Appendix B: Pecuniary and other specified interests

Pecuniary and other specified interests

Introduction

1        Introduction

(1)     This Appendix establishes the Register of Members’ Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests.

(2)     The Appendix sets out requirements for members to make returns declaring interests that—

(a)     are financial, business, or personal, and

(b)     are specified in this Appendix, and

(c)     are held by a member at the effective date of the return or have been received by a member in the period covered by the return, as appropriate.

(3)     The purpose of the register is to facilitate the transaction of business by the House by promoting the highest standards of behaviour and conduct by members, and thereby strengthening public trust and confidence in parliamentary processes and decision-making.

(4)     A person making a decision in the course of complying with this Appendix must be guided by the register’s purpose.

Part 1

2        Definitions

(1)     For the purposes of the return and registration of pecuniary and other specified interests, unless the context otherwise requires,—

          business entity

(a)     means any body or organisation, whether incorporated or unincorporated, that carries on any profession, trade, manufacture, or undertaking for pecuniary profit, and

(b)     includes a business activity carried on by a sole proprietor, and

(c)     does not include a unit trust

          company means—

(a)     a company registered under Part 2 of the Companies Act 1993:

(b)     a body corporate that is incorporated outside New Zealand

          effective date of the return means the date as at which the return is effective as required by clause 3(1) or clause 4(1) (as the case may be)

          employed

(a)     means employed under a contract of service, but

(b)     does not include holding the position of a member of Parliament or any other position for which the person in question would not be qualified unless he or she had been elected a member of Parliament (for example, the position of Minister of the Crown, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Leader of the Opposition, or Whip)

general election means the election that takes place after the dissolution or expiration of Parliament

Government funding means funding from any one or more of
the following:

(a)     the Crown:

(b)     any Crown entity:

(c)     any State enterprise

other specified interest means a matter or activity that may not be of financial benefit to the member and that is required to be declared under clause 5 or clause 8

pecuniary interest means a matter or activity of financial benefit to the member that is required to be declared under clause 5 or clause 8

polling day, in relation to any election, means the day appointed in the writ for that election for the polling to take place if a poll is required

register means the Register of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests of Members of Parliament established by clause 12

registered superannuation scheme means any superannuation scheme that is registered under the Superannuation Schemes Act 1989 (including any scheme referred to in section 19H of the Government Superannuation Fund Act 1956)

Registrar means the Registrar of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests of Members of Parliament, and—

(a)     is the Deputy Clerk or a person appointed under clause 13 to act as Registrar:

(b)     includes every person who has been authorised by the Registrar to act on his or her behalf under the Standing Orders

return means a return of pecuniary and other specified interests required to be made under this Appendix

          voting right means a currently exercisable right to cast a vote at meetings of the owners or proprietors of a business entity, not being a right to vote that is exercisable only in relation to a special, immaterial, or remote matter that is inconsequential to control of the entity.

(2)     Every amount specified in this Appendix is inclusive of goods and services tax (if any).

(3)     Every reference in this Appendix to a person elected at an election includes a person elected as a consequence of a recount or an election petition relating to that election.

3        Duty to make initial return

(1)     Every member must make an initial return as at the day that is 90 days after the date that the member takes the oath or makes the affirmation required by section 11(1) of the Constitution Act 1986.

(2)     Subclause (1) does not apply if,—

(a)     in the case of a member who is elected at an election, polling day for the election is after 1 July in the year of the election, or

(b)     in the case of a member who is declared to be elected under section 137 of the Electoral Act 1993, the date that the member’s election is notified in the Gazette is after 1 July in the year that the member is declared to be elected.

(3)     An initial return must be transmitted by the member to the Registrar within 30 days of the effective date of the return.

4        Duty to make annual return

(1)     Every member must make an annual return in each year as at
31 January.

(2)     The annual return must be transmitted by the member to the Registrar by the last day of February in each year in which an annual return must be made.

