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Watching Brief - September 2023

Home Insights Watching Brief - September 2023

Matter of Opinion

Election dates, predictions, and finely balanced percentages

Tomorrow the Governor‑General will dissolve the 53rd New Zealand Parliament by proclamation. Parliament's dissolution sparks the timeline of events that comprise a general election. You can read more about the process and its effects in our article below. The election itself, as we all know, is Saturday 14 October 2023, with advance voting starting on Monday 2 October 2023.

We learned the election date in January when the then PM, Jacinda Ardern, announced the date along with her resignation. The long lead in between announcing the election date and the polling day itself started under John Key in 2011 and every Prime Minister since has continued the practice. The early announcement of an election date is strictly a political preference – it is not a constitutional requirement. It stands in contrast to previous practice. For example, in 2002, the fifth Labour-led Government under Helen Clark allowed just six weeks between the announcement of the election and polling day, and two months in 2005 and 2008. And that seems like an eon compared to the four weeks Robert Muldoon allowed in 1984. Ultimately, we do not have fixed election dates in New Zealand (subject to the three-year Parliamentary term) and – in a constitutional set up where the government rests on commanding a majority in the House of Representatives – arguably, we should not fix election dates because a government's loss of a confidence vote in the House should always at least allow for the possibility of a swift election. Parliamentary systems work well where governments are events-based and not fixed-term. That said, it does seem we are falling into a political practice of early announcement of election dates, and that seems unlikely to revert without at least raising questions.

About this time, questions often arise as to a pre-election caretaker convention. Are ministers or public servants restrained before the election in making decisions? The short answer is: no. New Zealand does not have a pre-election caretaker convention and the Government retains the right to govern right up until election day. Successive governments nevertheless have exercised restraint when it comes to significant appointments about three months before an election, and in government advertising campaigns that could be construed as favouring one party over another. Here, political practice has crystalised into something approaching a constitutional convention.

In comparison, after the election, we now have well-accepted constitutional conventions on caretaker government. These conventions date back to the constitutional crisis with the devaluation of the New Zealand dollar in 1984, added to in 1996 with the advent of MMP's lengthier government formation processes. Watching Brief will provide further insights into the caretaker convention and its implications once we know the election results.

What of the election itself? Predictions are not the business of Watching Brief. Clearly, though, opinion polls show that we are shopping around the well-stocked shelves of MMP's political market. That means the "purple" blue and red vote – the combined vote going to the two major parties Labour and National – looks as if might be as low as any time since the first MMP election in 1996. As a quick guide, the table below shows the combined percentage of votes received by the two major parties over the past 16 elections.

Table: "Purple" vote – Labour and National combined percentage of votes cast, 1975-2020

Mixed member proportional representation:





















First past the post:

















Arguably, MMP has worked to date in New Zealand because the continued dominance of the two major parties have made the system look like First Past the Post-lite. We have seen a National- or Labour-led Government with a dominant major party supported by one or more markedly smaller parties. Making MMP function over the course of nine Parliaments in a way that appears FPP-lite to many voters speaks to the strength and real political talent of PMs and senior ministers across successive governments. If current polls come to fruition on election night and the combined percentage of votes of the two major parties drops to the low 60s (or as one poll this week suggested, the mid-50s) it will require a different kind of political management. It also reminds us how vital small differences might prove in this election – for example the "wasted" vote of a party below the five percent threshold, an electorate gained, and the possibility of an "overhang" could all tip finely balanced scales.

All that said, that's democracy. The most important thing is that we all participate and exercise our democratic rights in the upcoming election.

Watching Brief will be back with legal and constitutional analysis of the implications of the election shortly after polling day on 14 October 2023.

In the News

Digital services tax on multinationals from 2025

New Zealand is taking proactive measures to introduce a Digital Services Tax (DST) targeting major multinational corporations operating in the digital sphere. This move aligns with global efforts to reform taxation in the digital economy, addressing the tax challenges posed by the rapidly evolving digital business landscape. These challenges have outpaced the capabilities of the existing international tax framework, making it difficult to effectively tax overseas digital enterprises.
Countries worldwide are contending with the intricate task of establishing equitable taxation in response to the increasing digitisation of commerce. This shared concern underscores the need for a coordinated approach to taxation in the digital age.
While New Zealand has been actively engaged in OECD negotiations aimed at creating a multilateral tax agreement, progress has been slow. In alignment with these negotiations, New Zealand has committed to refraining from independently implementing a DST until 1 January 2025. However, the Government has proactively prepared the Digital Services Tax Bill, which would allow for the introduction of the DST at an earlier date should the OECD negotiations fail to yield a satisfactory outcome. The Government consulted on the content of such legislation in 2019.
This proposal builds upon a commitment outlined in the Labour Party's manifesto. Specifically, it targets multinational businesses generating over €750 million in global digital services revenue, and more than NZD$3.5 million locally from services provided to New Zealand users. It encompasses social media platforms, internet search engines, and online marketplaces. The tax rate would be set at a rate of 3% on digital services revenues, which mirrors those adopted by other nations, including France and the United Kingdom. Over a four-year period, the DST is projected to generate approximately $222 million in revenue. In the UK, the similar tax surpassed revenue projections, albeit amid heightened demand for digital services during the pandemic.

Water Services Reform Programme

Over the last month, the Government has finalised the comprehensive legislative package underpinning the Water Services Reform Programme, also known as Affordable Water Reform (Reform), which involves the establishment of ten publicly owned water services entities (WSEs). These entities will take over the management of the majority of New Zealand's drinking water, wastewater and urban stormwater assets from 67 territorial authorities.

The key pieces of legislation that have been progressed are as follows:

  • Water Services Entities Amendment Act 2023: This Act was passed on 15 August 2023 and amends the Water Services Entities Act 2022. It gives effect to the Government's refocused Reform announced in April 2023, by establishing ten WSEs based on existing regional council boundaries (instead of the original proposal of four WSEs). In particular, this Act provides that the Northland and Auckland WSE (known as Wai Tāmaki ki te Hiku) will start operation on 1 July 2024, while the other nine WSEs will start delivery of water services on a date between 1 July 2024 and 1 July 2026.

  • Water Services Legislation Act 2023: This Act was passed on 22 August 2023 and primarily amends the Water Services Entities Act 2022 to introduce provisions regarding the WSEs functions, powers and duties, and provide for transitional arrangements.

  • Water Services Economic Efficiency and Consumer Protection Act 2023: This Act was passed on 22 August 2023 and was the final piece of the Reform legislation. This Act introduces an economic regulation and consumer protection regime for the reformed water services sector, with the Commerce Commission as the economic regulator. A Water Services Commissioner is expected to be appointed, who will be the principal spokesperson for the Commerce Commission's functions in relation to this Act.

Wai Tāmaki ki te Hiku has commenced preparations to transition to the new system of water services delivery in the Northland and Auckland Regions, and the membership of the establishment board of this entity has been approved by Cabinet.

Given the looming election and the contentious nature of the Reform, the future of water services delivery in New Zealand is uncertain, with its full effect possibly determined by the election outcome.

Increased safety standards for adventure activity sector

Following the Whakaari White Island tragedy, the Government has been assessing ways to improve safety standards for adventure activities. The Minister for Workplace Relations, Hon Carmel Sepuloni, acknowledged that adventure activities are a major draw card for international tourists and result in significant economic opportunities in New Zealand's regions. Strengthened safety regulations aim to ensure New Zealanders and tourists are kept safe when engaging in these activities, and to maintain the high reputation of New Zealand's adventure tourism globally.

In August 2023, the Ministry for Workplace Relations announced the publication of an updated Safety Audit Standard, which will come into effect from 1 April 2024. Operators of adventure activities (as defined under the Regulations) will be legally required to take all reasonable steps to ensure participants are informed of the risks they may be exposed to in participating in an adventure activity. This includes communicating these risks before the customer purchases a ticket, before the activity begins and throughout the activity, including if the risks change.

Operators will also be required to monitor risks arising from natural hazards where an activity is taking place, and have clear criteria for postponing, cancelling or moving activities should the risks change. These changes will be supplemented by detailed guidance on managing natural hazard risks, as well as activity-specific safety guidance, the development of which is currently underway.

Under the strengthened standards, WorkSafe will also receive more expansive powers in relation to adventure activities. This will allow it to:

  • suspend operations immediately if there is an imminent serious risk, and

  • suspend, cancel or refuse registration applications of operators who cannot provide activities safely.

