Blog Image


Watching brief – February 2023

Home Insights Watching brief – February 2023

Matter of Opinion

Knowing when to hold 'em, and when to fold 'em…

As an experienced and knowledgeable political operator, the new Prime Minister Chris Hipkins knows that he needs to defy the past century of political history to remain in the top job after the election on 14 October 2023. Since the outbreak of the First World War, only three PMs have taken the reins mid-term and led a government after the subsequent election. And those were decorated war hero Gordon Coates in 1925, George Forbes at the beginning of the Great Depression in 1931, and Peter Fraser in 1943 in the midst of the Second World War. Since then, Holyoake (1957), Marshall (1972), Rowling (1975), Moore (1990), Shipley (1999), and English (2017) have all become PM mid-term and failed to lead a government after the next election. (Although Holyoake did subsequently go on to win four elections starting with 1960 so deserves an honourable mention.) Having just moved from the Beehive's 6th floor to the 9th floor, Mr Hipkins will be in no mood to move out post-election.

Every action since Jacinda Ardern's surprise resignation announcement on 19 January, needs to be seen in light of learning from recent and historical political lessons. For example, unlike Helen Clark's leadership resignation in 2008 or John Key's in 2016, Ms Ardern expressed no public preference as to who should succeed her as leader. Learning from Ms Ardern's ascent to the Labour leadership in 2017, Mr Hipkins' elevation to the leadership was swift and uncontested. Learning from John Key, Mr Hipkins went some way last week to rejuvenate his ministerial line‑up with a significant number of promotions, re-rankings within current ministers, and clear signals sent as to performance expectations from his team.
Overall, given the cards the new PM was dealt, he has played his hand about as strongly as he could to present a story of both change and (given that he has sat around the Cabinet table for five years) continuity.
The recent so-called government policy bonfire also reflects political lessons. Exploiting a pre-Christmas announcement by Ms Ardern that certain policies would be up for review in the New Year, Mr Hipkins has seized the initiative to create a "bread and butter" (or back to basics) policy narrative and, in doing so, has already jettisoned unemployment insurance, the RNZ-TVNZ merger, and hate speech law reform proposals. Certainly in referring hate speech law reform to the Law Commission, Mr Hipkins will hope to avoid a repeat of 2008 where suggestions of suppressing free speech through electoral finance law reforms dogged Labour throughout the election year. The jettisoned policies will help come the election campaign by reducing unnecessary noise, and presenting a smaller target to the Government's opponents.

Finally, changes to Three Waters have been artfully massaged with the newly appointed Minister for Local Government, Kieran McAnulty, asked to report back to Cabinet with policy options in the next few weeks. The PM is adamant as to the need for the Three Waters reform repeatedly citing under-investment in infrastructure and even framing the programme as a cost of living issue if left unfixed. Still, we could expect changes to aspects of the programme to emerge in the next month. Intriguingly, for example, the PM recently opined that local government and farmers were essential stakeholders in water management alongside Māori.
Further signs of who Labour picks as its next crop of ministers and leaders will emerge as recent Ministerial promotions necessitate appointments to parliamentary and party officers. For example, Barbara Edmonds and Duncan Webb becoming ministers creates vacancies in the finance and expenditure committee chairpersonship and the chief whip roles, with Dunedin-based MP Rachel Brooking promoted to FEC chairperson. As these and other positions serve as good signals for who is seen as rising talent, appointments here should be watched closely.
The new PM has played the cards he was dealt up to about the limit of what was possible to present a narrative of change in what is also a continuity story. All indications still point towards a close and hard-fought election on 14 October this year. So we should not assume the campaign will be plain sailing for either side of the House. With just 32 weeks until the election, we should expect the usual ramping up of political rhetoric with a concomitant diminishing in legislative and executive government activity the closer we get to the election. We can expect some political high notes along the way, most notably the Budget in May, and maybe a last minute flurry of legislating before the likely last sitting day of the House on 31 August 2023. What we can expect is strong message discipline and a laser focus on policies that address the zeitgeist cost of living crisis.
Watching Brief will keep you updated on the important government and legislative timelines as we enter this most interesting of election year, and of course, when the dealin's done in October… watch this space!

In the News

Royal Commission of Inquiry into lessons learned from Aotearoa New Zealand's response to Covid-19

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into lessons learned from Aotearoa New Zealand's response to COVID-19 (Royal Commission) was established in late 2022. As reported in our earlier update, the Royal Commission is tasked with examining New Zealand's COVID-19 response and making recommendations to better position New Zealand to respond to any future pandemic.  

The Royal Commission provided a progress update earlier this month. It reported that while the Secretariat for the Royal Commission was still being established, two recent appointments had been made:

  • Anita West as Executive Director of the Royal Commission's Secretariat; and

  • Jane Meares as Legal Counsel assisting the Royal Commission.

The Royal Commission is currently focussed on planning its work programme and identifying publicly available information relevant to the scope of inquiry. The Royal Commission has not yet reported what method of evidence gathering it will employ, but it could begin considering evidence as of 1 February 2023. Professor Tony Blakely, chair of the Royal Commission, recently advised that a public announcement providing further detail as to the Royal Commission's operations can be expected in late February.

The final report is due on 26 June 2024. Until then, the Royal Commission must continue to provide quarterly progress updates to the Minister of Internal Affairs under the Terms of Reference. Those updates will outline the Royal Commission's expected costs and timing to deliver the final report, and the Royal Commission's overall progress more generally.

Offshore renewables explored as part of transition to clean energy

The Government is currently exploring the role that offshore renewable energy can play in supporting New Zealand's transition to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Offshore renewable energy refers to energy generated in, or on, the sea from sources such as wind, ocean currents, solar rays, rain and geothermal heat. To encourage investment in these energy sources, with the aim of reducing reliance on fossil fuels, the Government has committed to implementing a regulatory regime by 2024.

The Government considers that there are a number of opportunities and risks that need to be carefully examined before it can determine how this regime will operate. With the intention of supporting the development of fit-for-purpose regulations, the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is seeking feedback on proposed approaches to identifying suitable areas for developing offshore renewable energy and managing feasibility activities in the short-term.

A discussion document is available on MBIE's website, and submissions are due on 14 April 2023. While this consultation is limited to the initial stages of offshore renewable energy development, further public consultation on remaining issues relating to the regulation of construction, operation and decommissioning will occur in mid-2023.

Three Waters Reform Programme

As above, new Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has committed to continuing on with the proposed reforms of water service delivery across Aotearoa New Zealand, subject to a review and potential 'refocus'.

