21 Aug 2013

Inquiries bill passes 2nd reading

8:04 am on 21 August 2013

Legislation that would allow the Government to hold a speedy inquiry into the Fonterra botulism scare has passed its second reading in Parliament.

The Inquiries Bill was resurrected by the Government this week. It was shelved in 2010 while the Pike River and Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commissions were carried out.

The bill would give ministerial-level inquiries new powers to summon witnesses and obtain documents.

It would allow for short, sharp investigations that would report directly to ministers, replacing current lengthy commissions of inquiry and non-statutory ministerial inquiries.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy told Parliament the Government needs to pass the bill to finalise the terms of reference for the Fonterra ministerial inquiry.