Agricultural emissions reduction plan

The Government has announced its final plan to reduce agricultural emissions (Plan), after a five-year process that involved working with farming leaders. Under the Plan:

  • Sequestration on-farm will be rewarded through scientifically validated forms in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), rather than the establishment of a parallel system. The agricultural pricing system is anticipated to commence in late 2025.

  • The Government is proposing to defer the date animals-farmers become liable for their emissions under the ETS by two years. Under the Climate Change Response Act, farm-level reporting requirements would commence on 1 January 2024. Consultation on the proposed deferral closed on 6 September 2023. If the Government decides to proceed with the deferral, it will issue an Order in Council prior to 1 January 2024.

  • The Government plans to invest in new tools and technology aimed at reducing on-farm emissions.

Immigration update

The Government has pushed ahead with a range of changes in the immigration space over recent months and more may be on the horizon.

  • On 21 June 2023, the Government announced changes to the Skilled Migrant Category to:

    • remove the cap on highly skilled workers;

    • introduce a six point eligibility system;

    • update the criteria / pathway to residency; and

    • extend the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) to five years and introduce a five-year maximum continuous stay for those visa holders.

  • On 6 July 2023, the Worker Protection (Migrant and Other Employees) Act received Royal Assent. In an effort to reduce migrant exploitation, the Act brings in new infringement offences to target breaches at a lower-level and also disqualifies individuals convicted of migrant exploitation from managing and directing companies in New Zealand. The Act introduces the final changes recommended by the 2020 Temporary Migrant Worker Exploitation Review. See more on this Act below.

  • On 1 July 2023, the Government announced reciprocal changes to the Working Holiday Visa with the United Kingdom. The eligible age for a visa holder will be extended to 35-year-olds, and both the length of stay and work period will be extended to three years.

  • On 26 August 2023, the Government announced a new residence pathway for Special Ukraine Visa holders. As at 20 August 2023, 1,510 Special Ukraine Visas had been granted. The pathway will be open to Special Ukraine Visa holders where the principal applicant was granted the visa and travelled to New Zealand before 15 March 2024.

Since 2022, 6,300 overseas health workers have joined the New Zealand work force through the AEWV scheme and the Green List Straight to Residence pathway. A further 800 offshore visa holders have been approved and are yet to travel to New Zealand.

However, more changes to the AEWV scheme may follow with the launch of a new review by the Public Service Commission into AEWV, following the discovery of dozens of migrant workers stranded without employment in Auckland.

Recent Resource Management updates

On 23 August 2023, the Natural and Built Environment Act 2023 (NBEA) and the Spatial Planning Act 2023 (SPA) received Royal Assent. These two Acts will replace the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).

Most changes will be phased in over time and will 'go live' on a region-by-region basis once the region's first NBEA plan becomes operative. Consequently, most existing RMA instruments remain valid until that time. However, a number of changes are in force as at 24 August 2023, including:

  • Fast-track consenting for certain housing and infrastructure developments (based on the process developed during COVID-19).

  • Changes to council enforcement powers and penalties (including increasing monetary penalties for non-compliance, and councils being able to consider compliance history when considering resource consents).

  • Changes to who can apply to be a requiring authority.

More broadly, core elements of the NBEA (which the SPA sits alongside to create a single integrated system) include:

  • a new purpose to uphold te Oranga o te Taiao, which is considered an intergenerational ethic that connects the health and wellbeing of the natural environment with all New Zealanders;

  • the introduction of outcomes;

  • implementation of a new national planning framework;

  • a new fast-track consenting process;

  • a framework for natural and built environments plans; and

  • improved recognition of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

See our RMA series here for further analysis:


In Trade

Refresh of Trade Frameworks

The Trade, Environment, and Climate Change Framework (TECC Framework) and Trade and Labour Framework (TL Framework) provide guiding principles for New Zealand's trade negotiations. The Frameworks have recently been updated (having been originally developed in 2001), following Trade for All Advisory Board recommendations and public consultation. Once Cabinet has approved the Frameworks, they will apply to new free trade negotiations.
The TECC Framework has been updated to include new principles, such as the elimination of environmentally harmful subsidies, and the removal of trade obstacles in goods and services that support climate change mitigation and adaption. The TL Framework has been updated to address issues such as modern slavery in supply chains, vulnerable workers and migrant workers. Both Frameworks have been updated to recognise te Tiriti o Waitangi/the Treaty of Waitangi and the need to work with Māori to ensure that Tiriti/Treaty obligations, rights and aspirations are supported and that Māori interests are understood, advanced and protected.
The purpose of the Frameworks is to provide a high-level principles approach, not a prescriptive approach. This approach is intended to ensure that New Zealand is clear in its ambitions but allows for sufficient flexibility in negotiations with a range of trade partners and involving a range of legal formats. The central tenets of New Zealand's trade policy remain reflected in the new Frameworks, including the importance of international rules and the multilateral trading system; not using protectionist measures to secure a trade advantage, or to lower existing standards; and ensuring appropriate policy space for New Zealand to continue to determine its own labour and environmental policies.
Both frameworks provide for ongoing engagement with Māori, business and social partners, and civil society partners in the negotiation and implementation of trade agreements. A further review of the Frameworks has been set to take place in ten years' time.

Progress in trade partnerships

New Zealand and India progress economic partnership

On 28 August 2023, Hon Damien O’Connor, Minister for Trade and Export Growth, met with Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal as part of a three-day visit to New Delhi. Minister O'Connor travelled with a large New Zealand business delegation representing 40 organisations, including Fonterra, Zespri, QualityNZ and the Meat Industry Association, which was organised independently and led by the India New Zealand Business Council (INZBC).

The meeting of the two Ministers reflects an increasing focus on engagement between the two countries, with Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister of Foreign Affairs, having recently visited India in February 2023. As part of the bilateral meeting, Minister O'Connor and his counterpart, Minister Goyal, noted their shared intention to continue to strengthen the trade and economic relationship between the two countries, including in a number of specific areas:

  • Improving air links with India by making changes to existing arrangements under the bilateral Air Services Agreement.

  • Progressing primary sector partnerships across agriculture and horticulture.

  • Encouraging improved India-New Zealand ministerial and business-to-business relationship architecture.

  • Highlighting the importance of partnerships that benefit the countries' education sectors.

The trip is Minister O'Connor's second visit to India in less than 12 months, and comes on the back of a report published by the INZBC into the state of the relationship with India and increasing media attention on New Zealand's exposure to events in China. The INZBC report recommended more regular diplomatic contact between the India and New Zealand and other measures to grow the relationship, such as establishing regular direct flights.

Launch of exploratory trade talks between New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates

On 1 September 2023, Minister O'Connor announced that New Zealand will enter into preliminary discussions with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on a new Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The UAE is an important strategic trading partner for New Zealand, with exports to the region approaching $1 billion per annum. If New Zealand signs the CEPA, it will follow a number of countries that have already signed similar deals with the UAE, including India, Indonesia, Israel and Turkey.

The discussions with the UAE could also provide an opportunity to expand New Zealand's other relationships in the Middle East. In particular, the Minister attended trade-focussed discussions with the six-country Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in August 2023 and reaffirmed New Zealand's commitment to finalising the New Zealand GCC Fair Trade Agreement.

In the House

What happens to legislation during the Election process?

An election is all about voters having their say in the composition of Parliament and the next government. Underlying the election, though, is the dissolution of a Parliament, which brings about a whole lot of other changes as well.

All parliamentary business – for example bills, reports, petitions – before the House of Representatives or any of its committees will lapse on Friday 8 September 2023, when Parliament is dissolved, as per section 20 of the Constitution Act 1986.

However, all business can be reinstated (at the stage it had reached in the previous Parliament – see Standing Order 84) by the next Parliament by a resolution of the House of Representatives, thereby allowing the new Parliament to determine which items of business it will consider. Departments are required to advise incoming Ministers of the implications of reinstating, or not reinstating, particular business.

Submissions can still be made on bills that were open for submissions at dissolution.

To preserve the confidentiality of lapsed business until the House and the committees in the new Parliament have considered whether they wish to reinstate or readopt business, confidential select committee proceedings remain confidential on dissolution, even though they have lapsed. Confidentiality continues for the first nine sitting days of the new Parliament, and ceases if the business to which it relates has not been reinstated by the House or readopted by the committee concerned.

The Government in office at the time of the dissolution continues to run the country through executive decision-making.

For further information, see the Constitution Act 1986 (here), the Cabinet Office Circular, 22 August 2023 CO (23) 7 (here), and the Standing Orders – the rules of the House (here).

