New location for the online High Court Rules

Update: 20 October 2016

The High Court Rules 2016 are located at:

The online High Court Rules are moving

16 September 2016

The High Court Rules will move to a new location on the New Zealand Legislation website, becoming the High Court Rules 2016, when the Senior Courts Bill (divided from the Judicature Modernisation Bill) is enacted. This is expected to be in the near future.

This means that the High Court Rules 2016 will be published as a separate document in the Legislative Instrument series, which will improve access to the rules. However, existing links to the current rules will need updating.

It is important to note that the High Court Rules 2016 are not a new Legislative Instrument, but rather the current rules republished on the NZ Legislation website as a stand-alone document.


The High Court Rules are currently in Schedule 2 of the Judicature Act 1908. They are therefore required to be published as part of that Act.

Because the rules are part of an Act (and are published this way on the website), some users experience difficulties in finding the rules, and in navigating within them.


Two provisions in the Senior Courts Bill (clauses 144A and 151) will change how the High Court Rules are published, overcoming these problems (assuming the Bill passes its remaining stages with the relevant provisions unchanged).

These provisions:

  • continue the High Court Rules as in force on the date of the Royal assent and deem them to be part of what will become a new Senior Courts Act
  • require the Chief Parliamentary Counsel to publish the rules, as the High Court Rules 2016, as if they were a Legislative Instrument under the Legislation Act 2012.

The High Court Rules 2016 will therefore be treated as if they were a regular Legislative Instrument, making them easier to find and to navigate.


After the Senior Courts Bill has had its third reading and receives the Royal assent, the Parliamentary Counsel Office will have up to 15 working days in which to republish the High Court Rules. While this will be completed as soon as it possible, significant work is involved, and so the rules may not available in their new location immediately following Royal assent.

Implications for accessing the republished High Court Rules

Many organisations and individuals maintain links (from websites, intranets, desktops, etc) to the rules. These will need updating when the rules are republished.

Any updates about timing will be posted on this page.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Statutory Regulations as made 1936–2007 now online

4 May 2016

Now available online, a complete collection of all Statutory Regulations published in the Statutory Regulations series 1936–2007:

These regulations are as originally made—they don’t include any later amendments or show whether they have been revoked, or are expired or spent.

The new collection, provided by the PCO and hosted by the New Zealand Legal Information Institute (NZLII), makes available free online PDF versions of regulations that were previously only available in printed volumes or at a cost.

Historical legislation available through NZLII

Alongside the Statutory Regulations 1936–2007 As-Made Collection, the partnership between the PCO and NZLII provides free access to the New Zealand Acts 1841–2007 As-Enacted Collection, the 1908 Consolidation of Acts, and the growing collection of New Zealand Historical Bills.

To create the as-made collection, the PCO has scanned Statutory Regulations published in annual bound volumes beginning with 1936, which is when the Statutory Regulations series began, through to 2007—over 21,000 documents. An OCR (optical character recognition) process has been applied to the resulting PDFs to make text searching possible, although further checking has not been carried out so search results are not guaranteed.

Current legislation on New Zealand Legislation website

The Statutory Regulations 1936–2007 As-Made Collection supplements the Statutory Regulations and Legislative Instruments provided by the New Zealand Legislation website. For current legislation, legislation revoked since 2007, and versions of legislation from 2008 until now, always visit

On the New Zealand Legislation website, Statutory Regulations and Legislative Instruments include all amendments that have been made to them. When they are amended, earlier versions are retained—but early Statutory Regulations may not be available in the form in which they were originally made.

Note: Statutory Regulations can include Orders in Council, rules, notices, determinations, proclamations, or warrants. Since 5 August 2013, the term “Legislative Instrument” (defined in section 4 of the Legislation Act 2012) is used. To find Statutory Regulations on the New Zealand Legislation website, search under Legislative Instruments.

Historical Bills 1949–2008 now online

14 March 2016

The Parliamentary Counsel Office has been working with its free access partner, the New Zealand Legal Information Institute (NZLII), to make historical legislative documents available online. The latest results of this collaboration, Bills from 1949 to 2008, are now on the NZLII website in PDF format:

The volumes will be added to over time and will extend back to 1854 when complete. The collection includes Bills that became Acts as well as those that did not.

