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REFORM RECORD

tWO FEARS' WORK ADDITIONS TO STATUTE LAW ACTS EPITOMISED The list of public Acts printed below ivill give somo idea of the scope" and character of tlio legislation passed by the New Zealand Parliament since- the Reform Government took office- in 1912. The list deals only with public Acts passed during the sessions of 1912 and 1913, and does not touch the numerous local Acts which wore- passed in thesesessions. Acts Of 1912. Tho Land Tas and Income Tnx Act introduced a scheme of graduated land tax by which thcro is an increaso in the rate of tax for each pound of increase in the- taxable value in excess of £5000. Tlio system avoids the iinequalities and anomalies of the earlier scheme. Tlio Justices of the Peace Amendment Act ouable the- Crown to provide- counsel for indigent persons accused of indictable offences. The Valuation of Land Amendment Act amends the definition of "improvements" by making it iucludo work done or material used by tlio Crown or any public body and paid for by tho owner by direct contribution or indirectly by way of special rates.

The Local Authorities Superannuation Amendment Act empowers local authorities, when establishing superannuation funds for their employees, to grant, in respect of tho service of these employees prior to the establishment of such funds, an additional rotirinc: a , )- - ' lowance not exceeding one-sixtioth of Lthfe annual salary for each year of such prior service. The Act also fixes the «um of £300 as tho maximum retiring allowanco under a local superannuation scheme. Tlio Public Trust Office Amendment Act authorises tlio appointment of Local-Deputy Publis Trustees, so as to expedite tho transaction of business. Tlio Defence Amendment Act provides for tho detention in military custody of offenders under the Defence Act (in placo of ordinary imprison-, mont). and abolishes the junior Cadet establishment. The Widows' Pension "Amendment Act (since repealed, and its provisions incoq)orated in the Pensions Act. 1913) extended tho benefits of the Widows' Pensions Act, 1011, to several classes of widows not previously' entitled to relief. Public Scrvioo Control.

The Public Service Act established Commissioner control of the Public Service. The appointment ana promotion ot Public Servants now rests with the Public. Service Commissioners, and not with. Ministers of the Crown, and drastic provision is made against tho use or political or other improper influence. iho Aged and Infirm Persons' Protection Act provides for tho appointment by tho Supreme Court of managers of tho estates of persons incapacitated from managing their own affairs by reason of age, diseaso, physical or mental infirmity, or the excessive- use of alcoiioho liquors, or drugs. The Government Railways Amendment Act, 1912, provided an increased scale oi wages and salaries lor officers in the Government Railways Department. The Public Revenues Amendment Act provided an insuranco fund for public buildings, and made more effective provision for the recovery by' tho Audit Umce of public moneys illegally expended by local authorities. The Land Laws Amendment Act, 1912, is a highly important policy measure, which extends the freehold, tenure, notably by conferring upon owners of leases in perpetuity of ordinary Crown lands and on tho owners of renewable leases of settlement lands the right of purchasing their holdings. Tho Act contains numerous other important provisions relating to land-holding and settlement. The Native Land Amendment Act of 1912 provided for the Europeanising of Natives possessing tho necessarv qu«nfi» cations. The Military Pensions Act of 1912 provided a maximum pension of £36 per enmim for Maori War veterans. The Education Amendment Act provided for the instruction of schoolboys in military drill, and for tho appointment of a director, inspectors, and teachers of physical training. The Land Agents Act provides for the licensing of land agents. Tho Shearers' and Agricultural Labourers' Accommodation Amendment Act extends tho benefits of the principal Act to sawmill workers.

