Despite initial uncertainty, the Insolvency Practitioners Bill has been picked up by the new government. It will be amended by Supplementary Order Paper.
That SOP is yet to be released. Whether the amendments follow the direction agreed by the former Cabinet remains to be seen.
The Bill is on the Order paper under the name of new Commerce Minister Kris Faafoi. Chapman Tripp has been advised by the Leader of the House that Faafoi is awaiting advice from officials on “possible amendments”.
The direction these may take, and the Bill’s ultimate fate are as yet unclear. Cabinet, under National, had agreed to change the Bill to pick up the recommendations of the Insolvency Working Group.
The Supplementary Order Paper that would implement these changes is still being drafted. We will watch with interest to see if the amendment the new Minister is referring to are in line with the previous Cabinet’s decision, or if they take the Bill in a different direction.
The Bill had been identified as one of four which were not going to make the cut when the incoming government formally reinstated the business of the last Parliament. The other three – the National Party’s Pay Equity and Equal Pay Bill, the Act-initiated Regulatory Standards Bill and Peter Dunne’s Taxation (Income-sharing Tax Credit) Bill have all been dropped from the Order Paper but the Insolvency Practitioners Bill remains.
When the House rose for the election, the Bill had been through its second reading. This means that any changes will have to be introduced via Supplementary Order Paper during the committee of the whole house.
The Bill has made very slow progress to date. It was first introduced in 2010 by then Commerce Minister Simon Power and is now under its fifth Minister.