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Contract and Commercial Law Bill Explanatory Material and Request for Submissions


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Request for Submissions; Introduction
Part 1—The Revision process »
Part 2—The draft Bill »
Part 3—Nature of drafting change »
Part 4—Issues noted for possible future reform »

Request for submissions

We are seeking written submissions on the exposure draft Contract and Commercial Law Bill. This is the first revision Bill on the Government’s revision programme for the 51st Parliament.

The Bill contains questions about specific provisions and some general questions are also set out in this explanatory material. We welcome any other comments relating to the Bill.

Your comments will help with preparing the Bill for introduction to Parliament.

The closing date for submissions is Monday 7 December 2015.

How to send us your submission

Please use the questionnaire (Word 169KB) to provide your feedback, emailing your response to:

(Although we prefer to receive responses through the questionnaire, responses received in other formats will also be taken into account.)

We ask for your name and address (including a telephone number or email address) so that we can contact you if we need to clarify anything in your comments.

Publication of comments, Official Information Act and Privacy Act

This work is undertaken in conjunction with the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment. We intend to publish all submissions on the Parliamentary Counsel Office website, other than submissions that may be defamatory. We will not publish the content of your submission if you state that you object to its publication when you provide it. However, your submission will be subject to the Official Information Act 1982 and may, therefore, be released in part or full. The Privacy Act 1993 also applies.

When making your submission, please state if you have any objections to the release of any information contained in your submission. If you do have objections, please identify which parts of your submission you request to be withheld and the grounds under the Official Information Act that you believe apply.


The opinions and options contained in this document and the exposure draft Contract and Commercial Law Bill are for consultation purposes only and do not reflect final Government policy.  Please seek specific legal advice from a qualified professional person before undertaking any action based on the contents of this document.

The contents of this document and the Bill must not be construed as legal advice.

The Government does not accept any responsibility or liability whatsoever for an action taken as a result of reading, or for reliance placed because of having read, all or any part of the information contained in this document or the Bill, or for any error, inadequacy, deficiency, or flaw in, or omission from, this document or the Bill.

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This paper is a companion document to the exposure draft of the Contract and Commercial Law Bill.  In late 2014, the Government approved the first revision programme under the Legislation Act 2012 for the 51st Parliament. The Bill will be the first revision Bill to be prepared under the revision powers in the Legislation Act 2012.  Their purpose is to revise statutes to make them more accessible, readable, and easier to understand.

Work on this revision Bill is being led by the Parliamentary Counsel Office (PCO), in conjunction with the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE).

A revision Bill will not make policy changes because it can only make minor changes to the effect of the law as allowed under section 31(2)(i) and (j) of the Legislation Act 2012.

Section 31(2)(i), in particular, allows a revision Bill to:

“make minor amendments to clarify Parliament’s intent, or reconcile inconsistencies between provisions”.

Revision can change the form of the legislation but not its substantive legal effect.

The Contract and Commercial Law Bill revises the following statutes:

These are largely older Acts that are expressed in language that is out of date and many provisions have been repealed or are spent.  It is intended that by consolidating these Acts in a modern form they will be more accessible and regulatory costs for business and other users will be reduced.

*The Acts marked with an asterisk are administered by MBIE. The remaining statutes are administered by the Ministry of Justice.

This paper

This paper has four Parts.

Part 1 describes the revision process.

Part 2 provides context for some of the changes being made in this Bill.  It also asks some questions on which feedback is particularly sought.

Part 3 records where the  provisions of each Act can be found in the Bill and the nature of the drafting change that has been made in each case.  Drafting changes are  recorded using one of the following descriptions:

  • No change
  • Textual change (minor grammatical)
  • Textual change
  • Textual change and structural change
  • Structural change.

A small number of provisions with minor changes to legal effect are also identified (see page 7 of this explanatory material for further information).

The Part is intended to assist readers in reading and providing feedback on the Bill.

Part 4 notes matters arising within the statutes that may possibly warrant reform or amendment, but which require a level of reform that falls outside the revision powers.

Our purpose in setting these out is to alert the reader to the fact that we are aware of them.  We do not seek substantive comment on them at this time.  However, the revision process presents an opportunity to identify and record these issues.  The record set out in Part 4 is not complete and we invite comment on other issues in the statutes that may need reform and should be recorded in this manner.

Parts 3 and 4 deal with the Acts in the order in which they appear in the Bill.

Next: Part 1—The Revision process »

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