Progress of Legislation

Bills Introduced

Corrections Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Kelvin Davis
This Bill aims to improve rehabilitation, reintegration, and safety outcomes for the people the Department of Corrections manages in prison. The Bill would:

  • Provide the Department of Corrections with new limited powers to monitor, collect, use, and disclose prisoner communications and information sources.

  • Seek to increase the effectiveness of internal disciplinary processes by ensuring they are timely and incentivise good behaviour.

  • Alter the process for the authorisation and use of non-lethal weapons on prisoners.

  • Create new principles, derived from the principles of Te Tiriti, to improve rehabilitation and reintegration outcomes for Māori under Corrections’ management.

  • Enable the limited mixing of remand accused and convicted prisoners.

  • Make further amendments intended to enable best-practice operation in prisons.

The Bill is currently with the Justice Committee and is due to be reported back the House of Representatives on 27 December 2023.
Digital Services Tax Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Barbara Edmonds
This Bill would implement a digital services tax (DST) to be administered by Inland Revenue. The DST would be imposed at a rate of 3% on gross digital services revenue connected to New Zealand users or land which is derived by "digital services groups". The tax would apply to businesses with:

  • global digital services revenues of at least EUR750 million per year; and

  • New Zealand digital services revenues of at least $3.5 million per year.

Taxable digital services revenue will include revenue relating to intermediation (buy/sell) platforms, social media and content sharing platforms, internet search engines, digital advertising, and user-generated data.
District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Member's
Member in charge: Anahila Kanongata'a
This Bill proposes to amend the District Court Act 2016 to ensure that an attachment order cannot lead to a deduction of more than 5% of the net earnings of a judgment debtor who is receiving a main benefit.
Main benefit is defined in the Bill by reference to Schedule 2 of the Social Security Act 2018, which includes a benefit that is: jobseeker support; sole parent support; a supported living payment on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness; a supported living payment on the ground of caring for another person; a youth payment; a young parent payment; or an emergency benefit.
The Bill is in addition to the existing restriction covering protected earning rates outlined in section 257(3) of the District Court Act 2016.
Electoral (Equal Protection of Māori Seats) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Member's
Member in charge: Arena Williams
This Bill proposes to include provisions related to Māori electorates within the list of entrenched provisions. Currently, protections for General electorates are entrenched, ensuring their stability and consistency, while Māori electorates are not entrenched. Therefore, the Bill aims to afford Māori electorates the same level of protection as their General electorate counterparts.
Electoral (Lowering Voting Age for Local Elections and Polls) Legislation Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Kieran McAnulty
This Bill is an omnibus Bill that seeks to reduce the voting age in local elections and polls from 18 to 16 years of age. It would amend the Local Electoral Act 2001 to make persons aged 16 or 17 years eligible to vote in local elections. It will create a new category of electors, youth electors, and will create a youth electoral roll.
The Bill does not change the age for:

  • serving as a juror;

  • being elected or appointed as a member of an alcohol licensing trust or trustee of a community trust;

  • voting in the election of members of an alcohol licensing trust; and

  • voting in the election of trustees of a community trust.

The Bill would amend other statutes like the Electoral Act 1993 and local Acts, and the Local Electoral Regulations 2001 to implement the policy.
Emergency Management Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Kieran McAnulty
This Bill proposes to repeal and replace the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002. It responds to recommendations made by the 2017 Technical Advisory Group's Ministerial Review into New Zealand's response to natural disasters and other emergencies. The Bill would create a new legal framework for emergency preparation, response, and recovery, including:

  • recognising and increasing Māori participation and representation in emergency management;

  • adjusting the roles, responsibilities and duties of key people and organisations, including critical infrastructure entities (currently known as lifeline utilities);

  • creating new rule-making powers and provisions for making regulations when managing hazards and emergencies;

  • clarifying the roles of local governments during emergencies; and

  • requiring Emergency Management Committees to engage with local communities that may be disproportionately impacted by emergencies and make response plans that meet their needs.

The Bill had its first reading on 28 June 2023 and is now with the Governance and Administration Select Committee. Submissions on the Bill close on 3 November 2023.
Employment Relations (Protection for Kiwisaver Members) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Member's
Member in charge: Dr Tracey McLellan
Under the current Employment Relations Act 2000, employers are not legally obliged to offer workers enrolled in the KiwiSaver scheme the same terms and benefits of employment as workers not enrolled in the scheme.
This Bill would amend the Employment Relations Act 2008 so that workers could not be discriminated against for being a member of a KiwiSaver scheme or a complying superannuation fund. It would do this by inserting a new ground for bringing a personal grievance claim relating to membership of a KiwiSaver scheme, or a complying superannuation fund, adversely affecting employment.
The Bill had its first reading on 30 August 2023 and is currently before the Finance and Expenditure Committee.
Employment Relations (Trial Periods) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Member's
Member in charge: Dr James McDowall
This Bill would allow businesses that have 20 or more employees to include a 90-day trial period in a new employee’s employment agreement. The Bill would achieve this by amending sections 67A and 67B of the Employment Relations Act 2000 to remove the references to small-to-medium sized businesses and their definition.
Fair Digital News Bargaining Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Willie Jackson
This Bill would introduce a bargaining code (Code), to be established by an independent regulator – the Broadcasting Standards Authority. The Code is to facilitate fair and efficient news content bargaining, and would operate as secondary legislation.
The purpose of the Bill is to support the sustainable production of New Zealand news content by ensuring that operators of digital platforms contribute fairly to the cost of producing news content that is made available by their digital platforms. Overseas operators of digital platforms would also be subject to some duties imposed on operators. In particular, duties that relate to the operator's digital platform making news content produced by news media entities available to people in New Zealand.
Under the Bill, the bargaining process provisions would come into effect on a date(s) appointed by Order in Council, with a backstop date of 1 July 2025. The Bill has been referred to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Select Committee, with submissions due on 1 November 2023.
Family Proceedings (Dissolution for Family Violence) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Member's
Member in charge: Angie Warren-Clark
This Bill aims to reduce the harm caused by family violence. It would allow an individual who has been subject to family violence, as recognised by a Protection Order, to dissolve a marriage or civil union by immediate application to the Court rather than requiring parties to have lived apart for at least two years.
The Bill had its first reading on 30 August 2023 and has been referred to the Justice Committee.
Fisheries (International Fishing and Other Matters) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Rachel Brooking
This Bill would amend the Fisheries Act 1996 to reflect New Zealand's international obligations, which have evolved since the international fisheries management and compliance regime was established in 1999. One of the main objectives of this Bill is in relation to the prevention of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, which threatens the sustainability of global and regional fisheries. By addressing this issue, the Bill aims to strengthen New Zealand's reputation as a responsible fishing nation and its ability to continue accessing high-value seafood markets. The Bill would also make changes related to the efficiency and clarity of the statutory provisions and associated decision-making processes.
Hauraki Gulf / Tīkapa Moana Marine Protection Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Willow-Jean Prime
This Bill would create two new marine reserves (as extensions of existing reserves), 12 High Protection Areas (HPAs) and five seafloor protection areas (SPAs) in the Hauraki Gulf, to increase the protected area of the Gulf from 6.7% to 18%.
Human Rights (Prohibition of Discrimination on Grounds of Gender Identity or Expression, and Variations of Sex Characteristics) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Member's
Member in charge: Dr Elizabeth Kerekere
This Bill would add two new grounds to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination outlined in section 21 of the Human Rights Act 1993. The additional grounds would expressly prohibit discrimination against gender identity or expression and variations of sex characteristics.
The Bill would not change the existing grounds of discrimination covered in "sex" and "sexual orientation".
McLean Institute (Trust Variation) Bill

Type of Bill: Private
Member in charge: Hon Dr Duncan Webb
The McLean Institute (Institute) is a charitable institute established pursuant to the will of Allan McLean. The Board of the Institute has observed that the charitable purpose of the Institute has been eroded over time, since its establishment in 1907.
This Bill would update and vary the terms of the Institute set out in its trust deed, including to enable the assets of the Institute to continue to be used to provide assistance to, and promote the welfare and well-being of, disadvantaged women residing or located in the specified region (and the children in the care of such women) who the Board considers are in need of care, support, and assistance due to poverty, ill health, or other circumstances, whether temporary or long-term.
The Bill had its first reading on 28 June 2023 and is currently before the Social Services and Community Committee.
Medicines (Exemption for Authorised Prescribers) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Member's
Member in charge: Penny Simmonds
This Bill would amend section 29 of the Medicines Act 1981. Currently, section 29 provides an exemption for medical practitioners to obtain unapproved medicines. This Bill would amend section 29 to extend the exemption to all authorised providers, rather than only medical practitioners.