Tho Country Telephone Lines Act authorises country local bodies to build and maintain tolephone lines (raising loans for tho purpose, if necessary) and connect them with any Government exchange. In addition, the'following Acts were passed in 1912:—New Zealand University Amendment Act, Prisons Amendment Act, Agricultural and Pastoral Societies Amendment Act, Land and lucome Assessment Amendment Act, Births' and Deaths' Registration Amendment Act, State Fire Insurance Amendment Act, Plumbers' Registration Act, Public Service Classification and Superannuation Amendment Act, Aid to Public Works and Land Settlement Act. Acts of 1913. The Old Age Pensions Reciprocity Act ratines an agreement entered into on behalf of tho Governments of Australia and New Zealand ' respectively, with reference to the payment of old-ago pensions in either country to applicants who have been resident in the other. The Act will come into operation as soon as a similar Act has boon passed in the Commonwealth. The Copyright Act enacts with necessary modifications the provisions of the Imperial Copyright Act of 1911, and thus brings the New Zealand law of copyright into lino with that of tho United Kingdom, and that of most other countries. Tho Act also makes provision for securing reciprocity with other countries. The Magistrate's Court Amendment Act deals with the qualifications of persons to be appointed as magistrates, and extends tho civil jurisdiction of magistrates. It fixes the salaries of the principal magistrates in each of the four centres at £800 per annum, and those of other magistrates at £700 per annum. The pensions Act. The Pensions Act, 1913, is a big consolidating measure, and in addition embodies numerous important improvements and' concessions. It makes the old ago pension payablo to women at 60 years instead of 65, and in tho caso of tho military pension makes the full amount of £36 per annum payablo to possessors of the Now Zealand war medal, irrespective oF income or_ property, provided they have been resident in New Zealand for ten years prior to the date of application. The Land Tax and Income Tax Act provides a more equitable distribution than formerly of the graduated incomo tax and increases it in the higher grades. The Land and Income Assessment Amendment Act grants, special exemptions of incomo tax to parents of children when their joint income is not moro than £425 per annum. Tho New Zealand Institute. oE Architects Act constitutes a body corporate and provides for the registration of qualified architects. Tho Local Elections and Polls Amendment ASt brings procedure in connection

with local olcctioiis to a great extent into lino with that at Parliamentary elections. ' . . Tho Public Trust Office Amendment Act provides for tho inclusion of two business men on the office board, for the appointment oi "advisory" srtiA "custodian" trustees, etc., and for tho inspection and audit of the accounts of estates administered by any person other tJiim tho Public Tnisfcco. Tho Science and Art Act provides for tho establishment of a Dominion Museum, Art Gallery, nnd Library, and the constitution of a Hoard of Science and Art to mnnjigo tlioso iusMhitions. The Freohold Law. Tho Land Laws Amendment. Act is ; I a voluminous policy muatmw conijile--1 mentary to tho Land Act of tlio pjenons year. It makes several important, amendments of, and additions l«, i'lm law relating to tho luliuintNtritUojn <>l' I ordinary Crown lauds and s<;U foment hinds, tho acquisition of osiolsvi, <■•■!«. ; It confers on luii.so-iii-|>t i i'i>H.uit.,y , tenants of settlement Inutls th«> right of acquiring tho freehold. j Tho Local Jiodies J/oung ..>VoI. oonvolidates and amends tho law 1.0 borrowing by local bodies ami μ-iondcii j for tho raising of joint, sporin] )<»dm by J local bodies, and for tho ruining «l' limiiik i by local Lotties under a Slatd awiuulm. t Tho Board of Agriculture Act. WiH-s-li- j tutes an Advisory Board oti Atfrioiilfwo with wido powers of invostijmtum and , inquiry. * ~

Tho State Advances Aol is un ij»portant ineasuro which simplifiM and amends tlio previously existing law osi tho Bubjcot. Tho Legislature Amendment A<ifc repealed tho Second Bnllol. Act. Tho Govermuotit ltuilways Amemlnienfc Act, 1913, provides foe increases in salaries and wages in tho Vital Division and to certain of tho officers iit tho Second Division. Tho Fruit-Prcsorving Industry Act authorises, tho Minister of Finitiioo to make advances not exceeding imiividua'lly £3000, nor in tho aggregate in nny ono yoar £25,000, for tho establishment of cold stores for fruit and ■irsiitcanning works, and otherwise for tho assistance of the industry. ihe Judicature Amendment Act pro* yides for the appointment of ono rtddi- „,, Ju * ge of tuo Supreme Court. Ihe I'ootwoar Regulation Act. provides for tho branding of shoddy boots and shoes with a true.description. Tho Naval Defence Act provide?, for the establishment in New Zealand of a uav.al force. Tho Railways Construction and Land Amendment Act, 1913, extends to local bodies ' tho provisions of the principal Act relating to companies and increases from £5000 to £10,000 a mile, tho maximum expenditure upon euch construction. * ■ The Police Offences Amendment Act, is designed to prevent unlawful intimtdation.