The Water Services Entities Act 2022, which establishes the four publicly-owned water services entities to provide water services in place of local authorities, was passed into law on 14 December 2022. The Act is the first of three pieces of legislation in these reforms.

The remaining two pieces of legislation are currently before the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee. The first of these Bills, the Water Services Legislation Bill, provides the operational detail of the water services entities, including:

  • the transfer of assets, liabilities and other matters from local government organisations to the entities;

  • the entities' service delivery and regulatory functions and powers;

  • pricing and charging arrangements;

  • changes to Treaty settlement legislation, to ensure settlement obligations are transferred from territorial authorities to the entities; and

  • consequential amendments to local government legislation, and other legislation relating to the regulation and delivery of water services.

The second of these Bills, the Water Services Economic Efficiency and Consumer Protection Bill, establishes an economic regulation and consumer protection regime for the three waters sector, with the Commerce Commission as the regulator.

Public submissions on both Bills closed on Sunday, 12 February 2022, and the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee is expected to hear oral submissions over the coming weeks.

501 deportees' case

The Court of Appeal recently heard the Crown's appeal against the High Court ruling on the 501 deportees' case. “501” refers to the section of the Australian Migration Act that sets out grounds for deportation. The respondent in the appeal (G) was a New Zealand citizen who had been convicted of serious drug offending in Australia and, having served his sentence there, was deported to New Zealand as a “501” deportee. Under New Zealand's Returning Offenders (Management and Information) Act 2015 (ROMI Act), G was determined to be a "returning prisoner" under s 17 of the ROMI Act and therefore subject to standard and special release conditions that included limits on association, residence, and other freedoms. Returning prisoners are also liable for breaches of those conditions, may be required to provide identifying particulars (including photographs and fingerprints) and bodily samples, and may potentially be made subject to the provisions of an extended supervision order or a public protection order. Information about 501 deportees is stored on a register of deported offenders, which is accessible to nine New Zealand agencies.

G was convicted and sentenced in Australia prior to the ROMI Act coming into force in 2015. He argued that, in making the determination that he was a returning prisoner under the ROMI Act, the Commissioner of Police (Commissioner) was unlawfully applying the ROMI Act with retrospective effect. G also made an overlapping claim of double jeopardy, arguing that the consequences that flow from determination as a returning prisoner amount to the imposition of a further penalty, in New Zealand, for the same conduct for which he was convicted and had served his sentence in Australia. He therefore submitted that the imposition of the standard and special release conditions amounted to double jeopardy in breach of his rights under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (BORA).

The High Court held, per Gwyn J's judgment released in December 2022, that the determination that G was a returning prisoner amounted to a punishment with retrospective effect. The lack of express wording or a clear legislative intent as to retrospectivity, alongside the common law presumption against retrospectivity and provisions of BORA and the Sentencing Act (which affirms the right to the benefit of the lesser penalty between varied penalties), meant that s 17 of the ROMI Act did not apply to G. Therefore, the Commissioner's determination that G was a returning prisoner was invalid and it was quashed by the court. Gwyn J also accepted that the imposition of the standard and special release conditions amounted to double jeopardy and breached his rights to freedom of movement, rights against unreasonable search and seizure, liberty of the person, right against retroactive penalties and double jeopardy, right to justice and other rights and freedoms. Additionally, the requirements to provide identifying particulars and bodily samples was a significant intrusion on his privacy. The High Court ordered a declaration by the Commissioner that the determination was unlawful, quashed the determination and ordered all information relating to the determination including the identifying particulars and bodily samples collected about G to be removed.

Following the High Court decision, the Crown was granted an interim stay in proceedings so that the Government could address the legal and operational implications for the management of the returning offenders regime arising from the decision. Justice Minister Kiri Allan announced that the Government would take immediate action to ensure legislation can be introduced when Parliament next sits so the law has a retrospective effect, which would mean the determination would no longer be unlawful. Crown Law also filed an appeal against the decision and the matter was heard in the Court of Appeal on 2 February 2023. The Court of Appeal reserved its decision, meaning its decision will be delivered later in 2023.

Forestry and Wood Processing Industry Transformation Plan

The Government launched the Forestry and Wood Processing Industry Transformation Plan on 30 November 2022, with aims of processing more wood onshore, producing more high-value wood products, and using residues to grow the forest-based bioeconomy. The plan seeks to emphasise the utilisation of renewable resources to grow and diversify New Zealand's low carbon economy.

This will see a series of initiatives rolled out from 2023, including:

  • Launching forest diversification and native afforestation programmes;

  • Developing the business case for Crown investment;

  • Researching and developing biomass regimes to decarbonise and stimulate biomass supply;

  • Establishing post-graduate qualifications in wood engineering and biochemical engineering;

  • Enabling forest aggregation opportunities for small woodlot foresters;

  • Forming collaborative working groups with industry;

  • Establishing funding options that aim to reduce some of the risks from investing in wood processing;

  • Investigating options to reduce emissions and increase sustainability;

  • Scaling up the 'Wood – Our Low-Carbon Future' campaign;

  • Establishing an offshore market presence;

  • Expanding MPI’s forestry-based advisory services;

  • Aiming to support co-location and collaboration between firms; and

  • Supporting a Māori forestry strategy.

Some actions in the plan are already underway. This includes the launch of the Timber Design Centre in March 2022. The centre gives advice on timber use in the design and construction of buildings, focusing on structures such as offices, hotels, and multi-storey apartments.

Recent investment in transport

Over December last year, the Government announced the completion of major roadworks and committed investments into various transport projects:

  • On 4 December, the Government announced that forty-six councils will receive funding to implement more transport options for communities, as part of the Transport Choices package 2022-24. It aims to fund additional bus stops, bus prioritisation lanes, new cycleways, improvements to transport infrastructure around schools and improved walking access for neighbourhoods.

  • On 7 December, work commenced on a $41 million programme to improve road safety in the Waimakariri district. The funding will go towards safety upgrades on SH1, including flexible median barriers and wide centrelines, and cycle and shared paths.

  • On 10 December, the Government confirmed an additional $200 million investment in the next phases of the Eastern Busway in Auckland. This brought the Crown contribution to the Eastern Busway project to over $600 million.

  • On 10 December, construction commenced on the O Mahurangi – Penlink connection to north Auckland. This project falls under the Government's New Zealand Upgrade Programme, which is a $8.7 billion investment in infrastructure such as roads, rail, hospitals and schools.

