List of access keys

What the Access Project is doing

The Access to Secondary Legislation Project aims to make secondary legislation readily accessible by:

  • defining what is secondary legislation
  • working with agencies to locate all secondary legislation and make it accessible
  • developing authoring and publication systems to enable direct publication of secondary legislation by makers onto the NZ Legislation website.

Defining secondary legislation

The Legislation Bill (which is currently before Parliament) and the Secondary Legislation (Access) Bill (which is being prepared for introduction to Parliament) will provide the necessary legal changes to improve access to secondary legislation. Together these two Bills will provide the legislative authority for ensuring—for the first time—that New Zealand’s secondary legislation is identified and made readily accessible. (Read about exemptions to this legislation.)

To define, unambiguously, what constitutes secondary legislation in New Zealand, the PCO has surveyed over 2000 Acts, Bills and legislative instruments to identify empowering provisions. The Access Project team is working with the administering agencies of the legislation to identify which of these provisions empower the making of secondary legislation under the Legislation Bill.

Around 4000 of these provisions have been identified. Each provision will be amended to state expressly that instruments made under it are secondary legislation. Read more about what an instrument being secondary legislation means, in question 5 of the FAQs. 

All these amendments will be effected by the Secondary Legislation (Access) Bill.

Locating and providing access to secondary legislation

The Access Project team is working with agencies that make and/or administer secondary legislation to help them meet the requirements of Part 3 (Drafting and publishing of legislation) of the Legislation Bill and of the Secondary Legislation (Access) Bill.

On the commencement of this enabling legislation, agencies will need to give the PCO a list of key information about each secondary legislation instrument for which they are responsible. This information will be integrated into the NZ Legislation website. To find out more, read about what agencies need to know and do.

Changes will be made to the NZ Legislation website to enable the integration of secondary legislation information and to make it searchable.

Developing authoring and publication systems

The Access Project is developing authoring and publication systems to enable the direct publication by agencies of both the key information and the full text of secondary legislation onto the NZ Legislation website.

The system will have three main components:

  • A drafting template in Word is being developed that will enable agencies to produce legislation in a consistent style that will allow direct publication. Text drafted in this template can be easily converted to XML, PDF, and HTML formats.
  • A transformation system is being developed to convert text in this template to these formats.
  • A secure online portal will be developed through which agencies will lodge the text in the template for direct publication onto the NZ Legislation website in these multiple, reusable formats.

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