. The Counties Amendment Act, amongst other things, authorises county councils to erect workers' dwellings. ' Tho Nativo Land Amendment Act, 1913, comprehensively remodels the system of administration of Native lands, incidentally abolishing Mauri Land Boards in their previously-existing form, and increasing the number ef Native Land Courts, which henceforth are to constitute the Maori Land Boards. Tho Education Amendment Act, 1913, granted increases in salaries to ncbool teachers. Election of Mayors, The Municipal Corporations Amendment Act provides, inter alia, for the biennial election of mayors in liou of annual election, and authorises borough councils to erect, sell, or Icaso workers' dwellinKs. The Tramways Amendment Act provides for the reconstruction o! electric tramway cars with a central passageway, in order to minimise the risk of accident to conductors and others. In certain cases the provisions relating "o qualifications of motormon may be suspended. Tho Workers' Compensation Amend-. ment Act provides that egtnpensatioTi cases may bo heard and determined in a Magistrate's Court, instead of in the Arbitration Court, lvhere the parties Sβ agree. Another section provides that ■ the right to compensation shall survive, i notwithstanding tho death of either | party, and employees of tue Crowa are fifvon tho same right to recover compensation as is possessed by employees of private persons. The Shops and Offices ApientJmcnt Act empowers .tho Arbitration Court to grant a weekly whole holiday to employees in hotels and restaurants.,

Labour Disputes. Tho Labour Disputes Investigation Act was oiio of tho nwst important passed during tho session of 1313. It relates to disputes between -employers: and workers who aro not, for the time being,'bound by an award or industrial agreement, and provides for conferences of parties with a view to' secarmg an amicable settlement, or, in the alternn- j tive, for the investigation of disputes ! by the Labour Disputes Co-mmitteo, consisting of -representatives of both parties to the dispute. Bofore a strike ] may lawfully tako place a secret ballot of tho workers affected is taken by the Registrar of Industrial tJnions, and tho result of the ballot is publicly notified. On tho lapse of seven days after tho publication of such result_ the workers are free to strike. Similar provisions apply to loeWut-s by employers. Agreements, made by eniployers and workers to wlmjjq the Act applies may be filed in tho Oourt of Arbitration and enforced. Other public- acts parsed in 1918 were: Irrigation and Water Supply Act, Amoiidmonts Incorporation Act and tho Public Works imd Land Settlement Act, Land Transfer Amendment Act, Rangitaiki Liutd Drainage Amendment Act, Pnblif. Revenues Amendment Act. Haurakt Plans Amendment Act, Land Drainage Amendment Act, River Boards Amendment . Act, Mutual lire Insurance AmondmontAct. btomp Duties Amendment Act tost and Telezrnph Amendment AH Distress and Replevin Amendment Act, Education Reserves A.nif>»dlucnt -Vcfc Patents, Designs, and Tra-clo Marks Amendment Act, Temporary Employees' Act, Rating Amendment Act. Hosoitals and ClmritaWe Institutions Amendment Act. Water Supplv Amandeiit Act, J ohco i'orco Act, Customs Act. Stock Amendment Act, Mining Amendment Act, Divorco and Matrimonial Causes Amendment Act Law Practitioners Amendment Act, Monopoly Prevention Amendment Act.

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REFORM RECORD Dominion, Volume 7, Issue 2121, 13 April 1914

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