New Zealand Bill of Rights (Right to Lawfully Acquired Property) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Member's
Member in charge: Barbara Kuriger
This Bill was introduced into Parliament on 27 July 2023, and is currently awaiting its first reading.
The Bill proposes to add section 11A, the right to lawfully acquired property, into the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (NZBORA). This section seeks to grant every person the right to own and use their lawfully acquired property, and the right not to be deprived of that property (except by reason of law, and in that case, with reasonable compensation). These rights would extend to property owned in association with others.
There have been two previous attempts to amend NZBORA to include this right in 1997 and 2005 respectively. This Bill differs from the earlier ones as it expressly provides that compensation should be reasonable.
Pae ora (Healthy Futures) (Improving Mental Health Outcomes) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Member's
Member in charge: Matt Doocey
This Bill was introduced on 31 August 2023. The Bill would amend the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022 to require the Minister of Health:

  • to consult with the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission in the preparation of strategic documents, including Health Strategies, the New Zealand Health Plan, and the Government Policy Statement; and

  • to prepare and determine a Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

Pae ora (Healthy Futures) (Provision of Breast Cancer Screening Services) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Member's
Member in charge: Dr Shane Reti
This Bill was introduced by Dr Shane Reti in late July 2023. The Bill would introduce breast cancer screening into primary legislation alongside cervical screening. It would also extend the screening age from 69 to 74 for breast cancer. The Bill has not yet been referred to a Select Committee as the first reading debate was interrupted.
Privacy Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Ginny Andersen
This Bill would amend the Privacy Act 2020, primarily section 22 which regulates the collection, storage, use, and disclosure of personal information to protect privacy while accommodating for legitimate uses by public and private sector agencies. The amendment would require agencies to notify an individual where personal information is collected indirectly (ie from a source other than the individual concerned). This would align New Zealand's privacy laws with international best practice.
Ram Raid Offending and Related Measures Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Ginny Andersen

This Bill aims to reduce youth-dominated offending by disincentivising and increasing accountability for those who engage in ram-raiding, ensuring greater interventions and consequences for the criminal behaviour. It distinguishes ram-raiding from intentional property damage and burglary. If passed, it would amend several pieces of legislation:

  • A new section in the Crimes Act 1961 to specifically criminalise ram-raiding.

  • The Sentencing Act 2002 to include two new aggravating factors for sentencing:

    • An adult who aids, abets, incites, counsels, or procures any child or young person to commit an offence (applicable to all offending, not just ram-raiding).

    • A person who livestreamed the offending, posted online or distributed a copy.

  • The Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 to allow 12 and 13 year olds to be proceeded against for a ram-raiding offence in the Youth Court without being a previous offender, and to include a corresponding factor to that added to the Sentencing Act 2002 to be considered if the offending was livestreamed, posted online or distributed.

  • The Criminal Investigations (Bodily Samples) Act 1995 to allow the taking of bodily samples from 12 and 13 year olds in the Youth Court for a ram-raiding offence.

Regulatory Systems (Climate Change Response) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Damien O'Connor
This Bill would amend forestry-related provisions of the Climate Change Response Act 2002. The amendments contained in the Bill were identified as part of the Ministry for Primary Industry's wider regulatory systems work programme. The Bill contains small regulatory fixes such as:

  • clarifying and updating statutory provisions to give effect to the purpose of the Act and its provisions;

  • addressing regulatory duplication, gaps, errors, and inconsistencies within and between different pieces of legislation;

  • ensuring the regulatory systems remain up to date and relevant; and

  • reducing the administrative burden for regulators and regulated parties.

The Bill was introduced on 21 June 2023 and is yet to receive its first reading.
Regulatory Systems (Primary Industries) Amendment Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Damien O'Connor
This omnibus Bill would make minor, technical, or uncontentious amendments to legislation administered by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to ensure that the legislation administered by MPI is up to date and fit for purpose. The Bill would amend 14 Acts (and some associated secondary regulation) and repeal five Acts.

Residential Property Managers Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Barbara Edmonds
The Residential Property Managers Bill seeks to establish a regime to regulate the provision of residential property management in New Zealand.
The regulatory regime would:

  • establish minimum entry requirements for residential property managers;

  • ensure that residential property managers meet professional standards of practice; and

  • establish an independent and transparent complaints and disciplinary process that applies to residential property managers and the delivery of residential property management services.

The proposed regulatory regime for residential property managers would not apply to landlords. This includes private landlords, Kāinga Ora, and registered community housing providers.
Restoring Citizenship Removed By Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act 1982 Bill

Type of Bill: Member's
Member in charge: Teanau Tuiono
This Bill aims to address a historical issue related to the citizenship status of individuals born in Western Samoa (between 13 May 1924, and 1 January 1949). The Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act 1982 (1982 Act) revoked New Zealand citizenship for this group of Western Samoan people, effectively overturning a prior ruling by the Privy Council - to restrict the number of Western Samoans claiming New Zealand citizenship.
The proposed Bill would reinstate the New Zealand citizenship of those affected by the 1982 Act, allowing them to regain their citizenship without going through the standard residency and citizenship application processes.
Secondary Legislation Confirmation Bill (No 2)

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Grant Robertson
This Bill proposes to confirm secondary legislation (orders and regulations) made under the following Acts:

  • Biosecurity Act 1993

  • Commodity Levies Act 1990

  • Customs and Excise Act 2018

  • Land Transport Act 1998

  • New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001 and the Social Security Act 2018

  • Tariff Act 1988

The purpose of confirming these orders and regulations is to prevent them from being revoked under the Legislation Act 2019. Otherwise, unconfirmed secondary legislation is revoked after 12 to 18 months, depending on when it was created. The Bill had its first reading on 18 July 2023 and has now been referred to the Regulations Review Committee.
Taxation (Annual Rates for 2023/24, Multinational Tax, and Remedial Matters) Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Barbara Edmonds
This omnibus Bill would:

  • set the annual rates of income tax for the 2023-34 year;

  • alter the current settings within a broad-base, low-rate framework; and

  • amend the settings for tax administration, KiwiSaver and child support rules administered by Inland Revenue.

To make these changes this Bill would amend the following Acts: Income Tax Act 2007; Tax Administration Act 1994; Goods and Services Tax Act 1985; KiwiSaver Act 2006; Child Support Act 1991; Taxation (Annual Rates for 2021–22, GST, and Remedial Matters) Act 2022; and Taxation (Annual Rates for 2022–23, Platform Economy, and Remedial Matters) Act 2023. The Bill is currently with the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee.
Te Korowai o Wainuiārua Claims Settlement Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Andrew Little
The Te Korowai o Wainuiārua Claims Settlement Bill (Bill) was introduced on 29 August 2023 and is currently awaiting its first reading.
This Bill would give effect to elements of the deed of settlement (the Deed) signed on 29 July 2023 by the Crown and Te Korowai o Wainuiārua. The Deed provides for final settlement of all the historical Treaty of Waitangi claims of Te Korowai o Wainuiārua resulting from acts or omissions by the Crown before 21 September 1992.
Te Pire Whakatupua mō Te Kāhui Tupua/Taranaki Maunga Collective Redress Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Andrew Little
This Bill would give effect to certain matters contained in Te Ruruku Pūtakerongo/the Taranaki Maunga collective redress deed signed on 1 September 2023 by the Crown and Ngā Iwi o Taranaki. It contains provisions relating to redress that require legislation for their implementation. These provisions include the vesting of the land in the national park with legal personality, making Te Kāhui Tupua a legal person, with its rights, powers and duties being exercised and performed on its behalf and in its name by Te Tōpuni Kōkōrangi. The name of the national park would change to Te Papa-Kura-o-Taranaki and the names Mount Egmont and Mount Taranaki would change to Taranaki Maunga.
Victims of Family Violence (Strengthening Legal Protections) Legislation Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Ginny Andersen
This Bill, introduced on 22 August 2023, is an omnibus Bill that would amend the Family Court Act 1980, the District Court Act 2016, and the Senior Courts Act 2016 to provide Judges a pathway to restrain a party from filing further steps in family proceedings in any court.
This power would apply to proceedings under the Status of Children Act 1969, the Domestic Actions Act 1975, the Property (Relationships) Act 1976, the Family Proceedings Act 1980, the Child Support Act 1991, the Care of Children Act 2004, and the Family Violence Act 2018 (specified Acts).
The court would have to be satisfied:

  • that a party to a proceeding under a specified Act has exhibited conduct that is an abuse of the court, having had regard to all of the circumstances; and

  • that it has given that party a reasonable opportunity to be heard.