  • On 18 December, State Highway 6 between Blenheim and Nelson reopened after seven weeks of repairs following an August weather event.

  • On 21 December, the Peka Peka to Ōtaki expressway was opened. By connecting the MacKays Crossing to the Peka Peka Expressway and Transmission Gully Motorway, the Government aims to make it more reliable and safer for people and goods to travel through the lower North Island.
Clean Car Standard phase-in

The Clear Car Standard (Standard) is a government initiative aimed at addressing transport sector CO2 by encouraging a greater supply of low/zero emission vehicles into the country. The Standard began phasing in on 1 December 2022, and since 1 January 2023 most imported light-vehicles (excluding mopeds, motorcycles, and tailers) incur a credit or a charge based on the CO2 emissions ratings. Payments for any charges incurred are due by 1 June 2023 and credits will be transferrable from the same date.

The rationale for the Standard is to incentivise importers to bring in a higher ratio of low/zero emission vehicles to earn credits to offset charges from higher emitting vehicles. Vehicle importers are required to gradually reduce CO2 emissions of the light vehicles they bring into New Zealand via CO2 targets, which will get tighter every year. Pre compliance tools for importers, including an estimate calculator for vehicles' CO2 values, are available at

In Trade

Dispute with Canada re Dairy Tariff Rate Quota under CPTPP

On 12 May 2022, Damien O'Connor, Minister for Trade and Export Growth, announced that New Zealand had initiated dispute settlement proceedings against Canada under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) which challenged Canada's administration and implementation of its CPTPP dairy tariff rate quotas (TRQs).

This is the first dispute taken by New Zealand under a free trade agreement, and the first dispute that has been taken by any party under the CPTPP. The dispute is ongoing.

Under the CPTPP, TRQs allow a lower tariff rate on certain New Zealand dairy exports to Canada within a specified quantity. Canada maintains 16 dairy TRQs under the CPTPP for dairy products including milk, cream, milk powders, yoghurt, butter, ice cream and cheeses. Canada's dairy TRQ allocation measures allocate the quota available under each TRQ into three pools, and then allocate the quota within each pool on a market share or equal share basis. Pools can only be accessed by specific importer groups and those that do not fall within a pool are not eligible to apply for, or be allocated, quota.

The dispute relates to Canada's adoption and maintenance, and allocation and administration, of certain notices to importers regarding the TRQs. Among other things, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade considers that Canada's measures are inconsistent with the CPTPP as its procedures for administering its TRQs:

  • are not fair and equitable;

  • do not allow importers to utilise TRQ quantities fully;

  • do not ensure that any person fulfilling eligibility requirements is able to apply, and be considered for, a quota allocation; and

  • do not ensure that allocations are made in commercially viable shipping quantities.

Minister O'Connor said that the Ministry considers the manner in which Canada is implementing its dairy TRQs is inconsistent with its obligations under the CPTPP and is impacting New Zealand dairy exporters who are not able to fully benefit from the market access that was negotiated under the CPTPP. According to the Minister, many of Canada's dairy TRQs are unfilled which represents a tangible loss in market access to New Zealand dairy exporters, valued at approximately $68 million over the first two years. The value is expected to increase year on year as the size of these quotas increase under CPTPP.

New Zealand submitted its request for consultations to Canada on 12 May 2022. New Zealand and Canada held consultations in June 2022, which did not resolve matters in the dispute. On 7 November 2022, New Zealand submitted its request for the establishment of a panel to hear the dispute. Canada and New Zealand then engaged in a process to compose the panel by selecting three individuals to sit as panellists. The terms of reference of the panel will be to:

  • examine the arguments set out in New Zealand's request; and

  • draft a report in which it will make findings and determinations on the disputes, provide reasons for the findings and determinations, and make recommendations.

The initial report is expected to be presented in the coming months.

Update on autonomous Russia sanctions regime

Since the Russia Sanctions Act 2022 was passed unanimously by Parliament on 9 March 2022 as part of New Zealand’s response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, tranches of sanctions have been implemented via regulations. The sanctions are intended to exert pressure on Russia to change its course of behaviour, including by interrupting economic relations and trade. Information on the earlier sanctions New Zealand has implemented can be found in our August 2022 here and May 2022 here Watching Brief articles.

New Zealand has been continuing its sanctions response by:

  • Making additions to the lists of sanctioned entities, individuals and classes of persons, including:

    • all remaining members of Russia’s houses of Parliament (as a class);

    • individual political elites and members of President Putin’s inner circle;

    • individual oligarchs and one entity with strategic or economic relevance; and

    • individuals which expand on the disinformation actors already sanctioned in May.

  • Increasing trade measures by expanding the list of prohibited exports to Russia and Belarus, banning the import from and export of luxury goods to Russia, prohibiting the import of Russian origin energy products, and banning the export of oil exploration and oil production products to Russia.

  • Extending sanctions to Iran – the third country after Russia and Belarus to be sanctioned – by sanctioning three Iranian individuals and one entity for the supply of drones to Russia for use in its invasion of Ukraine.

The Government has also made announcements extending New Zealand's defence commitments and providing further support and personnel to assist Ukraine, as well as increasing humanitarian aid. Notably, on 14 December 2022, Ukrainian Volodymyr President Zelenskyy addressed the New Zealand Parliament – the second world leader to ever do so.

In the House

What’s coming up in the House

Parliament will resume sitting on Tuesday 14 February 2023.

Legislation to be considered will include:

  • the First Reading of the Climate Change Response (Late Payment Penalties and Industrial Allocation) Amendment Bill;

  • the Second Readings of;

    • the Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Levy) Amendment Bill;

    • the Civil Aviation Bill; and

    • the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Amendment Bill; and

  • the Third Reading of the Natural Hazards Insurance Bill;

As Tuesday 14 February 2023 is the first sitting day for 2023, Question Time will be replaced with a debate on the Prime Minister's statement to the House, which begins Parliament's year. This statement outlines the Government's intentions for the year ahead, and debate on the statement lasts 13 hours, spread over several sitting days. This debate can be interrupted to consider other Government business, however, there are no members' days or general debates until the debate on the Prime Minister's statement is concluded.