5        Contents of return relating to member’s position as at effective date of return

(1)     Every return must contain the following information as at the effective date of the return:

(a)     the name of each company of which the member is a director or holds or controls more than 5 percent of the voting rights and a description of the main business activities of each of those companies, and

(b)     the name of every other company or business entity in which the member has a pecuniary interest, other than an interest as a unit holder in a unit trust, and a description of the main business activities of each of those companies or entities, and

(c)     if the member is employed, the name of each employer of the member and a description of the main business activities of each of those employers, and

(d)     the name of the trust, and whether the member is a trustee, a beneficiary, or both, for each trust to which the following apply:

(i)      the member knows or ought reasonably to know that the member is a beneficiary or a trustee or both of it, and

(ii)     it is not a trust whose name is disclosed under subclause (1)(e), and

(iii)    it is not a registered superannuation scheme whose name is disclosed under subclause (1)(h), and

(e)     if the member is a member of the governing body of an organisation or a trustee of a trust that receives, or has applied to receive, Government funding, the name of that organisation or trust and a description of the main activities of that organisation or trust, unless the organisation or trust is a Government department, a Crown entity, or a State enterprise, and

(f)      the location of real property in which the member has a legal interest, other than an interest as a trustee, and a description of the nature of the real property, and

(g)     the location of real property, and a description of the nature of the real property, held by a trust to which the following apply:

(i)      the member is a beneficiary of it, and

(ii)     the member knows or ought reasonably to know that the member is a beneficiary of it, and

(iii)    it is not a unit trust whose name is disclosed under subclause (1)(d), and

(iv)    it is not a registered superannuation scheme whose membership is open to the public and whose name is disclosed under subclause (1)(h), and

(h)     the name of each registered superannuation scheme in which the member has a pecuniary interest, and

(i)      the name of each debtor of the member who owes more than $50,000 to the member and a description, but not the amount, of each of the debts that are owed to the member by those debtors, and

(j)      the name of each creditor of the member to whom the member owes more than $50,000 and a description, but not the amount, of each of the debts that are owed by the member to those creditors.

(2)     For the purposes of subclause (1)(b), a member does not have a pecuniary interest in a company or business entity (entity A) merely because the member has a pecuniary interest in another company or business entity that has a pecuniary interest in entity A.

(3)     For the purposes of subclause (1)(e), a member who is patron or vice-patron of an organisation that receives, or has applied to receive, Government funding, and who is not also a member of its governing body, does not have to name the organisation, unless the member has been actively involved in seeking such funding during the period specified in clause 9.

(4)     For the purposes of subclause (1)(i) and (j), a member must also declare if the rate of interest payable in relation to any debt owed to a person other than a registered bank as defined in section 2(1) of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989, or a building society as defined in section 2 of the Building Societies Act 1965, is less than the normal market interest rate that applied at the time the debt was incurred or, if the terms of the debt are amended, at the time of that amendment.

6        Relationship property settlements and debts owed by certain family members do not have to be disclosed

A member does not have to disclose—

(a)     a relationship property settlement, whether the member is a debtor or creditor in respect of the settlement, or

(b)     the name of any debtor of the member and a description of the debt owed by that debtor if the debtor is the member’s spouse or partner or any parent, child, stepchild, foster-child, or grandchild of the member.

7        Short-term debts for supply of goods or services do not have to be disclosed

A member does not have to disclose the name of any debtor or creditor of the member and a description of the debt owed by that debtor or to that creditor if the debt is for the supply of goods or services and payment is required—

(a)     within 90 days after the supply of the goods or services, or

(b)     because the supply of the goods or services is continuous and periodic invoices are rendered for the goods or services, within 90 days after the date of an invoice rendered for those goods or services.

