level Segment, which is the biggest annual gathering of global leaders and ministers, runs from September 19 to 22.
Its theme this year is the worldwide prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Sir Peter Gluckman, will accompany Mr Power to the event.
Parliament today passed a bill that further protects vulnerable children from abuse and neglect.
The Crimes Amendment Bill (No 2) creates an offence of failing to take reasonable steps to protect a child or vulnerable adult from the risk of death, grievous bodily harm, or sexual assault. The offence carries a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment.
Justice Minister Simon Power said he was delighted that a broad section of the Parliament supported the bill.