Progress of Legislation

Bills Introduced

Accident Compensation (Access Reporting and Other Matters) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Carmel Sepuloni

This Bill proposes to amend the Accident Compensation Act 2001 (Act) to increase oversight of access to the accident compensation scheme by Māori and other population groups. The Bill would achieve this by amending the Act's purpose and introducing a corresponding function section, both relating to ACC's monitoring of access to the scheme by Māori and other population groups. The Bill would also bring forward eligibility for the minimum rate of weekly compensation from the sixth to second week of an earner's injury. Overall, this Bill intends to increase ACC's ability to identify any population disparities in access to the scheme, and to minimise financial hardship for earners of weekly compensation in very low-paid, full-time jobs.
Climate Change Response (Late Payment Penalties and Industrial Allocation) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon James Shaw
This Bill proposes to amend provisions in the Climate Change Response Act 2002 relating to the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme. The proposed amendments concern the penalty that applies when small forestry participants fail to surrender or repay units by the due date and industrial allocation. The Bill proposes to alter the late payment penalties for participants with low-volume liabilities from forestry activities, who fail to meet, surrender or repay by the due date. This would come into effect from 1 January 2025. 

The Bill also proposes to make amendments to industrial allocation. Industrial allocation refers to the provision of free emission units to firms that undertake certain activities to ensure they meet some of their emission costs. At present the industrial allocation settings are leading to over-allocation. In respect of industrial allocation, this Bill proposes to:

  • restrict the current allocations by tightening eligibility criteria to avoid over-allocation and stop industry support beyond actual emissions costs; 

  • simplify updates to the allocative baselines as an attempt to address over-allocation,

  • require firms undertaking eligible activities to provide emissions, production, and revenue data for the financial years between 2016/17 and 2020/21; 

  • introduce a renewed approach of assessing eligibility for new activities;

  • simplify the process to update allocative baselines;

  • enable easier access to data; and

  • introduce a high-level framework for calculating the electricity allocation factor used in allocative baselines.

Crown Minerals Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Dr Megan Woods
This Bill seeks to neutralise the promotional intent of the Crown Minerals Act (CMA), by changing the purpose from "promote" to "manage" prospecting for, exploration for, and mining of Crown-owned minerals for the benefit of New Zealand. This is intended to increase the Crown's flexibility in the management of Crown-owned minerals, and seeks to balance policy objectives such as transitioning away from fossil fuels with sustaining investor confidence to continue the development of Crown-owned minerals where required.
The Bill would also amend provision of the CMA to:

  • allow greater flexibility in the frequency of public tenders for petroleum exploration permits;

  • introduce new provisions to increase engagement with iwi and hapū; and

  • clarify decommissioning-related tests for the granting, transferring or changing of a permit.

The Bill had its First Reading on 22 November 2022 and has been referred to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee.
Fair Trading (Gift Card Expiry) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Member's
Member in charge: Melissa Lee
This Bill would amend the Fair Trading Act 1986 to prohibit the sale of gift cards with an expiry date of less than 3 years after the date of sale.
Fuel Industry Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Dr Megan Woods
The Fuel Industry Amendment Bill (Bill) would amend the Fuel Industry Act 2020 (Act) to provide a regulatory backstop for terminal gate pricing. The aim of this regulation is incentivising wholesale suppliers to offer competitive terminal gate prices (TGPs). The Act was a response to a Commerce Commission (Commission) report from 2019 which found that the fuel market in New Zealand was dominated by a limited number of players. The Act gave effect to many of the recommendations in the report. However, the Commission also recommended a regulatory backstop to this regime, which was not created when the Act was first passed, and the Bill seeks to give effect to this recommendation.
The Bill would allow the Commission to be able to inquire into whether TGPs have been higher than expected in a competitive market, following consultation with interested persons, and then make a recommendation to the Minister about price regulation specifying:

  • which TGPs should be regulated, including the specified engine fuel or fuels, the wholesale supplier or suppliers, and the bulk storage facilities or facilities; and

  • how long the ban should be in place. 

Grocery Industry Competition Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Dr David Clark
This Bill seeks to regulate participants in the retail grocery industry with the aim of increasing competition between competitors and overall efficiency in the market. This Bill was introduced in response to a report by the Commerce Commission.

The key provisions of the Bill include:

  • A wholesale regulatory regime with the aim of reducing barrier of entry that new entrants may face when wanting to enter the retail grocery market. The regime would be in two parts: first it would impose regulatory requirements on the major grocery retailers to facilitate the commercial supply of groceries and secondly, it would impose a wholesale regulatory backstop with a broader range of wholesale supply obligations on major grocery retailers.

  • A grocery regulator by appointing a Grocery Commissioner within the Commerce Commission. The Commissioner would have broad functions, duties, and powers to monitor compliance with the regulatory regime the Bill would introduce.

  • A mandatory code of conduct, the Grocery Supply Code that all regulated grocery retailers would be required to comply with.

The Bill has been referred to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee, with the report due back by 23 March 2023.

Hawke's Bay Agricultural and Pastoral Society Empowering Bill

Type of Bill: Private
Member in charge: Hon Meka Whaitiri

This Bill would enable the Hawke's Bay Agricultural and Pastoral Society (the Society) to sell its interests in the Tomoana Showgrounds, and any other land it may acquire, without being required to purchase other land with the proceeds. The Society would be able to do so on the condition that it appears advantageous to the Society to sell the land, at least two thirds of the members agree at a general meeting and at least 14 days' notice of that meeting and the proposal to sell the land have been given to all members. Once land is sold, the Bill would require that the proceeds were used for a purpose that is consistent with the objects of the Society.

Health and Safety at Work (Health and Safety Representatives and Committees) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Michael Wood
This Bill seeks to amend the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to increase levels of worker engagement, participation, and representation in order to reduce rates of work-related harm in New Zealand. The Bill would do so by removing thresholds, related to the size of a workplace and the industry's level of risk, that may currently limit worker access to health and safety representatives and health and safety committees (HSCs). The Bill would also impose some obligations on businesses regarding consideration of worker requests and timeframes for establishing HSCs.

The Bill passed through its First Reading on 22 November 2022 and is currently at the Select Committee stage.

Human Rights (Incitement on Ground of Religious Belief) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Kiritapu Allan

The Prime Minister announced on 8 February 2023 that this Bill will be withdrawn from Parliament and no longer progressed this term. Instead, this issue will be referred to the Law Commission in its totality.
Legal Services Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Kiritapu Allan
This Bill seeks to increase access to legal aid assistance for people with low incomes. It would repeal the provisions in the Legal Services Act 2011 relating to the payment of the user charge and the payment of interest on an unpaid legal aid debt. There are other amendments to the Bill that would remove references to the user charge and interest, consequential to the principal amendments.
The Bill had its First Reading on 22 November 2022 and has been referred to the Justice Committee.