Circumstances the court can consider include the party's conduct during the course of the proceedings; the party's conduct outside the proceedings that is intended to harass or annoy any other party to the proceedings; and any other matter that the court considers relevant.
The Bill was referred to the Justice Select Committee, with a report back date of 29 February 2024.
Victims of Sexual Violence (Strengthening Legal Protections) Legislation Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Ginny Andersen
This Bill aims to reduce harm experienced by victims of sexual violence participating in court proceedings by aligning processes with the needs of the victims, while preserving the fairness and integrity of the court system. Amendments would be made to:

  • The Crimes Act 1961 – reducing risk to child victims during questioning about consent, and amending the maximum imprisonment penalty from 14 to 20 years to align with that for sexual violation.

  • The Criminal Procedure Act 2011 – clarifications to automatic name suppression settings so that it protects complainants' privacy and support complainants' autonomy, and a new process for an application to lift automatic name suppression.

The Bill is currently before the Justice Select Committee.
Whakatōhea Claims Settlement Bill

Type of Bill: Government
Member in charge: Hon Andrew Little
The Whakatōhea Claims Settlement Bill seeks to give effect to some elements of the Whakatōhea deed of settlement, signed by Whakatōhea and the Crown in May 2023. Whakatōhea will receive redress that includes 33 sites of cultural significance; financial and commercial redress and cultural funds totalling $100 million; reservation of 5,000 hectares of the coastal marine area for aquaculture permit applications; natural resources arrangements; and a range of other commercial, cultural, and relationship redress.

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

Submissions Open




Fair Trading (Gift Card Expiry) Amendment Bill

Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee

14 September 2023

Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Cellar Door Tasting) Amendment Bill

Justice Committee

14 September 2023

Employment Relations (Restraint of Trade) Amendment Bill

Education and Workforce Committee

18 September 2023

Crimes (Theft by Employer) Amendment Bill

Education and Workforce Committee

12 October 2023

Residential Property Managers Bill

Social Services and Community Committee

12 October 2023

Employment Relations (Protection for Kiwisaver Members) Amendment Bill

Finance and Expenditure Committee

30 October 2023

Whakatōhea Claims Settlement Bill

Māori Affairs Committee

31 October 2023

Fair Digital News Bargaining Bill

Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee

1 November 2023

Hauraki Gulf / Tīkapa Moana Marine Protection Bill

Environment Committee

1 November 2023

Emergency Management Bill

Governance and Administration Committee

3 November 2023

Electoral (Lowering Voting Age for Local Elections and Polls) Legislation Bill

Justice Committee

To be advised

Family Proceedings (Dissolution for Family Violence) Amendment Bill

Justice Committee

To be advised

Ram Raid Offending and Related Measures Amendment Bill

Justice Committee

To be advised

Secondary Legislation Confirmation Bill (No 2)

Regulations Review Committee

To be advised

Victims of Family Violence (Strengthening Legal Protections) Legislation Bill

Justice Committee

To be advised

Victims of Sexual Violence (Strengthening Legal Protections) Legislation Bill

Justice Committee

To be advised


Submissions Closed



Report Due

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

Justice Committee

3 May 2023

Improving Arrangements for Surrogacy Bill

Health Committee

8 September 2023

Taxation (Annual Rates for 2023/24, Multinational Tax, and Remedial Matters) Bill

Finance and Expenditure Committee

18 November 2023

Ngāti Hei Claims Settlement Bill

Māori Affairs Committee

20 December 2023

Ngāti Paoa Claims Settlement Bill

Māori Affairs Committee

21 December 2023

Corrections Amendment Bill

Justice Committee

27 December 2023

McLean Institute (Trust Variation) Bill

Social Services and Community Committee

28 December 2023

Ngāti Tara Tokanui Claims Settlement Bill

Māori Affairs Committee

29 December 2023

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

Bills awaiting Royal Assent
  • N/A

Acts assented

Accident Compensation (Access Reporting and Other Matters) Amendment Act

This Act makes a number of amendments to the Accident Compensation Act 2001 to increase information gathering by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) and access to minimum levels of compensation by claimants suffering from an injury.

The Act seeks to increase awareness of the accident compensation scheme's operation and reach. It introduces obligations on ACC to monitor and report on:

  • how Māori (and other population groups determined by ACC) are accessing the accident compensation scheme;

  • any identified disparities in access to the accident compensation scheme; and

  • the causes or drivers of identified disparities.

The Act also reduces the waiting period for eligibility for the minimum rate of compensation from six weeks to two weeks. This reduction aims to increase access to appropriate levels of compensation to reduce delay in recovery and relieve financial difficulties for claimants.
Annie Oxborough Birth Parents Registration Act

This Act allows the Registrar-General to amend the birth record of Annie Oxborough by replacing the names of her adoptive parents with those of her birth parents. This would not change the legal effect of the adoptive order.
Appropriation (2021/22 Confirmation and Validation) Act
This Act does the following in accordance with the requirements of the Public Finance Act 1989:

  • confirms the Public Finance (Transfers Between Outputs) Order 2022, which was made under section 26A of the Public Finance Act 1989;

  • confirms unappropriated expenses incurred for the 2021/22 financial year with the approval of the Minister of Finance under section 26B of the Public Finance Act 1989;

  • validates expenses incurred in the 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20, and 2020/21 financial years by the Ministry of Social Development not within the scope of any existing appropriation and without the authority of an Imprest Supply Act; and

  • validates a capital injection made in the 2021/22 financial year for the purposes of section 26CA of the Public Finance Act 1989.

Appropriation (2022/23 Supplementary Estimates) Act
This Act gives parliamentary authorisation of the individual appropriations contained in The Supplementary Estimates of Appropriations for the Government of New Zealand for the Year Ending 30 June 2023, which were presented to the House of Representatives on 18 May 2023. This Act also gives parliamentary authorisation for additional and alternative capital injections contained in the estimates, as required by section 12A of the Public Finance Act 1989.
Appropriation (2023/24 Estimates) Act
This Act gives parliamentary authorisation of the individual appropriations (expenses incurred and capital expenditure) contained in The Estimates of Appropriations for the Government of New Zealand for the Year Ending 30 June 2024 which was presented to the House of Representatives as part of the 2023 Budget documentation. This Act also gives parliamentary authorisation for the capital injections contained in the Estimates, as required by section 12A of the Public Finance Act 1989.
Business Payment Practices Act

This Act received Royal Assent on 26 July 2023. The substantive provisions of the Act come into force on 26 May 2024.

Under the Act, entities with revenue of more than $33m and total expenditure equal to or greater than $10m (excluding wages and goods and services supplied by related parties) in each of the two preceding accounting periods must disclose certain ‘payment practices information’ for each six month disclosure period. The information that is required to be disclosed (detailed in the Business Payment Practices Regulations 2023) includes:

  • the average time taken to pay invoices;

  • the percentages of invoices (by number and value) paid in full within specified payment times;

  • whether the entity/its subsidiaries enter contracts which allow other entities to issue electronic invoices to the entity/its subsidiaries; and

  • whether the entity/its subsidiaries use standard payment terms for invoices received, and if so, what those terms are.

Information will not be required for certain types of payments such as salaries and wages, tax, rent, utilities and rates. Payment practices information gathered under the Act will be published on a publicly searchable register and on the entity’s website.

The Act allows for infringement notices to be issued, and pecuniary penalties to be imposed, for certain breaches of the Act.
Charities Amendment Act
This Act amends the Charities Act 2005 to make practical changes to the operation and regulation of charities. The Act includes new compliance requirements such as:

  • requiring charitable entities to regularly review their governance procedures;

  • giving the Charities Registration Board the ability to disqualify individual officers, rather than whole charities; and

  • reducing financial reporting and compliance rules for smaller charitable entities.

Child Support (Pass On) Acts Amendment Act
This omnibus Act enables sole parents on a benefit to receive child support payments for their children, by giving Inland Revenue the powers to pass on the child support payments to receiving parents on a sole parent rate of the main benefit.
Further features of the Act are that:

  • receiving carers on a sole parent rate of benefit will no longer be required to have child support assessed and paid through Inland Revenue (IR);

  • the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) will apply new rules for treating child support as income for benefits;

  • IR will share information about child support payments made to receiving carers with MSD; and

  • parents paying formula assessed child support will be able to include their monthly liability as a cost when they apply for Temporary Additional Support from MSD.