8        Contents of return relating to member’s activities for period ending on effective date of return

(1)     Every return must contain the following information for the period specified in clause 9:

(a)     for each country (other than New Zealand) that the member travelled to,—

(i)      the name of the country, and

(ii)     the purpose of travelling to the country, and

(iii)    the name of each person who contributed (in whole or in part) to the costs of the travel to and from the country, and

(iv)    the name of each person who contributed (in whole or in part) to the accommodation costs incurred by the member while in the country, and

(b)     a description of each gift, and the name of its donor if the member knows the name or can reasonably ascertain it, that the member receives in the period covered by the return and—

(i)      that has an estimated market value in New Zealand of more than $500, or

(ii)     that has an estimated market value in New Zealand of $500 or less, is given by a donor who gives the member more than one gift in the period, and contributes to a total value of gifts to the member from the donor in the period of more than $500 not counting a gift declared under subparagraph (i), and

(c)     a description of all debts of more than $500 that were owing by the member that were discharged or paid (in whole or in part) by any other person and the names of each of those persons, and

(d)     a description of each payment received, and not previously declared, by the member for activities in which the member was involved, including the source of each payment, except that a description is not required of any payment that is—

(i)      paid as salary or allowances under the Members of Parliament (Remuneration and Services) Act 2013 or the Remuneration Authority Act 1977, or as a funding entitlement for parliamentary purposes under the Parliamentary Service Act 2000:

(ii)     paid in respect of any activity in which the member concluded his or her involvement prior to becoming a member (that is, before the commencement of a period set out in clause 9(2)(b) or (d), as applicable).

(2)     The information referred to in subclause (1)(a) does not have to be included in the return if the travel costs or accommodation costs (as the case may be) were paid by the following or any combination of the following:

(a)     the member:

(b)     the member’s spouse or partner:

(c)     any parent, child, stepchild, foster-child, or grandchild of the member:

(d)     the Crown:

(e)     any government, parliament, or international parliamentary organisation that paid the travel costs or accommodation costs because the member was participating in the official inter-parliamentary relations programme funded by the Office of the Clerk.

(3)     For the purposes of subclause (1)(b), gift

(a)     includes hospitality and donations in cash or kind other than donations disclosed under Part 6A of the Electoral Act 1993:

(b)     excludes gifts received from family members (that is, any of the following: the member’s spouse or partner or any parent, child, stepchild, foster-child, or grandchild of the member).

(4)     For the purposes of subclause (1)(c), debt excludes debts discharged by family members (that is, any of the following: the member’s spouse or partner or any parent, child, stepchild, foster-child, or grandchild of the member).

(5)     For the purposes of subclause (1)(d), a description of a payment is required if the terms of the payment have been agreed in the period specified in clause 9, even if the payment has not been received during that period.

9        Period covered by return

(1)     The period for which the information specified in clause 8 must be provided is the 12-month period ending on the effective date of
the return.

(2)     However,—

(a)     a member does not have to include any information specified in clause 8 that has been included in a previous return:

(b)     if the member is elected at an election and the member was not also a member of Parliament immediately before that election and the return is the first return required to be made by the member after that election, the period for which the information specified in clause 8 must be provided is the period beginning on polling day for that election and ending on the effective date of that return:

(c)     if an initial return is required to be made by a member elected at a general election who was also a member of Parliament immediately before that general election, the period for which the information specified in clause 8 must be provided is the period beginning on 1 February in the year in which the general election is held and ending on the effective date of that return:

(d)     if the member is declared to be elected under section 137 of the Electoral Act 1993 and the return is the first return required to be made by the member after being elected, the period for which the information specified in clause 8 must be provided is the period beginning on the date that the member’s election is notified in the Gazette and ending on the effective date of that return:

(e)     if the previous return that the member had a duty to make was an initial return, the period for which the information specified in clause 8 must be provided is the period beginning on the day after the effective date of that initial return and ending on the effective date of the return that must be made.

(3)     For the purposes of subclause (2)(b) and (d), the first return required to be made by a member may be either an initial return or an annual return.

10      Actual value, amount, or extent not required

          Nothing in this Appendix requires the disclosure of the actual value, amount, or extent of any asset, payment, interest, gift, contribution, or debt.