Local Government Official Information and Meetings Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Kieran McAnulty

This Bill aims to provide clarity for local authorities on provisions of the Local Government and Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (the Act). In particular it proposes changes to land information memoranda and withholding and certification processes.
This Bill would amend the Act by introducing:

  • requirements to provide natural hazard information in a LIM (including the impacts of climate change);

  • a statutory responsibility for regional councils to provide natural hazard information (including about the impacts of climate change) and support to territorial authorities;

  • a specific purpose for providing natural hazard information;

  • provisions to develop regulations for providing natural hazard information in LIMs; and

  • limitation of legal liability for local authorities when disclosing natural hazard information in good faith.

Natural and Built Environment Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon David Parker
This Bill would repeal and replace the Resource Management Act 1991, working in tandem with the Spatial Planning Bill. This Bill is complex, consisting of 861 sections and 15 schedules. The proposed reform of the RMA through this Bill has many elements, which are broken down in more detail in our RMA Reform Series. Some of the key changes that the Bill proposes:

  • enabling a National Planning Framework;

  • requiring 15 Regional Planning Committees to be established;

  • changing the compliance, monitoring, and enforcement requirements; and

  • requiring all persons exercising powers and functions under the Bill to give effect to the principles of te Tiriti o Waitangi.

​This Bill had its First Reading on 22 November 2022 and was referred to the Environment Committee.

New Plymouth District Council (Perpetual Investment Fund) Bill

Type of Bill: Local
Member in charge: Glen Bennett
This Bill would require the New Plymouth District Council (Council) to use its Perpetual Investment Fund (Fund) for purposes that the Council consider benefit the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of current and future New Plymouth communities. Independent financial managers would be responsible for making best-practice investment decisions to maintain or increase the value of the Fund over time, as well as avoiding prejudice to the Council's reputation. The Council would only be able to reduce the real value of the Fund's capital if circumstances arose that warranted doing so. This is a Local Bill which follows the recommendations of the Council following their long-term plan deliberations and community consultation.
Ngāti Hei Claims Settlement Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Andrew Little
This Bill would give effect to some elements of the Ngāti Hei deed (the Deed) of settlement signed by Ngāti Hei and the Crown. The Bill would be a record of the acknowledgements and apology made by the Crown to iwi when the Deed was signed and would give effect to the redress in the Deed.
The Bill was introduced on 16 December 2022 and is awaiting its First Reading.
Ngāti Paoa Claims Settlement Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Andrew Little
This Bill aims to give effect to some elements of the deed of settlement between Ngāti Paoa and the Crown and records the acknowledgements and apology made by the Crown to Ngāti Paoa. The deed of settlement, signed on 20 March 2021, provides redress for historical Crown breaches of te Tiriti o Waitangi/the Treaty of Waitangi. This Bill would satisfy the legislative requirements needed to give effect to the land-based, financial, commercial, and cultural redress contained in the deed, and settle the historical claims of Ngāti Paoa. 
Māori Fisheries Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Stuart Nash
This Bill would amend the Māori Fisheries Act 2004 (the Act) to increase rangatiratanga over Māori assets. The amendments would also provide for the inclusion of te reo Māori and macrons in the Act. Some of the key amendments would include:

  • increasing the control that iwi organisation and their asset-holding companies have over Te Ohu Kaimoana and Aotearoa Fisheries limited;

  • making the governance arrangements of entities consistent with each other and with standard corporate governance practice;

  • cancelling Aotearoa Fisheries Limited voting shares;

  • converting Aotearoa Fisheries Limited income shares into ordinary shares and allowing Te Ohu Kaimoana to allocate those shares to mandated iwi organisations; and

  • amending the process for trading settlements quota assets and ordinary shares amongst fisheries settlement commercial entities.

Pare Hauraki Collective Redress Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Andrew Little
This Bill would give effect to redress agreed upon in the Pare Hauraki Collective Redress Deed (the Deed) that requires legislation. The Deed was signed on 2 August 2018 between Pare Hauraki Collective (the 12 Iwi of Hauraki) and the Crown. It contains both cultural redress and commercial redress but not financial redress. Each of the iwi will receive financial settlement through their iwi-specific settlement instead. Harbour redress will also be in separate negotiations. Therefore, the Deed and this Bill will not settle any Treaty of Waitangi claims in full.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Shared Leave) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Member's
Member in charge: Nicola Willis
The Bill would amend the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 to provide that a person and their spouse or partner may both be primary carers simultaneously. In addition, it would allow for paid parental leave to be split between spouses or partners who are caring for the child and taken at the same time, provided that the total paid parental leave taken by the couple does not exceed the maximum provided for a single primary carer. The Bill is currently awaiting its First Reading.
Spatial Planning Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon David Parker
This Bill is one part of the wider resource management reform that will operate alongside the Natural and Built Environment Bill to create an integrated system across different legislative frameworks (see our RMA Reform Series for further information). This Bill would outline the development and implementation of long term, strategic spatial planning across New Zealand through regional spatial strategies (RSS).
RSS will be developed by regional planning committees, which will be comprised of representatives from both local and central government, as well as iwi and hapu. The RSS will identify what the most prevalent issues are for the region and what the objectives for improvement should be over a 30-year plus time span.
Sustainable Biofuel Obligation Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Dr Megan Woods
The Bill would create an obligation for any person or company that imports or refines more than 50,000 litres of liquid fossil fuels for transport in New Zealand, excluding aviation fuels, to also supply sustainable biofuels. It also provides mechanisms for obligated parties to trade, "bank" and "borrow" emissions reductions, as well as reporting and enforcement requirements. This Bill had its First Reading on 15 November 2022 and was referred to the Environment Committee.

Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Community Participation) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Kiritapu Allan

This Bill proposes to increase communities' ability to influence alcohol regulation in their area. This is proposed to be done through allowing targeted changes to the alcohol licensing process per the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 (the Act). 

This Bill proposes to achieve its aim through:

  • ensuring that the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol is safe; and

  • that harm by the excessive consumption is minimised.

Currently, the Act provides for provisional local alcohol policy appeals through a consultative process to the Alcohol and Regulatory and Licensing Authority. This Bill proposes to remove the appeal process on the basis that it is currently ineffective. This Bill further proposes that the District Licensing Committee may decline to renew licences if the license may be inconsistent with the local alcohol policy. This is suggested to better reflect communities' intentions for alcohol licensing.