Civil Aviation Amendment Act
This Act made several amendments to the Civil Aviation Act 2023 specifically relating to in-flight security and in-flight security officers.
The Act allows the Minister of Aviation to make rules providing for in-flight safety and security in relation to firearms, weapons, ammunition, and other equipment for carriage and use on board an aircraft by an in-flight security officer. It also allows the Director of Aviation to approve firearms, weapons, ammunition, and other equipment for carriage and use by in-flight security officers, and to make authorisations for foreign in-flight security officers.
The Act also introduced definitions for foreign in-flight security officer and in-flight security officer to the Civil Aviation Act 2023.
Climate Change Response (Late Payment Penalties and Industrial Allocation) Amendment Act
This Act makes changes to provisions in the Climate Change Response Act 2002 relating to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). These provisions build on a previous amendment made in 2020, which introduced a stronger penalty and compliance regime for ETS participants but allowed for a transitional arrangement for small forestry participants. The Amendment Act updates the transitional penalty for small forestry participants if they fail to pay units by the due date.
The Amendment Act also changes the eligibility criteria for industrial allocation of units. Industrial allocation is the free allocation of ETS credits to eligible companies. These free units help eligible companies to offset their ETS costs, so that they may compete with their less-regulated counterparts outside of New Zealand. The Amendment Act updates the rates of allocation for businesses in eligible industries and introduces a framework for future reviews of those rates, including a specific framework for the electricity sector. It also amends the eligibility criteria for both new and current business activities.
The Act was passed on 24 August 2023 and came into force the following day, though some provisions (including those relating to the electricity sector) will only apply from 1 January 2024.
Companies (Directors' Duties) Amendment Act
This Act, which came into force on 4 August 2023, has amended the directors' duty under s 131 of the Companies Act 1993 to act in the best interests of the company. In particular, it inserts a new subsection five: "To avoid doubt, in considering the best interests of a company or holding company for the purposes of this section, a director may consider matters other than the maximisation of profit (for example, environmental, social, and governance matters)."
This language adopts, and then builds on, the recommendation of the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Select Committee, which, despite being unable to agree the Bill (as it was then) should be passed, recommended a unanimous amendment to the Bill, should the House decide to pass it. The addition of the examples – "environmental, social, and governance matters" – were inserted by the Member in Charge of the Bill via a Supplementary Order Paper, during the Committee of the whole House stage. For further analysis of the Bill (in its earlier formulations), see our Insight here.
Crown Minerals Amendment Act
This Act makes the following key changes to the Crown Minerals Act 1991:

  • removes the promotional intent in the purpose clause to provide greater flexibility for allocating and managing Crown-owned mineral rights;

  • increases permit and license holder engagement with iwi and hapū; and

  • clarifies decommissioning-relating obligations.

Customs and Excise (Arrival Information) Amendment Act
This Act clarifies arrival information obligations, and creates new offences for travellers who:

  • fail to provide arrival information;

  • fail to provide arrival information in the way that is required; or

  • who provide false information.

It also amends the Customs and Excise Act 2018, to allow the Chief Executive of the New Zealand Customs Service to make regulations that would set the time by which travellers must provide information.
The Act also changes the New Zealand Customs Service's ability to collect information to verify travellers’ compliance with requirements in legislation administered by other agencies.
Deposit Takers Act
This Act received Royal Assent on 6 July 2023. The Act's purpose is to promote the safety and soundness of deposit takers and public confidence in the financial system. The Act includes:

  • Depositor protection: deposits will be insured up to a limit of $100,000 per depositor, per institution.

  • Single prudential regulatory regime: non-bank deposit takers and banks will be subject to a prudential regulatory regime.

  • Prudential standards: The Reserve Bank will set standards which will be the primary method of imposing regulatory requirements.

  • Greater director and executive accountability.

  • Changes to the Reserve Bank's supervision and enforcement tools.

Subpart 2 of Part 3, sections 238 to 244, subpart 7 of Part 6, and subpart 5 of Part 8 came into force on 7 July 2023, while the rest of the Act comes into force on a date set by Order in Council.

Education and Training Amendment Act (No 3)

This Act amends the Education and Training Act 2020 to give effect to new policy decisions, and makes a number of minor or technical changes. These amendments include:

  • establishing a new framework for wānanga to recognise the mana and rangatiratanga of wānanga and their role in the tertiary education system;

  • separating Kura Kaupapa Māori and designated character schools' establishment provisions to restore Kura Kaupapa Māori's status as a distinct type of state school;

  • restricting the reappointment of the chief executive of Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu to a term of up to five years, reflecting the scale in operation and revenue of Te Kura;

  • supplementing existing ineligibility criteria for membership of school boards in relation to certain offences, and enabling the Secretary of Education to audit school board members to determine whether they meet eligibility requirements;

  • updating school board elections processes, including: the timing of elections; the criteria for board members to reflect school demographics relating to gender, sexuality, and disability; and removing restrictions on filling student representative positions; and

  • requiring employers to assess Police Vetting results for non-teaching employees and contractors.

Employment Relations (Extended Time for Personal Grievance for Sexual Harassment) Amendment Act
This Act extends the time available to raise a personal grievance that involve allegations of sexual harassment from 90 days to 12 months. It recognises the difficulty of victims of workplace sexual harassment to come forward to report incidents and the arbitrary temporal barrier that was in place.
Energy (Fuel, Levies, and References) Amendment Act
This Act amends the Energy (Fuels, Levies and References) Act 1989 (principal Act). The Act allows for petroleum or engine fuel monitoring levies collected from "fuel industry participants" under the principal Act to be used to improve New Zealand's fuel resilience, through measures such as:

  • government procurement of services relating to storage and management of reserve fuel stocks to be held onshore;

  • facilities that would be useful for mitigating the impacts of local fuel disruptions or distributing fuels in an emergency;

  • fuel emergency planning and management activities; and

  • tools and programmes to improve monitoring and collecting information on fuel resilience.

The Act achieves this by adding an additional purpose to the principal Act, namely, to allow the levies to be applied towards meeting the reasonable costs and expenses of the Crown in promoting resilience of engine fuel supplies in New Zealand.
Energy Resources Levy Amendment Act
This Act came into force on 20 May 2023. It amends the Energy Resources Levy Act 1976, to provide that the levy exemption does not apply to natural gas produced from licence areas on or after 20 May 2023, if the licence was granted in relation to a discovery of natural gas that was made before 1 January 1986.
The amendment aims to ensure that new gas production from deposits within pre-1986 licence areas cannot be considered new gas discoveries for the purpose of the levy exemption in the Energy Resources Levy Act 1976.
Family Court (Family Court Associates) Legislation Act
This Act creates a new role of the Family Court Associate to take on some of the Family Court Judges' workload in order to reduce delay. The Act confers some of the functions and powers of Family Court Judges on to Family Court Associates. Those functions and powers conferred focus on:

  • decisions made at the early stages of a proceeding;

  • administrative matters; and

  • some limited functions of a judicial nature.

Forests (Legal Harvest Assurance) Amendment Act
This Act received Royal Assent on 19 May 2023. The purpose of the Act is to prevent the import of illegally harvested timber, and provide the international market with confidence in New Zealand’s timber and timber products by introducing a new legislative framework for legal harvest assurance.
The legal harvest assurance system requires a person who is responsible for harvesting regulated timber to:

  • keep records;

  • provide information when supplying timber in trade;

  • be registered before undertaking certain activities; and

  • have a due diligence system to mitigate the risk of dealing in illegal timber.

