What's on the site and how it works
What is on this website
This website provides free public access to up-to-date unofficial versions of New Zealand Acts (Acts of Parliament), Bills (proposed Acts), and Regulations (properly called Statutory Regulations). Links to Deemed Regulations are also provided (the Deemed Regulations themselves are not hosted on this website). The website also provides Supplementary Order Papers (SOPs, a type of proposed amendment to a Bill).
Amendment Acts and Regulations are provided in full from 2008 onwards. Those from 1997 to 2007 may be provided, but may have the amendments removed as they have been incorporated in the principal legislation. In general, amendment Acts and amendment Regulations before 1997 are not provided.
See Search tips for finding amendment legislation and repealed and revoked legislation. Note that pre-2008 amendment Acts and Regulations are not being officialised.
Earlier versions of current Acts, Regulations, and Bills are retained on the website so you can view the law that was in force at a particular time (or view earlier Bills or their versions that are no longer current). Look under a document's Versions tab. However, earlier versions of Acts, Regulations, or Bills before 4 September 2007 are not provided.
Repealed and revoked legislation
Acts repealed and Regulations revoked after 4 September 2007 are available on this website. (See below for exceptions.) Legislation repealed or revoked before 4 September 2007 is not generally available, with certain exceptions (such as portions of the Building Regulations 1992, particularly the Building Code, which is still in force). See Search tips for finding repealed and revoked legislation and amendment legislation. See Where else is legislation available from? In particular, early (repealed) Acts are available from the New Zealand Acts 1841–2007 As Enacted Collection.
Bills and Supplementary Order Papers
Those current at 1 January 2008 or later are available on this website. However, some documents that were current before that date and are still current, but have not been republished since 2007, will not be available on this website until they have been republished as a later version. Supplementary Order Papers are located under the Versions and SOPs tab of their related Bill.
This website provides links to Deemed Regulations (the Deemed Regulations themselves are not hosted on this website). Links to revoked Deemed Regulations are not provided. Note that the Parliamentary Counsel Office relies on information received from agencies responsible for administering Deemed Regulations. Because of this, the Parliamentary Counsel Office does not assume responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the links provided. For advice about particular Deemed Regulations, contact the agency responsible for administering them.
Schedule 3 (Thai goods containing non-originating materials) and Schedule 7 (Product-specific rules of origin for Australian goods) of the Customs and Excise Regulations 1996 are not currently available in the collection. See the New Zealand Customs Service website for these documents. Note that Schedule 3 (Excise and excise-equivalent duties) of the Customs and Excise Act 1996 and Schedule 1 (The Tariff) of the Tariff Act 1988, both now repealed, are not available on this website; however, the Tariff and the Excise and Excise-equivalent Duties Table are available in up-to-date form on the New Zealand Customs Service website.
What is not on this website
See above for what amendment legislation, repealed and revoked legislation, and Bills and Supplementary Order Papers are not on this website, and exceptions to what is otherwise available. In addition, the following sources of law are not available on this website:
- decisions of courts
- international treaties and conventions (unless the text is set out in an Act or Regulation)
- local authority bylaws.
Where else is legislation available from?
See the Parliamentary Counsel Office website for other sources of online legislation. In particular, early Acts (including repealed Acts) are available from the New Zealand Acts 1841–2007 As Enacted Collection.
You can buy official printed copies of legislation from Legislation Direct and from selected bookshops—see Buy online. Official printed legislation is also available from some public libraries.
For Deemed Regulations, see the Deemed Regulation's information page for where to obtain copies.
How up to date is this website?
The date and time that the website was last updated is shown on the homepage.
We aim to make legislation available on this website according to the following timeframes (or earlier where possible):
- new Acts: within five working days of Royal assent
- new Regulations: the day after the date they are notified in the Gazette
- new Bills introduced into the House: the day after introduction
- subsequent versions: the day after the printed version is made available to the House
- Supplementary Order Papers: the day after they have been circulated to Members of Parliament.
New Acts, Bills, and Supplementary Order Papers are made publicly available only after we are notified to publish by Parliament.
Links to Deemed Regulations are updated once a month, based on information received from the agencies that administer them.
You can track newly published legislation using our web feeds. See Keeping up to date with the law—web feeds.
Legislation on this website has amendments incorporated to provide a snapshot of the law as it currently stands. Amendments are added as soon as possible after they come into force, but not before. We aim to incorporate amendments within 15 working days after the amendment comes into force.
Each Act or Regulation states when amendments were last incorporated (the "as at" date). If an amendment has been enacted/made, but not yet incorporated into the principal enactment, an alert message will appear on that principal enactment. We aim to make this alert message available on the website within five working days of the publication of the amendment on the website.
Our ability to meet these timeframes may be affected from time to time by the number or complexity of amendments.
Status of legislation on this website
The electronic versions of legislation on this website, and any legislation printed from this website:
- have no official status
- are made available for information only and should not be relied on as the authoritative text
- are intended to become the official source of New Zealand legislation in the future.
You can buy official copies of legislation from Legislation Direct or selected bookshops. See Buy Online. Copies are also available in many public libraries.
Note that only links to Deemed Regulations are provided on this website, rather than the Deemed Regulations themselves. The status of online versions of Deemed Regulations will depend on the agency that publishes them.
Making online legislation official: officialisation
As an initial step towards making this website an official source of legislation, the Parliamentary Counsel Office is checking older compiled Acts and Regulations to confirm the accuracy of the website. (This step is not necessary for legislation enacted or made after 2007, when the website first went live.) We call this process "officialisation".