Therapeutic Products Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Andrew Little

This Bill is intended to replace the Medicines Act 1981 and the Dietary Supplements Regulations 1985. It proposes a new regime for regulation of therapeutic products being medicines, medical devices, natural health products and active pharmaceutical products.The regime intends to ensure acceptable safety, quality and efficacy of therapeutic products throughout their lifecycle.

The proposed changes in the Bill include:

  • expanding the definition of "therapeutic purpose" to cover, and therefore regulate, more products;

  • a requirement that therapeutic products and natural health products receive a market authorisation, following evaluation from the Regulator, before export, import or supply in New Zealand;

  • regulation on a range of "controlled activities" such as manufacturing, supplying, prescribing, dispensing, administering and conducting clinical trials with therapeutic products and natural health products;

  • the imposition of new restrictions of advertising of therapeutic and natural health products (while maintaining the ban on direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription medicines); and

  • the creation of a Therapeutic Products Regulator (Regulator), who will hold a range of compliance and enforcement powers backed up via an offence and civil penalty regime.

The Bill had its First Reading on 14 December 2022 and was referred to the Health Committee, with submissions due on 5 March 2023. See our insight article for further information on the Bill.

Thomas Cawthron Trust Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Private
Member in charge: Rachel Boyack

This Bill intends to outline the objects of the Cawthron Institute Trust Board (the Trust Board) and the powers conferred on the Trust Board to advance the objectives. The proposed amendments include:

  • providing for the appointment of a member of the Trust Board nominated by te Tauihu iwi;

  • outlining the legal liability of the members of the Trust Board; and

  • altering the governance arrangements of the Trust Board and aspects of the governance and administration of the Trust Board.

Water Services Legislation Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Kieran McAnulty

This Bill amends the Water Services Entities Act 2022, to provide for the operational detail of the newly-established water services entities, including service delivery and regulatory functions and powers; the transfer of assets, liabilities and other matters from local government organisations to the entities; and pricing and charging arrangements.
The Bill had its First Reading on 13 December 2022, and is currently before the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee. Public submissions on the Bill closed on 12 February 2023.
Water Services Economic Efficiency and Consumer Protection Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon David Clark
This Bill introduces an economic regulatory regime for the water services entities, with the Commerce Commission as economic regulator. This regime will enable the Commerce Commission, through a newly-established Water Services Commissioner, to impose information disclosure, price quality, minimum service level, and levy obligations on the water services entities, through a transitional process. The Bill also provides for a range of remedy and enforcement measures, and a consumer dispute resolution scheme.
The Bill had its First Reading on 13 December 2022, and is currently before the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee. Public submissions on the Bill closed on 12 February 2023.

Bills awaiting First Reading
Bills defeated or withdrawn
Bills before Select Committee

Submissions Open




Therapeutics Products Bill

Health Committee

05 March 2023

Submissions Closed



Report Due

Self-contained Motor Vehicles Legislation Bill

Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee

02 March 2023

Taxation (Annual Rates for 2022-23, Platform Economy, and Remedial Matters) Bill (No 2)

Finance and Expenditure Committee

02 March 2023

Improving Arrangements for Surrogacy Bill

Health Committee

03 March 2023

Counter-Terrorism Acts (Designations and Control Orders) Amendment Bill

Justice Committee

13 March 2023

Increased Penalties for Breach of Biosecurity

Primary Production Committee

21 March 2023

Grocery Industry Competition Bill

Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee

23 March 2023

Deposit Takers Bill

Finance and Expenditure Committee

27 March 2023

Charities Amendment Bill

Social Services and Community Committee

28 March 2023

Hawke's Bay Agricultural and Pastoral Society Empowering Bill

Governance and Administration Committee

11 April 2023

Worker Protection (Migrant and Other Employees) Bill

Education and Workforce Committee

18 April 2023

Business Payment Practices Bill

Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee

27 April 2023

Sustainable Biofuel Obligation Bill

Environment Committee

27 April 2023

Child Protection (Child Sex Offender Government Agency Registration) (Overseas Travel Reporting) Amendment Bill

Justice Committee

03 May 2023

Companies (Directors Duties) Amendment Bill

Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee

09 May 2023

Customs and Excise (Arrival Information) Amendment Bill

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee

09 May 2023

Inspector-General of Defence Bill

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee

09 May 2023

Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill

Social Services and Community Committee

16 May 2023

Accident Compensation (Access Reporting and Other Matters) Amendment Bill

Education and Workforce Committee

22 May 2023

Crown Minerals Amendment Bill

Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee

22 May 2023

Fuel Industry Amendment Bill

Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee

22 May 2023

Health and Safety at Work (Health and Safety Representatives and Committees) Amendment Bill

Education and Workforce Committee

22 May 2023

Legal Services Amendment Bill

Justice Committee

22 May 2023

Local Government Official Information and Meetings Amendment Bill

Governance and Administration Committee

22 May 2023

Natural and Built Environment Bill

Environment Committee

22 May 2023

Spatial Planning Bill

Environment Committee

22 May 2023

Water Services Economic Efficiency and Consumer Protection Bill

Finance and Expenditure Committee

25 May 2023

Water Services Legislation Bill

Finance and Expenditure Committee

25 May 2023

Rotorua District Council (Representation Arrangements) Bill

Māori Affairs Committee

31 May 2023

New Plymouth District Council (Perpetual Investment Fund) Bill

Governance and Administration Committee

07 June 2023

Thomas Cawthron Trust Amendment Bill

Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee

07 June 2023

Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Community Participation) Amendment Bill

Justice Committee

13 June 2023

Human Rights (Incitement on Ground of Religious Belief) Amendment Bill

Justice Committee

13 June 2023

Bills awaiting Second Reading
Committee of the whole House
Bills awaiting Third Reading
Bills awaiting Royal Assent
  • N/A

Acts assented

Apple Transitional Export Quota Act
This Act implements New Zealand's obligations regarding fresh apples under the Free Trade Agreement between New Zealand and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Act provides for New Zealand Apples and Pears Incorporated (NZAPI) to design and operate a quota system to allocate access to the UK apple market. The quota system will operate for a period of three years and allows apples to be exported from New Zealand duty-free. The Act places requirements on NZAPI including around consultation with apple exporters, the provision of quota allocations, notification of decisions, and the issue of export certificates. 
Arms (Licence Holders' Applications for New Licences) Amendment Act

