Reprint
as at 26 October 2012

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Commonwealth Countries Act 1977

Public Act1977 No 31
Date of assent6 October 1977
Commencement6 October 1977

Note

Changes authorised by section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989 have been made in this reprint.

A general outline of these changes is set out in the notes at the end of this reprint, together with other explanatory material about this reprint.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


An Act to enable the membership of the Commonwealth to be more easily ascertained, to provide for the continued operation of New Zealand law with respect to certain Commonwealth countries, and to provide for the continued operation of New Zealand law with respect to the Republic of Ireland as if it were a Commonwealth country

1 Short Title
  • This Act may be cited as the Commonwealth Countries Act 1977.

2 Membership of Commonwealth
  • (1) In any proceeding before any court or any person acting judicially—

    • (a) a certificate signed by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade that on a date specified in the certificate a specified country was or was not a Commonwealth country, or that a specified territory was or was not one for whose international relations a specified Commonwealth country was responsible, shall be conclusive evidence of the matters stated in the certificate:

    • (b) if no certificate pursuant to paragraph (a) is produced relating to it, the fact that a country is specified in Schedule 1 shall be conclusive evidence that that country is a Commonwealth country, and the fact that a country is not so specified shall be conclusive evidence that it is not a Commonwealth country.

    (2) The Governor-General may from time to time, by Order in Council, amend the said Schedule 1 by adding to it the names of countries that have become Commonwealth countries or deleting from it the names of countries that have ceased to be Commonwealth countries.

    (3) An Order in Council pursuant to subsection (2) shall come into force or be deemed to have come into force on a date specified therein, whether that date is before, on, or after the date of the making of the order.

    (4) The court or person acting judicially to which or to whom any certificate under subsection (1)(a) is produced shall take judicial notice of the signature thereon of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

    (5) For the purposes of this section,—

    court includes the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court, and any District Court

    District Court includes—

    • (a) a Family Court; and

    • (b) a Youth Court

    person acting judicially means any person having in New Zealand by law authority to hear, receive, and examine evidence

    proceeding means—

    • (a) a proceeding conducted by a court; and

    • (b) any interlocutory or other application to a court connected with a proceeding.

    Section 2(1)(a): amended, on 1 July 1993, by section 6(1) of the Foreign Affairs Amendment Act 1993 (1993 No 48).

    Section 2(4): amended, on 1 July 1993, by section 6(1) of the Foreign Affairs Amendment Act 1993 (1993 No 48).

    Section 2(5): substituted, on 1 August 2007, by section 216 of the Evidence Act 2006 (2006 No 69).

3 Operation of New Zealand law with respect to certain Commonwealth countries
  • All existing law—that is to say all law, whether a rule of law or a provision of an Act of any Parliament or a provision of any other enactment or instrument whatsoever—shall, until provision to the contrary is made by the authority having power to alter that law, have the same operation with respect to every Commonwealth country of which Her Majesty is not Head of State (whether by virtue of that country's having become a republic or otherwise) as it would have if Her Majesty were Head of State.

4 Operation of New Zealand law with respect to the Republic of Ireland
  • All existing law as aforesaid shall, until provision to the contrary is made by the authority having the power to alter that law, operate with respect to the Republic of Ireland as if it were a Commonwealth country and not a foreign country.

5 Application of Act to Tokelau
  • This Act shall be in force in Tokelau.

6 Consequential amendment and repeals
  • (1) Amendment(s) incorporated in the Act(s).

    (2) The enactments specified in Schedule 2 are hereby consequentially repealed.


Schedule 1
Commonwealth countries

s 2(1)(b)

Antigua and Barbuda

Australia

The Bahamas

Bangladesh

Barbados

Belize

Botswana

Brunei Darussalam

Cameroon

Canada

Cyprus

Dominica

Fiji

The Gambia

Ghana

Grenada

Guyana

India

Jamaica

Kenya

Kiribati

Lesotho

Malawi

Malaysia

Maldives

Malta

Mauritius

Mozambique

Namibia

Nauru

New Zealand

Nigeria

Pakistan

Papua New Guinea

Rwanda

St Kitts & Nevis

St Lucia

St Vincent and the Grenadines

Samoa

Seychelles

Sierra Leone

Singapore

Solomon Islands

South Africa

Sri Lanka

Swaziland

Tanzania

Tonga

Trinidad and Tobago

Tuvalu

Uganda

United Kingdom

Vanuatu

Zambia

  • Schedule 1: amended (with effect on 1 January 1984), on 26 October 2012, by clause 3(1) of the Commonwealth Countries (Membership) Order 2012 (SR 2012/317).

  • Schedule 1: amended (with effect on 1 November 1995), on 26 October 2012, by clause 3(2) of the Commonwealth Countries (Membership) Order 2012 (SR 2012/317).