11      Form of returns

Returns must be either—

(a)     in a form specifically prescribed by the House, or

(b)     in a form approved by the Registrar.

Part 2

12      Register of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests of Members of Parliament

(1)     A register called the Register of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests of Members of Parliament is established.

(2)     The register comprises all returns transmitted by members under this Appendix.

13      Office of Registrar

The office of Registrar of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests of Members of Parliament is held by the Deputy Clerk or a person appointed by the Clerk, with the agreement of the Speaker, to act as Registrar.

14      Functions of Registrar

The functions of the Registrar are to—

(a)     compile and maintain the register:

(b)     provide advice and guidance to members in connection with their obligations under this Appendix:

(c)     receive and determine requests for an inquiry under clause 16, and, if the Registrar thinks fit, conduct and report to the House on any such inquiry.

15      Auditor-General’s review

(1)     The Registrar must supply to the Controller and Auditor-General a copy of every return within 21 days of the date by which all returns are due. The Registrar may, as the Registrar thinks fit, supply to the Auditor-General any other information relating to a return.

(2)     The Auditor-General will review the returns provided under subclause (1) as soon as is reasonably practicable, and will advise the Registrar of any matters arising from the review.

16      Registrar’s inquiry

(1)     A member who has reasonable grounds to believe that another member has not complied with his or her obligations to make a return may request that the Registrar conduct an inquiry into the matter.

(2)     The request must be in writing, signed, and set out—

(a)     the specific matter that the member believes to be a failure to comply, and

(b)     the reasonable grounds for that belief.

(3)     A member who makes a request for an inquiry under this clause must, as soon as reasonably practicable, forward a copy of the request to the member who is the subject of the request.

(4)     On receiving a request, the Registrar conducts a preliminary review of the request to determine if, in the Registrar’s opinion, an inquiry is warranted. In making a determination under this subclause, the Registrar takes account of the degree of importance of the matter under inquiry, and whether the matter—

(a)     may involve a breach of the obligations to make a return:

(b)     is technical or trivial.

(5)     On determining whether an inquiry is warranted, the Registrar must inform the member who made the request of this determination, and must also inform the member who was the subject of the request.

(6)     If the Registrar determines that an inquiry is warranted, the Registrar conducts an inquiry.

(7)     In conducting the inquiry, the Registrar—

(a)     must invite the member who is the subject of the inquiry to provide a response to the matter under inquiry within 10 working days (provided that the Registrar and the member may agree on a different period of time for the member’s response):

(b)     may seek further information from the member who made the request for an inquiry, from the member who is the subject of the inquiry, and from any other person that the Registrar considers may have relevant information:

(c)     may seek assistance or advice from the Auditor-General or from any other person, as the Registrar sees fit:

(d)     may disclose any return or returns and information relevant to the inquiry to a person providing assistance or advice under paragraph (c).

(8)     The Registrar may,—

(a)     if the Registrar considers that the matter under inquiry does not involve a breach of the obligations to make a return, or is so minor as not to warrant the further attention of the House, determine that no further action is required:

(b)     if the Registrar considers that the matter under inquiry involves an inadvertent or minor breach of the obligations to make a return, advise the member who is the subject of the inquiry to submit an amendment to the member’s return or returns to remedy the breach:

(c)     determine that the matter under inquiry involves a question of privilege, and report this to the House at the first opportunity:

(d)     report to the House on any other matter that may warrant the further attention of the House.

(9)     Any report of the Registrar is presented by the Speaker to the House and published under the authority of the House.

17      Information on Registrar’s inquiry

(1)     A request under clause 16 and all information relating to the Registrar’s consideration of that request are confidential until the Registrar determines whether to conduct an inquiry in respect of the request.

(2)     After determining whether an inquiry is warranted under clause 16, and after informing members under clause 16(5), the Registrar may, at the Registrar’s discretion, disclose any or all of the following information:

(a)     the name of the member who made the request:

(b)     the date on which the request was received:

(c)     the name of the member who was the subject of the request:

(d)     the particular requirement or requirements in this Appendix to which the request relates.