This Act amended the Arms Act 1983 to provide that a firearms licence would be treated as current until the Police determined the application for a new licence, in order to bridge the gap between the expiry of an old licence and the issue of a new licence. However, the licence holder needs to have applied for the new licence while holding a current licence. For a dealer’s licence, if the renewal was issued after the licence had expired, the renewal takes effect from the date it was issued, not the date of expiry. The Act also enables the Police to issue notices and documents to an electronic address.
Climate Change Response (Extension of Penalty Transition for Forestry Activities with Low Volume Emissions Liabilities) Amendment Act
This Act seeks to protect smaller players in the forestry industry. The Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Act 2020 had introduced penalties for NZ ETS participants who failed to repay units to the Crown by the due date. The penalty was set at three times the carbon price for each unit not paid on time, with no room for discretion. This created concerns for small forestry participants. The purpose of the Climate Change Response (Extension of Penalty Transition for Forestry Activities with Low Volume Emissions Liabilities) Amendment Act is to extend the transition period provided for NZ ETS participants who are involved in low volume emissions to 1 January 2025 (as opposed to the previous due date of 1 January 2023), providing some leeway for smaller actors in the industry.
Companies (Levies) Amendment Act
This Act amends the Companies Act 1993 to create a new regulation making power that will expressly provide the New Zealand Companies Office with the power to use money collected through levies to fund the registry system as a whole, rather than on a register-by-register basis. Regulations made under this act are "confirmable instruments", which are automatically revoked at a particular date unless confirmed by an Act of Parliament.

COVID-19 Public Health Response (Extension of Act and Reduction of Powers) Amendment Act
This Act was passed under urgency on 25 November 2022. The Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 (Act) was due to expire on 13 May 2023 but in light of the increasing Covid-19 cases at the end of last year, the powers in existing legislation were not deemed sufficient to respond to the pandemic. The Amendment Act extends the Act's expiration date to 26 November 2024. In recognition of the changed circumstances, the Amendment Act also limits the broad powers of the Minister that were granted to them during the height of the pandemic. However, the Act still provides for the Minister to make orders regarding self-isolation, masks, and tests. The Minister may also still make various orders to a person who is arriving in New Zealand. The power of the Director-General and the enforcement officers are limited and the provision relating to managed isolation quarantine facilities and the duties in relation to specified work (mainly PCBUs) are repealed, as are the amendments to the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 and the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989. The maximum fines under the Act are reduced with effect from 28 February 2023.
Dairy Industry Restructuring (Fonterra Capital Restructuring) Amendment Act
This Act amended the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 to enable Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited (referred to in the Act as "new co-op") to implement a new capital structure. This Act enables Fonterra to set a limit on the size of its unit fund so it could operate a restricted farmer-only market for its shares.
To mitigate the risks that could arise from a farmer-only market for Fonterra shares the Act altered the governance and transparency of Fonterra's base milk price-setting regime. The Act requires a higher level of independence on Fonterra's milk price panel and increased the Commerce Commission's oversight of Fonterra's base milk price-setting arrangements.
Electoral (Māori Electoral Option) Legislation Act
This Act comes into force on 31 March 2023 and amends the Electoral Act 1993, the Local Electoral Act 2001 and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (Māori Constituency Empowering) Act 2001. The Act creates a continuous option model where Māori electors may change between the general and Māori rolls whenever they wish, as opposed to the previous option period where Māori electors could only change rolls during a four month period in a census year.
Electoral Amendment Act
This Act amends the Electoral Act 1993, with the proposed purpose of enhancing public confidence in the funding of New Zealand's political parties. Key changes address the political donations and loans framework, and include:

  • lowering the public disclosure threshold for donations and contributions to political parties from $15,000 to $5,000;

  • amending the reporting requirements for donations received from the same donor by reducing the threshold to $20,000 and requiring disclosure within 10 days only in a general election year;

  • requiring parties to report donations under $1,500 that are not made anonymously;

  • requiring the annual return of party donations to separately state the total amount of monetary and in-kind donations received;

  • requiring parties to disclose their financial statements; and

  • requiring candidates to publicly report on loans received to support their campaigns. 

The Act also addresses the effects of Covid-19 on international travel for those New Zealanders wishing to remain eligible for voting in the 2023 General Election. Prior to this amendment, New Zealand citizens and permanent residents could only be registered as an elector if they had been in New Zealand within the last three years or 12 months, respectively. The Act temporarily increases both eligibility periods to six years for New Zealand citizens, and four years for permanent residents, but only for the 2023 General Election. 
Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Act (No 2)
This Act amends the Land Transport Act 1998 to support the Clean Vehicle Standard, a policy in transitioning the light vehicle fleet to be low and eventually zero-emission. That Standard provides for the setting of annual targets which will require importers of light vehicles to progressively reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of vehicles they import. This Act amends the legislation to add a six-month adjustment period for the Standard to give vehicle importers time to adjust, and also makes two minor corrections.
Māori Purposes Act
This Act amends four Acts related to Māori development: the Development Act 1962, the Maori Purposes Act 1959, the Maori Trust Boards Act 1955, and Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993. The amendments are considered to be non-controversial and technical and contribute to Māori wellbeing and development by providing Māori entities with greater autonomy and reducing administrative compliance.
Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-a-Rua Claims Settlement Act 2022

This Act gives effect to the deed of settlement signed on 29 October 2021 in which the Crown and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-ā-Rua agreed to the final settlement of the historical Treaty of Waitangi claims of Ngāti Kahungunu. Part 1 of the Act records the acknowledgements and apology the Crown offered to Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-a-Rua and includes a summary of the historical background to the claims. Part 2 of the Act provides for cultural redress, such as the issuing of a Crown minerals protocol, taonga tūturu protocol, the vesting of certain properties, and geographic name changes. Part 3 sets out commercial redress, including provisions for the transfer of commercial properties and rights of first refusal. The four Schedules to the bill list the hapū, the areas subject to statutory acknowledgement and areas subject to a deed of recognition, the cultural redress properties, and notices in relation to right-of-first-refusal land.
Oranga Tamariki Amendment Act
This Act amends the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 by partially repealing the subsequent-child provisions, repealing a redundant information-sharing provision and making other minor technical amendments. Other amendments include:

  • clarification regarding the function of family group conferences;

  • removal of the requirement for a family group conference to occur before the issuing of a restraining order if a care and protection order has already been made; and

  • a change so regulations may be made setting out how a suitable care provider (household or organisation) is to be determined.