The officialisation process includes the exercise of the powers conferred by section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989. That section authorises the Parliamentary Counsel Office to make certain editorial changes to a reprinted enactment so that it can be reprinted in a format consistent with current legislative drafting practice.
Items that have been officialised include an image of the New Zealand Coat of Arms in their PDF or "View whole" HTML versions.
In addition, legislation published since the website went live has semi-official status and does not need further officialising, as it has been published from the same source files as official printed legislation published since the go-live in January 2008. This legislation also includes an image of the New Zealand Coat of Arms in its PDF or "View whole" HTML versions.
Some changes to the material on this website have already been made in anticipation of officialisation. This includes the conversion of roman numerals in headings to arabic numerals, and changes in format to more closely follow current legislative drafting practice.
What Acts and Regulations are in force
In general, legislation on this website is in force unless noted otherwise. If the legislation has been repealed or revoked, or if the entire Act or Regulation is not yet in force, there will be a note at the top of the document stating this.
However, if some provisions of an Act or Regulation are in force and others are not, this may not be noted. You may need to check this. See also How up to date is this website?
If amendments to an Act or Regulation are not yet in force, they will not have been incorporated. If amendments have not yet been incorporated, whether they are in force or not, there will be an alert message noting this. A link to the amendments that have not yet been incorporated will appear under the Versions and amendments tab.
Finding when an Act comes into force
An Act passed since 1 January 2000 has a section that states when it comes into force (commencement), usually as section 2. Acts passed before this date may contain a specific commencement section, usually as section 1(2).
An Act may come into force at different times. The most common are:
- on a specific date
- on, or the day after, the date on which it receives assent (Royal assent)
- on a date to be appointed by the Governor-General by Order in Council, in which case the date will be published in a commencement order (found on this website under Regulations—see below)
- after a specified period (for example, one month after assent).
Sometimes different sections of an Act come into force at different times.
The date of assent appears on the Act's contents page.
If an Act does not state when it comes into force, it comes into force on the day after the date of assent (in accordance with section 8(2) of the Interpretation Act 1999, for Acts passed after 1 November 1999) or on the date of assent (in accordance with section 10A(1) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1924, for earlier Acts).
Finding commencement orders: You can find commencement orders under Regulations. The title of a commencement order usually starts with the title of the Act being brought into force, and usually includes the word "Commencement". Commencement orders made from 2013 can be found using Quick search, as they are classed as principal Regulations. Earlier commencement orders were classed as amendment Regulations—so to find them, use Advanced search (select Amendment Regulations in force) or Browse (select Include amendment Regulations), not Quick search.
Finding when a Regulation comes into force
A Regulation may come into force at different times. The most common are:
- on a specific date
- after a specified period (for example, on the 28th day after the date of its notification in the Gazette)
- on, or the day after, its notification in the Gazette.
Sometimes different clauses of a Regulation come into force at different times.
Regulations will usually contain a specific provision stating when they come into force, usually regulation 2 or regulation 1(2).
The date of its notification in the Gazette is stated at the very end of the Regulation. From the Regulation’s contents page, follow the Administrative information or Gazette information link.
If a Regulation does not state when it comes into force, it comes into force on the day after the date of its notification in the Gazette (in accordance with section 9(2) of the Interpretation Act 1999, for Regulations made after 1 November 1999) or on the date on which they are made (for Regulations made before 1 November 1999).
Finding when a Deemed Regulation comes into force
If a Deemed Regulation does not state when it comes into force, visit the administering agency's website for more information.
Why do only some Acts and Regulations show the New Zealand Coat of Arms?
Some Acts and Regulations show the New Zealand Coat of Arms under the View whole tab and on their PDF. See Making online legislation official: officialisaton.
Keeping up to date with the law—web feeds
Web feeds (or RSS feeds) are available to help keep you up to date with changes to the law. After you subscribe to a feed your feed reader automatically checks the feed and displays whatever is new in one place without you having to revisit the website. You can subscribe to ready-made feeds, or set up custom feeds from Acts, Bills, or Regulations, or any title search or browse. See About web feeds for more information.
You may also find Alerts on the Parliament website helpful, particularly if you want to keep up to date with Bills and Supplementary Order Papers.
If you need more information
About the interpretation or operation of legislation
If you need more information about legislation, you should know that the Parliamentary Counsel Office does not give advice to the public about the interpretation or operation of legislation. Instead, you can contact the government agency that administers the legislation. You can usually find the name of the administering agency at the top of the contents page of an Act or Regulation, or by following the Legislative history or Administrative information link on the contents page. For Deemed Regulations, the administering agency's details are provided on the Deemed Regulation's information page.
The contact details for all government agencies are available from newzealand.govt.nz.
For advice about the legal effect of any legislation, you should contact a lawyer (see the
New Zealand Law Society website), your local Citizens Advice Bureau, or a community law centre.
Another useful website is the Legal Services Agency's LawAccess website, a catalogue of law-related information and resources.
If you want to comment on a Bill or on an Act or Regulation
If you want to have a say in relation to Parliament, see Get involved on Parliament's website. A select committee will often seek comments from the public on a Bill that is before it. For a list of those Bills and how to make a submission, see Make a submission.
If you wish to comment on an Act or Regulation, you could contact the agency that administers the legislation. You can usually find the name of the administering agency at the top of the contents page of an Act or Regulation, or by following the Legislative history or Administrative information link on the contents page. For Deemed Regulations, the administering agency's details are provided on the Deemed Regulation's information page. The contact details for all government agencies are available from newzealand.govt.nz.
About this website
If you have any questions about this website, please Contact us.