  • Schedule 1: amended (with effect on 9 July 1982), on 26 October 2012, by clause 3(3) of the Commonwealth Countries (Membership) Order 2012 (SR 2012/317).

  • Schedule 1: amended (with effect on 13 November 1995), on 26 October 2012, by clause 3(4) of the Commonwealth Countries (Membership) Order 2012 (SR 2012/317).

  • Schedule 1: amended (with effect on 21 March 1990), on 26 October 2012, by clause 3(5) of the Commonwealth Countries (Membership) Order 2012 (SR 2012/317).

  • Schedule 1: amended (with effect on 1 October 1989), on 26 October 2012, by clause 3(6) of the Commonwealth Countries (Membership) Order 2012 (SR 2012/317).

  • Schedule 1: amended (with effect on 29 November 2009), on 26 October 2012, by clause 3(7) of the Commonwealth Countries (Membership) Order 2012 (SR 2012/317).

  • Schedule 1: amended (with effect on 4 July 1997), on 26 October 2012, by clause 3(8)(a) of the Commonwealth Countries (Membership) Order 2012 (SR 2012/317).

  • Schedule 1: amended (with effect on 4 July 1997), on 26 October 2012, by clause 3(8)(b) of the Commonwealth Countries (Membership) Order 2012 (SR 2012/317).

  • Schedule 1: amended (with effect on 19 September 1983), on 26 October 2012, by clause 3(9) of the Commonwealth Countries (Membership) Order 2012 (SR 2012/317).

  • Schedule 1: amended (with effect on 1 June 1994), on 26 October 2012, by clause 3(10) of the Commonwealth Countries (Membership) Order 2012 (SR 2012/317).

  • Schedule 1: amended (with effect on 7 December 2003), on 26 October 2012, by clause 3(11) of the Commonwealth Countries (Membership) Order 2012 (SR 2012/317).

  • Schedule 1: amended (with effect on 30 July 1980), on 12 July 1982, by clause 2 of the Commonwealth Countries (Vanuatu, Belize, and Antigua and Barbuda) Order 1982 (SR 1982/170).

  • Schedule 1: amended (with effect on 21 September 1981), on 12 July 1982, by clause 3 of the Commonwealth Countries (Vanuatu, Belize, and Antigua and Barbuda) Order 1982 (SR 1982/170).

  • Schedule 1: amended (with effect on 1 November 1981), on 12 July 1982, by clause 4 of the Commonwealth Countries (Vanuatu, Belize, and Antigua and Barbuda) Order 1982 (SR 1982/170).

  • Schedule 1: amended (with effect on 12 June 1979), on 26 June 1980, by clause 2 of the Commonwealth Countries (Kiribati, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Zimbabwe) Order 1980 (SR 1980/119).

  • Schedule 1: amended (with effect on 27 October 1979), on 26 June 1980, by clause 3 of the Commonwealth Countries (Kiribati, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Zimbabwe) Order 1980 (SR 1980/119).

  • Schedule 1: amended (with effect on 7 July 1978), on 28 June 1979, by clause 2 of the Commonwealth Countries (Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Dominica, and St Lucia) Order 1979 (SR 1979/123).

  • Schedule 1: amended (with effect on 1 October 1978), on 28 June 1979, by clause 3 of the Commonwealth Countries (Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Dominica, and St Lucia) Order 1979 (SR 1979/123).

  • Schedule 1: amended (with effect on 3 November 1978), on 28 June 1979, by clause 4 of the Commonwealth Countries (Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Dominica, and St Lucia) Order 1979 (SR 1979/123).

  • Schedule 1: amended (with effect on 22 February 1979), on 28 June 1979, by clause 5 of the Commonwealth Countries (Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Dominica, and St Lucia) Order 1979 (SR 1979/123).


Schedule 2
Enactments repealed

s 6(2)

Evidence Act 1908 (1908 No 56) (Reprinted 1965, Vol 3, p 1387)

Amendment(s) incorporated in the Act(s).

Evidence Amendment Act 1976 (1976 No 89)
Lesotho Act 1967 (1967 No 13)
Malaysia Act 1963 (1963 No 59)
Republic of Bangladesh Act 1972 (1972 No 13)
Republic of Botswana Act 1967 (1967 No 14)
Republic of Cyprus Act 1961 (1961 No 14)
Republic of Ghana Act 1960 (1960 No 6)
Republic of Guyana Act 1970 (1970 No 5)
Republic of India Act 1950 (1950 No 14) (Reprinted 1957, Vol 13, p 269)
Republic of Ireland Act 1950 (1950 No 13) (Reprinted 1957, Vol 13, p 271)
Republic of Kenya Act 1965 (1965 No 51)
Republic of Malawi Act 1966 (1966 No 16)
Republic of Nauru Act 1969 (1969 No 2)
Republic of Nigeria Act 1963 (1963 No 58)
Republic of Sierra Leone Act 1971 (1971 No 30)
Republic of Singapore Act 1966 (1966 No 4)
Republic of Sri Lanka Act 1972 (1972 No 14)
Republic of Tanzania Act 1966 (1966 No 3)
Republic of The Gambia Act 1970 (1970 No 6)
Republic of Zambia Act 1965 (1965 No 50)
Swaziland Act 1968 (1968 No 47)
Tonga Act 1970 (1970 No 16)
Uganda Act 1964 (1964 No 21)
Western Samoa Act 1961 (1961 No 68)