Plant Variety Rights Act
Replacing its 1987 predecessor, this Act is a new regime for the Crown's obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi in relation to plant variety rights and for New Zealand's obligations under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The primary objective of the Act is to refresh New Zealand's approach to meet the changes seen in the plant breeding industry.
In relation to the Treaty, the Act has implemented the recommendations of the Wai 262 report, this being to provide protection of taonga species by establishing a kaitiaki (guardianship) relationship. To achieve this the Act established the Māori Plant Varieties Committee where decisions are made on the whether a new plant variety right (PVR) should be granted. 
Remuneration Authority Legislation Act
This omnibus act amends the Remuneration Authority Act 1977 and six other Acts to transfer responsibility for determining the remuneration of certain judicial and statutory officers to the Remuneration Authority.
Residential Tenancies (Healthy Homes Standards) Amendment Act
The Residential Tenancies (Healthy Home Standards) Amendment Act was passed under urgency on 25 November 2022. It amends the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 to extend the final compliance date for the healthy homes standards that can be prescribed under regulations for all landlords to 1 July 2025. It also amends the Residential Tenancies (Healthy Home Standards) Regulations 2019 and the Residential Tenancies (Smoke Alarm and Insultation) Regulations 2016 to provide a one-year extension respectively for compliance for Kāinga Ora and community housing providers (to 1 July 2024) and private landlords (1 July 2025). The extension is in response to the global supply chain issues and tradespeople shortages which have caused delays in construction.
Secondary Legislation Confirmation Act
This Act confirms certain secondary legislation made in the year ending 30 June 2022 that would have otherwise been revoked if not confirmed by an Act of Parliament. The Act confirmed 27 instruments total. The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisors) Regulations 2022 was include at Select Committee stage, having been initially neglected due to an oversight.
Security Information in Proceedings (Repeals and Amendments) Act
This Act makes amendments to 12 different Acts in the areas of national security information in criminal proceedings, administrative requirements and proceedings, and other related Acts. It was split from the Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill to deal specifically with repeals and amendments.
Security Information in Proceedings Act
The Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Act is an omnibus Act, forming part of the Government's response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain on 15 March 2019, as well as the 2015 Law Commission Report. The Act seeks to address issues arising where information disclosed as part of legal proceedings may prejudice national security. 
The Act creates a new regime which includes:  

  • the provision of a ministerial certificate to guarantee the protection of security information in appropriate circumstances;

  • a standard preliminary closed court hearing in all civil proceedings where security information is at issue, which includes a special advocate representing the non-Crown party;

  • in administrative proceedings, replacing the court proceedings stage with the new civil process;

  • a standard pre-trial closed court hearing for disclosure in all criminal proceedings that involve national security information; and

  • a new pre-trial admissibility hearing to determine how security information should be protected at trial in criminal proceedings.

After passing its First and Second Readings as well as the Select Committee stage, the then Bill was divided into two separate Bills (the Security Information in Proceedings Act and the Security Information in Proceedings (Repeals and Amendments) Act). Both Acts come into force on 28 November 2023, unless the Governor-General appoints an earlier date by Order in Council.
Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Act
The Act limits the number of retailers able to sell smoked tobacco to those approved by the Director-General of Health, who is also required to set a maximum number of retail premises allowed in a certain area. The Act places notification obligations on distributors of smoked tobacco products or sellers of notifiable products (including vaping products), which must be renewed each year.
Additionally, smoked tobacco products must be approved by the Director-General. The Act provides that a person must not sell, offer for sale, manufacture, import, or supply a smoked tobacco product unless this approval has been obtained.
The Act also introduces new provisions which require that only smoked tobacco products that meet certain requirements will be able to be manufactured, imported, or offered for sale or supply. The Act makes it an offence for any smoked tobacco product to contain constituents exceeding any prescribed limits.
The Act introduces a smokefree generation policy by prohibiting the sale of smoked tobacco products to anyone born on or after 1 January 2009. It also amends certain provisions relating to advertising, packaging and labelling of regulated products, and point-of-sale purchase prohibition information or warnings.
Social Security (Accommodation Supplement) Amendment Act
This Act clarifies eligibility for, and the rate of, an accommodation supplement for a community spouse or partner of a person who is receiving long term residential care in a hospital/rest home. It confirms a community partner would not be subject to abatement of benefit (like the Accommodation Supplement) in respect of any income which was included as a part of their partner-in-care's financial means assessment. This Act ensures current practice can be maintained, by clarifying section 17(3) of the Social Security Act 2018. The Act was passed under urgency; it was introduced on 22 November 2022 and received Royal Assent on 25 November 2022.
Statutes Amendment Act
This Act amends 42 other Acts, administered by 11 Government agencies, with a view to correcting drafting errors; providing consistency across legislation; clarifying the intent of legislation; and altering how legislation works in practice. Omnibus Acts of this kind are regularly passed into law, to update existing Acts through minor and technical changes.
Te Rohe o Rongokako Joint Redress Act
This Act gives effect to various provisions within the deeds of settlement between Rangitane o Wairarapa, Rangitane o Tamaki nui-a-Rua and the Crown. The Act provides joint redress over Lake Wairarapa, Lake Onoke and the Ruamahanga River catchment, as well as cultural redress to both parties. Notably, the Act establishes the Wairarapa Moana Statutory Board, which will oversee and administer Wairarapa Moana reserves and ensure protection of local interests, ecological, cultural and spiritual values.
United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement Legislation Act
This Act amends four Acts, two sets of Regulations, and the Tariff of New Zealand, to codify the Free Trade Agreement between New Zealand and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (FTA) into New Zealand law. The Act provides for:

  • application of the FTA's preferential tariff rates;

  • implementation of transitional quotas on dairy products exported to the UK from New Zealand;

  • enablement of the division of New Zealand's country-specific World Trade Organisation dairy quotas between the UK and European Union (which is required post Brexit);

  • an increase of the investment screening threshold from NZ$100 million to NZ$200 million for non-government investors from the UK; and

  • the rules of origin applicable to imports into New Zealand from the UK.

Water Services Entities Act
This Act is the first of three legislative instruments in the Government's Three Waters programme that intends to significantly reform the delivery of drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater (the three waters) across New Zealand. This Act provides for the establishment of four publicly-owned water services entities (WSEs) that will take over the majority of the management of the three waters from 67 local territorial authorities. The Act provides for ownership, governance, consultation, and accountability arrangements regarding the WSEs. It also provides arrangements for the transitional "establishment period", which ends on 1 July 2024, when the WSEs become fully operational, providing all three waters infrastructure and services within their specified geographic boundaries.
See here for our recent article on the Three Waters reforms.

Read more:
Watching Brief
Talk to one of our experts:
Related Expertise