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Legislation Act 2012

Last updated 20 June 2017

The Legislation Act 2012 received Royal assent on 11 December 2012. All provisions are now in force (see section 2 for commencement information).

The New Zealand Legislation website became a source of official legislation under section 17 of the Legislation Act 2012 on 6 January 2014. On this date, PDFs that displayed the New Zealand Coat of Arms were declared to be official. On 5 January 2015 this status was extended to HTML versions displaying the Coat of Arms. View the Legislation (Official Electronic Versions) Notice 2015 »

More about official online legislation »

More information about changes brought about by the Act »

See also information about the Legislation Bill introduced on 20 June 2017 »

Legislation Act 2012 history: Legislation Bill introduced on 25 June 2010

After introduction on 25 June 2010, the Legislation Bill received its first reading on 3 August 2010 and was reported back to the House by the Regulations Review Committee on 1 December 2010. It received its second reading on 29 August 2012. Amendments recommended by the Regulations Review Committee were agreed to. The Bill received its third reading on 5 December 2012.

From the general policy statement in the explanatory note to the Bill:

The purpose of this Bill is to modernise and improve the law relating to the publication, availability, reprinting, revision, and official versions of legislation and to bring this law together in a single piece of legislation. This Bill contributes towards the achievement of the Government's key policy goals in the area of—

  • regulatory reform (by reducing the need for technical remedial legislation as a consequence of enhanced reprinting powers); and
  • innovation and business assistance (by improving access to old archaically expressed law through a programme of revision of old statutes).

Key policy decisions implemented in this Bill include the following:

  • the Parliamentary Counsel Office (the PCO) will be required to publish legislation electronically as well as in printed form:
  • the PCO will be able to issue official versions of legislation in electronic and printed form (being versions that are presumed to be correct):
  • the PCO's reprinting powers will be enhanced to enable the PCO to correct obvious errors and (if authorised by Order in Council for the purpose) to renumber older legislation:
  • a 3-yearly programme of systematic revision of Acts is established:
  • legislation providing for the disallowance of subordinate legislation is modernised and existing Acts are consequentially amended to specify whether particular subordinate legislation is disallowable:
  • enabling powers and related processes are provided to enable certain kinds of subordinate legislation to incorporate material by reference:
  • outdated aspects of the Statutes Drafting and Compilation Act 1920, particularly those relating to the appointment of counsel and the organisational structure of the PCO, are replaced by modern legislation that continues the PCO as a separate statutory office.

This Bill implements the majority of the legislative recommendations made in the Law Commission reports—

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