(3)     The proceedings of the conduct of an inquiry are strictly confidential, subject to clause 16(7) and (8).

(4)     All returns and information disclosed to a person by the Registrar under clause 16(7)(d) are confidential and must be returned to the Registrar or destroyed when that person’s involvement in the inquiry is concluded.

(5)     If the Registrar completes an inquiry under clause 16 without making a report to the House, the Registrar—

(a)     must communicate the result of the inquiry to the member who requested the inquiry and the member who was the subject of the inquiry:

(b)     publishes the result of the inquiry to the Parliament website.

(6)     If the Registrar reports to the House that the matter under inquiry involves a question of privilege, the Registrar—

(a)     must, before reporting to the House, inform the member that is the subject of the inquiry that it is intended to do so, and

(b)     includes in the report any information relating to the inquiry that the Registrar considers is necessary to inform the House of the matter, and

(c)     forwards to the Privileges Committee any information relating to the inquiry that the Registrar considers is necessary for the committee’s consideration of the report.

(7)     In considering a question of privilege determined by the Registrar, the Privileges Committee may request from the Registrar information that it considers is necessary for the committee’s consideration. The Registrar decides whether to provide the information requested.

(8)     Information provided by the Registrar to the Privileges Committee under subclauses (6)(c) or (7) is received by the committee as evidence in private, unless it is received in secret.

18      Registrar must publish summary of returns of current members of Parliament

(1)     The Registrar must, within 90 days of the due date for transmitting any initial returns that are required to be made following a general election, publish on a website and in booklet form a summary containing a fair and accurate description of the information contained in those initial returns that has been transmitted by persons who, at the date of publication, are members of Parliament.

(2)     The Registrar must, within 90 days of the due date for transmitting annual returns, publish on a website and in booklet form a summary containing a fair and accurate description of the information contained in those annual returns that has been transmitted by persons who, at the date of publication, are members of Parliament.

(3)     The Registrar must promptly provide a copy of the booklet to
the Speaker.

(4)     The Registrar must ensure that a summary containing a fair and accurate description of information contained in all returns is—

(a)     maintained on a website:

(b)     available for inspection by any person at Parliament Buildings in Wellington on every working day between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm.

(5)     Subclause (4) does not apply in respect of information contained in the annual return of any member who has ceased to be a member of Parliament after submitting a return and before the information is published under subclause (4).

(6)     A person may take a copy of any part of the summary referred to in subclause (4)(b) on the payment of a fee (if any) specified by the House.

19      Speaker must present copy of booklet to House of Representatives

The Speaker must, as soon as practicable after receipt of a copy of a booklet under clause 18(3), present a copy of the booklet to
the House.

20      Errors or omissions

(1)     Any member who becomes aware of an error or omission in any return previously made by that member must advise the Registrar of that error or omission as soon as practicable after becoming aware of it.

(2)     The Registrar may, at the Registrar’s own discretion, publish amendments on a website to correct errors or omissions advised under subclause (1).

(3)     Nothing in this Appendix requires members to advise the Registrar of changes to their interests that have occurred since the effective date of their last return.

21      Information about register

(1)     Subject to clauses 15, 16, and 17, all returns and information held by the Registrar or by the Auditor-General relating to an individual member are confidential until destroyed under subclause (2).

(2)     On the dissolution or expiration of Parliament, all returns and information that have been held for three complete terms of Parliament by the Registrar or by the Auditor-General relating to individual members must be destroyed.

22      Responsibilities of members and Registrar

(1)     It is the responsibility of each member to ensure that he or she fulfils the obligations imposed on the member by this Appendix.

(2)     The Registrar is not required to—

(a)     notify any member of that member’s failure to transmit a return by the due date or of any error or omission in that member’s return, or

(b)     obtain any return from a member.