Is the Rugby World Cup 2011 (Empowering) Bill Too Empowering For Some?

Thursday 21st October 2010

The Rugby World Cup 2011 (Empowering) Bill has now received the approval of the government administration select committee and has had a second reading before Parliament.

The Bill has been drafted in preparation for the Rugby World Cup 2011 and is essentially being put in place in order to facilitate consents required by those providing activities or facilities for the Rugby World Cup in a shorter timeframe than what would usually be required.
       
The Bill establishes the Rugby World Cup Authority as a body which will have the power to determine applications for approval relating to Rugby World Cup activities and facilities (or classes of the same), and to make declarations relating to activities or facilities as Rugby World Cup permitted activities.

In addition to this the Bill provides a means for regulations to be made which declare activities or facilities (or classes of the same) as Rugby World Cup permitted activity “in circumstances of urgency that, for good reason, were not foreseen”, if they are recommended to be made by the Authority. The Bill also allows the Rugby World Cup Minister (currently Murray McCully) to grant urgent approvals for activities and facilities in these same circumstances.

The Bill also sets up a process by which the Authority is able to grant Rugby World Cup liquor licences.

Some concerns have been raised by members of the Opposition as to the amount of power which the Rugby World Cup Minister is given under the Bill. Currently the Bill allows for the Minister to approve applications, even where the Authority has not recommended such approval be given.

The Bill is now subject to a committee discussion of the whole House and will then have a third reading in Parliament before it is passed.

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