Proposal to improve surrogacy laws among seven pulled from ballot

Labour's Tāmati Coffey's proposed law to improve surrogacy laws has been pulled from the Members' Ballot. 

A father holding his newborn baby (file).

It is set to simplify surrogacy, ensures complete birth certificate information and intends to provide a mechanism for enforcing surrogacy arrangements.

The bill already had support from Labour, Te Paati Māori and ACT .

A petition with 30,000 signatures was delivered to Parliament in 2019 urging the Government to change what was described as "complicated, expensive and convoluted" laws around surrogacy and adoption.

There were issues such as surrogates not being able to be compensated, biological parents not being named on the birth certificate of surrogate births, and the laws around gay couples adopting internationally.

Seven proposed laws are set to go into Parliament after being pulled from the ballot today. All bills need to pass three readings, go through committee stages and then be signed off by the Governor-General.

National's Joseph Mooney's  Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill  aims to "allow landowners, their whānau and hapū to improve the performance and productivity of their land".

It would repeal and replace the law relating to Māori land, in Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993. 

"It will also protect the right of Māori landowners to retain, control, occupy, and develop their land themselves as a taonga tuku iho (treasure handed down) for the benefit of present and future generations," the bill reads. 

ACT's Nicole McKee's  proposal  to increase police powers to seize assets that are connected to significant criminal activity was also pulled. 

Labour's Duncan Webb's Companies  (Directors Duties)  Amendment Bill aims to make clear a company's director "can take actions that take into account wider matters other than the financial bottom-line".

That means matters such as the principles of te Tiriti, the environment and ethics can be taken into account. 

Labour's Louisa Wall's bill would give more explict protections for journalists' sources. 

It would ensure that the protections explicitly includes investigative journalists and change the Search and Surveillance Act 2012 to ensure that journalists’ sources "are clearly protected in relation to protection orders and police searches".

National's Simeon Brown's Public Finance (Prohibition on Providing Public Funds to Gangs) Amendment Bill would prohibit "Crown and its agencies from providing funds directly and indirectly to organisations that are run, administered or associated to gangs".

Labour's Rachel Boyack 's proposal, the Plain Language Bill , promotes the use of "plain English" in official documents and websites, following 2010 moves from the US to simplify language to promote clear communication to the public.