The collection has been put together from scans of bound volumes provided by the PCO and the Office of the Clerk, and the documents hosted by NZLII. While most volumes were taken apart to enable scanning, some of the earliest (not yet available online) were too rare to treat in this way. Instead they were scanned by the Australasian Legal Information Institute (in Sydney) using a non-destructive scanner that produces high-quality images from books open to only 30°.

The Historical Bills Collection sits alongside the New Zealand Acts 1841–2007 As-Enacted Collection of historical Acts. Work on providing as-made Statutory Regulations 1936–2007 is also nearing completion.

For current Bills, and Bills that were current from 2008 onwards, search the New Zealand Legislation website. Find links to both the Historical Bills Collection and the New Zealand Acts 1841–2007 As-Enacted Collection on the New Zealand Legislation website homepage under Useful Links.

2015 table of Legislative Instruments and Acts under which they were made now available online

2 February 2016

Legislative Instruments are made under the authority of empowering legislation. A table listing the Acts or other authorities under which Legislative Instruments were made in 2015, and the 2015 Legislative Instruments, is now available on the Parliamentary Counsel Office website. Tables for earlier years are also available.

View the tables …

Official legislation now in HTML format

5 January 2016

From today, the Chief Parliamentary Counsel issues official electronic legislation under section 17 of the Legislation Act 2012 in both HTML and PDF formats via the New Zealand Legislation website. Previously, official online legislation was in PDF format only. And before 6 January 2014, only hard copy legislation was official. See the Legislation (Official Electronic Versions) Notice 2015 and media statement.

Providing official legislation in HTML format is important since this is the version that website users refer to most often. It will no longer be necessary to download a PDF in order to view official online legislation.

What does “official” mean?

From section 18 of Legislation Act 2012:  “An official version of legislation as originally enacted or made is taken to correctly set out the text of the legislation.” If the legislation has been amended, an official version “is taken to correctly state, as at the date at which it is stated to be reprinted, the law enacted or made by the legislation reprinted and by the amendments (if any) to that legislation”.

Section 16 of the Legislation Act states that “All courts and persons acting judicially must take judicial notice of all Acts, regulations, and legislative instruments”.  Official legislation is taken by the courts to correctly state the law without any further proof of its accuracy unless the contrary is shown.

What legislation is official?

Versions of Acts and Legislative Instruments that display the New Zealand Coat of Arms on their front page are official. See Status of legislation on this website: what is official for more information.

Who needs to know?

All website users benefit from official online legislation, because the accuracy of official legislation has been checked and assured.

Access to online official legislation saves time and effort for all those involved in court proceedings. Legal practitioners and litigants in person gain easy access to accurate online legislation.

Changes to format of legislation

11 April 2015

We have made some minor changes to the format of legislation and to the New Zealand Legislation website.

  • The changes have no legal effect—they do not change the meaning of legislation.
  • The changes have been made in response to user demands.
  • We have followed the principle that any new format must be:
    • unambiguous and readable/easy to follow
    • as simple as possible to implement technically
    • workable in both the PDF and HTML formats (PDFs are for downloading and printing; HTML is the "regular" website view).

The changes include:

  • amendments in Bills and amending legislation—blocks of text to be inserted into other legislation are shaded, instead of enclosed in quote marks
  • improvements to the usability of the New Zealand Legislation website
  • page size—this is standardised to A4; printed legislation has more text on the page, with slightly less surrounding white space.

The changes apply to legislation published (or republished) from 11 April 2015 onwards—the changes are not retrospective. This means that when you view or print legislation last published before 11 April 2015, it will be in the "old" format. Existing legislation will take on the new format only when it is republished, for example if it is later amended.