Amendment(s) incorporated in the Act(s).

Western Samoa Amendment Act 1970 (1970 No 123)

Amendment(s) incorporated in the Act(s).


Contents

  • 1General

  • 2Status of reprints

  • 3How reprints are prepared

  • 4Changes made under section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989

  • 5List of amendments incorporated in this reprint (most recent first)


Notes
1 General
  • This is a reprint of the Commonwealth Countries Act 1977. The reprint incorporates all the amendments to the Act as at 26 October 2012, as specified in the list of amendments at the end of these notes.

    Relevant provisions of any amending enactments that contain transitional, savings, or application provisions that cannot be compiled in the reprint are also included, after the principal enactment, in chronological order. For more information, see http://www.pco.parliament.govt.nz/reprints/ .

2 Status of reprints
  • Under section 16D of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989, reprints are presumed to correctly state, as at the date of the reprint, the law enacted by the principal enactment and by the amendments to that enactment. This presumption applies even though editorial changes authorised by section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989 have been made in the reprint.

    This presumption may be rebutted by producing the official volumes of statutes or statutory regulations in which the principal enactment and its amendments are contained.

3 How reprints are prepared
  • A number of editorial conventions are followed in the preparation of reprints. For example, the enacting words are not included in Acts, and provisions that are repealed or revoked are omitted. For a detailed list of the editorial conventions, see http://www.pco.parliament.govt.nz/editorial-conventions/ or Part 8 of the Tables of New Zealand Acts and Ordinances and Statutory Regulations and Deemed Regulations in Force.

4 Changes made under section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989
  • Section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989 authorises the making of editorial changes in a reprint as set out in sections 17D and 17E of that Act so that, to the extent permitted, the format and style of the reprinted enactment is consistent with current legislative drafting practice. Changes that would alter the effect of the legislation are not permitted.

    A new format of legislation was introduced on 1 January 2000. Changes to legislative drafting style have also been made since 1997, and are ongoing. To the extent permitted by section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989, all legislation reprinted after 1 January 2000 is in the new format for legislation and reflects current drafting practice at the time of the reprint.

    In outline, the editorial changes made in reprints under the authority of section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989 are set out below, and they have been applied, where relevant, in the preparation of this reprint:

    • omission of unnecessary referential words (such as of this section and of this Act)

    • typeface and type size (Times Roman, generally in 11.5 point)

    • layout of provisions, including:

      • indentation

      • position of section headings (eg, the number and heading now appear above the section)

    • format of definitions (eg, the defined term now appears in bold type, without quotation marks)

    • format of dates (eg, a date formerly expressed as the 1st day of January 1999 is now expressed as 1 January 1999)

    • position of the date of assent (it now appears on the front page of each Act)

    • punctuation (eg, colons are not used after definitions)

    • Parts numbered with roman numerals are replaced with arabic numerals, and all cross-references are changed accordingly

    • case and appearance of letters and words, including:

      • format of headings (eg, headings where each word formerly appeared with an initial capital letter followed by small capital letters are amended so that the heading appears in bold, with only the first word (and any proper nouns) appearing with an initial capital letter)

      • small capital letters in section and subsection references are now capital letters

    • schedules are renumbered (eg, Schedule 1 replaces First Schedule), and all cross-references are changed accordingly

    • running heads (the information that appears at the top of each page)

    • format of two-column schedules of consequential amendments, and schedules of repeals (eg, they are rearranged into alphabetical order, rather than chronological).

5 List of amendments incorporated in this reprint (most recent first)
  • Commonwealth Countries (Membership) Order 2012 (SR 2012/317)

    Evidence Act 2006 (2006 No 69): section 216

    Foreign Affairs Amendment Act 1993 (1993 No 48): section 6(1)

    Commonwealth Countries (Vanuatu, Belize, and Antigua and Barbuda) Order 1982 (SR 1982/170)

    Commonwealth Countries (Kiribati, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Zimbabwe) Order 1980 (SR 1980/119)

    Commonwealth Countries (Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Dominica, and St Lucia) Order 1979 (SR 1979/123)