Most of the Act will come into force on 19 May 2026 (or an earlier date specified by Order in Council), with a further 12 month grace period before some compliance-related provisions come into force.
Fuel Industry Amendment Act
This Act amends the Fuel Industry Act 2020 to provide a regulatory backstop to the terminal gate price (TGP) regime. The TGP regime requires wholesale fuel suppliers at a storage terminal to publicly post a price at which they would sell a specified engine fuel to wholesale customers at a specified time.
The Act allows the Commerce Commission to inquire into whether TGPs have been higher than expected in a competitive market, and following consultation with interested persons, make a recommendation to the Minister about price regulation. Price regulation can be implemented for TGPs with reference to specific fuel types, bulk storage facilities, or wholesale suppliers.
Fuel Industry (Improving Fuel Resilience) Amendment Act
This Act amends the Fuel Industry Act 2020 to provide a statutory framework for implementing the Government's fuel resilience policy package. The amendment imposes a minimum fuel stockholding obligation (MSO) and information disclosure requirements on some fuel importers.
Grocery Industry Competition Act
The Grocery Industry Competition Act received Royal Assent on 26 June 2023. The Act gives the Commerce Commission specific monitoring and reporting functions in relation to the grocery industry – including monitoring competition and efficiency, carrying out inquiries, reviews, and studies and acting as a regulator of the grocery industry.
The Act also gives the Commerce Commission the power to make a determination that sets out a grocery supply code which, among other things, can regulate or prohibit any conduct in connection with a regulated grocery retailer. The Act also provides for the regulation of wholesale supply of groceries and imposes wholesale supply obligations on specified grocery retailers.
Health and Safety at Work (Health and Safety Representatives and Committees) Amendment Act
This Amendment to the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 targets worker access to health and safety representatives (HSRs) and health and safety committees (HSCs). The purpose of the Act is to increase worker engagement, participation and representation with workplace health and safety procedures, with the overall objective of reducing work-related harm.
Previously, businesses were not required to set up HSR elections and HSCs if not in a designated high-risk sector or industry and with fewer than 20 workers. The Act removes this exemption so that all businesses must comply with workers' requests to set up a HSR election or HSC "as soon as practicable", regardless of the sector or number of workers. It also removes provisions identifying high-risk sectors or industries, meaning all businesses are treated the same.
The Act was passed on 12 June 2023 and came into force the following day.
Imprest Supply (First for 2023/24) Act
The Imprest Supply (First for 2022/24) Act provides financial authority from Parliament for the Government from the beginning of the 2023/24 financial year until the passage of the Appropriation (2023/24 Estimates) Act.
The Act's provisions encompass a range of expenses, including capital expenditure incurred by intelligence, security departments and non-departmental capital expenditures associated with multi-category appropriations. The calculated amounts are designed to cover the period from the start of the financial year until the completion of the third reading of the main Appropriation Act. Moreover, these amounts include provisions for contingencies and adjustments to account for potential risks and timing variations, as well as allowances for new multi-year appropriations authorized under the Appropriation (2023/24 Estimates) Act.
This Act is repealed on the coming into force of the main Appropriation Act for the 2023/24 year.
Imprest Supply (Second for 2023/24) Act
The Imprest Supply (Second for 2023/24) Act provides additional authority from Parliament for the Government to increase its capital expenditure. The increase in capital expenditure was sought to allow the Government to implement Cabinet decisions made or finalised after the 2023/24 Estimates closed and to meet contingencies more than the amounts provided in the Appropriation (2023/24 Estimates) Act. The Act provides for $16,000 million of additional authority for expenses, $11,500 million of additional authority for capital expenditure and $1,000 million of capital injection to be made to departments (other than intelligence and security departments) or Offices of Parliament.
The Act will be repealed at the end of the 2023/24 financial year on 30 June 2024
Inspector-General of Defence Act
This Act establishes the office of the Inspector-General of Defence. The Act provides that the functions of the Inspector-General of Defence include:

  • supporting the Ministry of Defence to oversee the Defence Force;

  • accounting accurately to the House of Representatives for its activities; and

  • assuring the public that the activities of the Defence Force are subject to independent scrutiny.

Integrity Sport and Recreation Act
The Act establishes a new independent Crown entity called the Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission (Commission). The overall objective of the Commission is to promote, advise, engage, and educate on integrity issues and threats to integrity within the sport and physical recreation sector.
This Act responds to several reports that highlighted insufficient capability across New Zealand's sport and physical recreation sector to deal with integrity-related issues, in particular the management and resolution of complaints made by athletes and participants.
The ambit of the Commission will include both grassroots and community sport and physical recreation, as well as elite sport. Drug Free Sport New Zealand is also disestablished, and its anti-doping functions moved to within the Commission.
Land Transport Management (Regulation of Public Transport) Amendment Act
This Act amends the Land Transport Management Act 2003 to implement the Sustainable Public Transport Framework (SPTF).
The SPTF replaces the previous model, the Public Transport Ordering Model (PTOM) which governed how public transport services were planned, procured, and delivered. The SPTF will perform a similar function, while also addressing issues relating to employment, environmental, and health matters. The Act seeks to facilitate a greater level of transparency across the process of delivering public transport services, effected through section 116.
The Act also inserts a new definition of "exempt service" at section 114A. Further key aspects of the Act are the proposed changes to the role that local authorities play in the procurement, planning and delivery of public transport. These changes allow regional councils to hold interests in public transport services, where previously they could only outsource.
Land Transport (Road Safety) Amendment Act
This Act targets unsafe behaviour on New Zealand's roads caused by fleeing drivers that fail to stop or remain stopped for police. In particular, the Act makes changes to the legislative response by:

  • lengthening the period of time for which officers may seize and impound vehicles driven by fleeing drivers to six months;

  • creating a new power for enforcement officers to seize and impound vehicles for 28 days if the registered owner of the vehicle fails to provide information about the fleeing driver;

  • increasing the length of licence disqualification after a second conviction to between 1 to 2 years; and

  • creating a new sentencing option for the courts to order a vehicle be forfeited on conviction for a failing-to-stop offence.

The Act also includes new provisions for electronic service of notices and automated infringement notices. It will also enable Waka Kotahi's point-to-point safety cameras to be used for speeding offences, where the average speed between two points on a stretch of road will be taken as the actual speed of the vehicle. The Act comes into force 1 March 2024.
Legal Services Amendment Act
This Act came into force on 31 August 2023. The Act repeals the provisions in the Legal Services Act 2022 relating to the payment of the user charge and the payment of interest on an unpaid legal aid debt. The grant of legal aid prior to the commencement of the Act remains subject to the user charge and interest on unpaid legal aid debt.
Local Government Electoral Legislation Act
This Act changes the way individuals and communities are represented through, and can participate in, local government elections. It primarily amends the Local Electoral Act 2001, the Local Government Act 2002, and the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009. Changes include:

  • the process for councils to make decisions about specific representation for people on the Māori electoral roll;

  • the number of councillors on Auckland Council from 20 to a range of between five and 29, excluding the Mayor.

Local Government Official Information and Meetings Amendment Act

This Act amends the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act to increase the quality and accessibility of information contained in Land Information Memoranda (LIMs) in relation to natural hazards (including about the impacts of climate change), and introduces clarity for Local Authorities when sharing natural hazard information. It does so by:

  • clarifying requirements to provide natural hazards information in a LIM;

  • imposing a statutory responsibility for regional councils to provide natural hazard information and support to territorial authorities;

  • providing for regulations to be made in relation to natural hazard information on LIMs; and

  • limiting the liability of local authorities when providing natural hazard information in good faith.

Additionally, the Act aligns the conclusive grounds for withholding information with the Official Information Act 1982 by replicating provisions relating to withholding information that implicates national security, international relationships, or international organisations.
Natural and Built Environment Act
This Act is the primary replacement for the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA), which addresses protection and restoration of the environment while enabling development. It introduces the National Planning Framework that will provide direction on matters of national significance.
At the regional level, natural and built environment plans for land use and environmental management will replace the regional policy statements and district and regional plans currently required under the RMA.
New Plymouth District Council (Perpetual Investment Fund) Act
This Act requires that the New Plymouth Perpetual Investment Fund (PIF) continues as a long-term financial investment for the benefit of the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of current and future communities of the New Plymouth District. It does this by setting out the principles for managing and applying the PIF, who can make investment decisions, and the basis on which those decisions must be made.
Parole Amendment Act

This Act provides for the making of extended supervision orders which may impose conditions on individuals released from custody who are deemed to pose a real and ongoing risk of serious reoffending.

In June 2023, as part of its judgment on New Zealand Parole Board v Attorney-General [2023] NZHC 1611, the High Court concluded that, in light of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, conditions imposed by the Parole Board relating to where and with whom an individual must reside were not authorised by the Parole Act 2002. The conditions were, therefore, unlawful and risked being unenforceable.
This Act amends the Parole Act 2002 to reverse the High Court judgment. It removes the limitation on those particular conditions and makes clear that they may be imposed, restoring the earlier position. It also provides for a review of the conditions imposed by an extended supervision order every two years to assess the impact on the offender and to promote rehabilitation.
Resale Right for Visual Artists Act
This Act will allow artists to receive a 5% royalty payment on the resale of their visual artworks when sold through an art market professional or relevant public institution. New Zealand is required to have an artist's resale royalty scheme to meet its obligations under its Free Trade Agreements with the United Kingdom and European Union, and joins over 80 other countries that have reciprocating schemes. The Act will apply to a wide range of artworks and includes works by more than one artist. Artists (and their successors) will be able to claim the royalty on qualifying resales if they are citizens or residents of New Zealand, or another reciprocating country that also has an artist's resale royalty scheme in place.
Regulations for the scheme are still being finalised by Manatū Taonga (Ministry of Culture and Heritage). The current proposal sets the minimum threshold resale price at $1000. The resale royalty scheme will commence once regulations have been confirmed, or by 1 December 2024 at the latest.
Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Community Participation) Amendment Act
This Act received Royal Assent on 30 August 2023. The Act amends the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 to resolve issues with the current alcohol licensing process which has limited communities' ability to influence alcohol regulation in their area.
The amendments to the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 include:

  • removing the ability for parties to appeal provisional local alcohol policies (LAPs), due to many councils facing extensive legal opposition to their provisional LAPs;

  • allowing any person or group to object to a licence application, with a narrow exception for trade competitors;

  • extending the timeframe for objecting to license applications; and

  • removing the ability to cross-examine at alcohol licensing hearings, with the goal of making hearings less legalistic and intimidating.

Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Exemption for Race Meetings) Amendment Act
This Act amends the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 to make race meetings exempt from the offence of using unlicenced premises as a place of resort for the consumption of alcohol.
Race meetings will be exempt if:

  • the racing club is a "small racing club", defined as a racing club that holds three or fewer betting licences in a racing year.

  • the consumption of alcohol occurs on a day when the racing club is using the unlicensed premises to hold a race meeting; and

  • the racing club holds either an on-licence or an on-site special licence that applies to an area within the premises for the duration of the race meeting.

Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Rugby World Cup 2023 Extended Trading Hours) Amendment Act
This Act amends the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 to allow for extended trading hours during the Rugby World Cup 2023. The Act is similar to changes put in place for the 2015 and 2019 Rugby World Cups.
Between 9 September 2023 and 29 October 2023 (New Zealand time), eligible licence holders will not be required to apply for a special licence to televise the Men's Rugby World Cup 2023. These licence holders are permitted to open 1 hour before the start of each notified game, and, if a licence holder notifies a game starting within 2 hours of its permitted trading hours, the premises can remain open until and during that game. The premises will be required to close for the sale of alcohol 30 minutes after the end of the game. One-way door policies will not apply within 1 hour before the extended trading hours starts, during the extended trading hours, or within 1 hour after the premises closes the sale of alcohol.
To be eligible, the licence holder must have had its licence in place prior to 9 September and must not have had its licence cancelled or suspended in the past 12 months. Licence holders must provide the Police and local councils at least 7 days' notice if they wish to use these extended hours.
Self-contained Motor Vehicles Legislation Act
This Act introduces amendments to the Freedom Camping Act and the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Act 2006. Key provisions of the Act include the introduction of:

  • A national requirement for freedom campers using vehicles on land managed by a local authority to utilize certified self-contained vehicles, except when staying at locations specifically designated by local authorities for non-self-contained motor vehicles.

  • A regulatory system for certifying self-contained vehicles, overseen by the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Board.

These amendments seek to replace the existing unmonitored voluntary standards. The Act also mandates self-contained vehicles to be equipped with a fixed toilet and updates the infringement regime, including extending it to include other Crown land.
Spatial Planning Act
This Act received Royal Assent on 23 August 2023. This Act, along with the Natural and Built Environments Act 2023, is one of the statutes repealing and replacing the Resource Management Act 1991.
Under the Act, each region will be required to develop a regional spatial strategy. These regional spatial strategies must set out the strategic direction for the use, development, protection, restoration, and enhancement of the environment of the relevant region for the next 30 years.
The regional spatial strategy strategies must address key matters, such as:

  • areas that require or may require protection, restoration, or enhancement; and

  • areas that are appropriate for urban development and change, including existing, planned, or potential urban centres of scale (among others).

These regional spatial strategies will be set by regional planning committees who must follow a prescribed process. The Act also provides for cross-regional spatial strategies.
St Peter's Parish Endowment Fund Trust Act
This Act makes amendments to the trust deed governing the St Peter's (Wellington) Endowment Fund Trust Board. In particular, the Act:

  • enables the Trust Board to make distributions that are not restricted to the amount of income earned in the year preceding the year of distribution;

  • provides for a limitation on the liability of the members of the Trust Board;

  • enables the updating of its governance arrangements; and

  • provides for any future amendments to the trust deed to be made under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 or the Anglican Church Trusts Act 1981.

Taxation Principles Reporting Act
This Act establishes a statutory framework that requires the Commissioner of Inland Revenue to report annually about the country's tax measures against a set of core tax principles – including equity, efficiency, and certainty. The purpose of the Act is to create a greater understanding of the tax system among the public and encourage informed debate about its future.
Therapeutic Products Act
This Act replaces the Medicines Act 1981 and the Dietary Supplements Regulations 1985. It introduces a new regulatory regime for therapeutic products being medicines, medical devices, natural health products and active pharmaceutical products.
The Act broadly consists of two components:

  • market authorisation requirements, that regulate which therapeutic products may be imported into, supplied in, or exported from New Zealand; and

  • controlled activity or supply chain requirements, that regulate how those therapeutic products can be dealt with and by whom.

The Act exempts small scale natural health product manufacturers and removes obligations which might otherwise have applied to rongoā (traditional Māori medicine) practitioners, services and activities. The Act also imposes new restrictions on the advertising of therapeutic products and creates a Therapeutic Products Regulator (Regulator), who will hold a range of compliance and enforcement powers supported by an offence and civil penalty regime.
Thomas Cawthorn Trust Amendment Act
This Act amends the Thomas Cawthron Trust Act 1924 (the principal Act), that incorporated the Trust Board and provided for the succession of the trustees. It amends the principal Act by setting out the Trust Board’s objects, namely the advancement of science to benefit Te Tauihu and Aotearoa New Zealand, with a focus on natural resources.
It also provides for the appointment of a Trust Board member nominated by Te Tauihu iwi and would update provisions relating to the powers of the Trust Board and trustee remuneration, and specify the liability of trustees.
Water Services Economic Efficiency and Consumer Protection Act
This Act establishes an economic regulation and consumer protection regime of water infrastructure services as part of the water services reform. The Commerce Commission (Commission) is empowered to oversee the regime and the new role of the Water Services Commissioner, appointed by the Commission's board, will act as the principal spokesperson for the Commission's functions in relation to the Act and promote stakeholder interests.
Water Services Entities Amendment Act
This Act amends the Water Services Entities Act to establish ten publicly owned water services entities (WSEs) and disestablishes the original proposal of four WSEs. They will be introduced in a staggered timeframe between 1 July 2024 and 1 July 2026, and once established, the WSEs are responsible for delivering water services in place of local authorities.
There is provision for the merging of WSEs if regional representative groups (made up of community and mana whenua representatives) agree. Amendments are also made to the transitional arrangements including the responsibilities of local authorities during a WSE's establishment period and staff retention to WSEs. Other mechanisms introduced by the Act include community priority statements as a way to indicate the views and priorities of community groups; a Water Services Entities Funding Agency; and shared service arrangements.
Water Services Legislation Act

This Act is the second in a suite of legislation that reforms how water services are provided in New Zealand. It establishes and empowers water services entities by setting out their functions, powers, obligations, and oversight arrangements. The Act contains a number of specific provisions relating to:

  • service delivery functions and powers;

  • regulatory functions and powers;

  • principles to ascertain pricing for services;

  • powers to temporarily regulate the precises for vulnerable residential consumers;

  • a compliance and enforcement regime;

  •  recognition of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Treaty of Waitangi;

  • the transfer of assets, liabilities, and interests to the water service entities; and

  • specific provisions related to mixed-use rural water supplies.

Worker Protection (Migrant and Other Employees) Act
This Act received Royal Assent on 6 July 2023 and will come into force on 6 January 2024. It is an omnibus Act that amends various other pieces of legislation for the purpose of protecting migrant workers from exploitation and trafficking. Including:

  • The Immigration Act 2009, by granting immigration officers greater powers to access employment documents, and implementing an employer infringement offence regime.

  • The Employment Relations Act 2000, by increasing the power of labour inspectors. Employers will have to comply with requests from the Labour Inspectorate within 10 working days, which includes the provision of employment related documents. There is also an associated infringement offence regime for failure to comply with these provisions.

  • The Companies Act 1993, by empowering the High Court to disqualify a person from being a director of a New Zealand company if they are convicted of exploiting employees under the Immigration Act 2009, or trafficking under the Crimes Act 1961.

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