More information about the changes …

Print on demand: buy commercial prints of any legislation (or just print yourself for free)

6 January 2014

New to the website: print on demand, a feature that allows users to order a commercially printed copy of any Act, Legislative Instrument, Bill, or Supplementary Order Paper on this website. You can select the legislation you want to print using a “shopping cart” system, then send your order to Legislation Direct for printing and delivery. More about ordering commercial prints online …

Any version with any “as at” date can be ordered, so commercially printed reprints are available every time a document is amended. (Web feeds are available to alert users to updates.) If a PDF is official, the commercial print is also official (although as with any printed copy, it is likely to go out of date rapidly).

You can still print documents for yourself free of charge.

With the move to providing up-to-date official legislation online, which can be printed either by the user or commercially, the Parliamentary Counsel Office will stop providing some of its hard-copy products. Publication of traditional printed reprints will stop after the current reprinting programme has been completed. The 2013 annual bound volumes of legislation, to be published early in 2014, will be the last published by the Parliamentary Counsel Office. (However, legislation users can arrange to have their booklet legislation bound if they wish, and Legislation Direct will continue to offer annual bound volumes.) The Tables of New Zealand Acts and Ordinances and Statutory Regulations and Deemed Regulations in Force will be published for the last time for the 2013 year (in early 2014) since this information, in an up-to-date format, is available via the search facility on the website. More about the Tables …

The Parliamentary Counsel Office will continue to publish booklet legislation, available through Legislation Direct and designated bookshops.

Using an iPad? How to add this website to your home screen

If you use an iPad, you can easily add an icon for this website to your home screen. The icon will give you fast direct access to the website.

When viewing this website's homepage (, tap the Share button at the top of your screen (to the left of the website address in Safari), and select Add to Home Screen. Confirm by tapping Add.

Legislative disclosure statements published on new legislation disclosure website

7 August 2013

As from 29 July 2013, most Government Bills and substantive SOPs will contain a link in their explanatory notes to a disclosure statement containing information about the development and content of the Bill or SOP. The first disclosure statement was published today in relation to the Te Urewera–Tūhoe Bill.

The statements are published, as part of an administrative trial, on a new website maintained by the Parliamentary Counsel Office at that links to the New Zealand Legislation website. Legislation is being developed to implement the disclosure regime and the findings of the administrative trial will inform the development of this legislation.

Disclosure statements assist Parliament in its consideration of legislation and assist people who make submissions on new Bills that are being considered by a select committee. The statements are prepared by the department that is responsible for the legislation. Contact details for any enquiries about published disclosure statements are available at

New website labels

5 August 2013

From today, the category of “Regulations” on this website has been replaced by “Legislative Instruments”, and “Deemed Regulations” have been replaced by “Other Instruments”.

This doesn’t affect how individual documents are named—for example, the Family Courts Rules 2002 and the Building Regulations 1992 still have the same names, but to find them, search or browse under Legislative Instruments rather than Regulations (or use Quick Search and don’t specify a category).

These label changes are because provisions of the Legislation Act 2012, which came into force today, affect how some types of legislation (Orders in Council, regulations, rules, notices, etc) are referred to.

For more on what these terms mean, see What is on this website and the Glossary. For more on the Legislation Act 2012, visit the Parliamentary Counsel Office website.

Update: 30 January 2014

From January 2014, the "SR" ("Statutory Regulation") reference series has been replaced by "LI" ("Legislative Instrument") —so, for example, LI 2014/37 rather than SR 2014/37 will appear in search and browse results for Legislative Instruments made after 2013. This change took effect in January 2014 rather than earlier, so that the Statutory Regulations series could continue to the end of 2013.

A new format for Supplementary Order Papers

29 November 2012

Supplementary Order Papers (SOPs) can now be produced in a new format—the RT SOP. This new format can make the changes proposed to a Bill easier to understand, by presenting them in context.

An RT SOP is an SOP where the proposed changes that the SOP makes to the Bill are identified using revision tracking markup. Instead of the SOP describing the proposed changes to be made, the changes are shown applied to the Bill. In this an RT SOP is similar to a revision tracked Bill produced for a select committee.

Only Government SOPs will use the RT SOP style, and only in some instances—the new style is likely to be used when the amendments proposed are complex or extensive, although decisions on the format will be made on a case-by-case basis. RT SOPs have the same status as a "regular" SOP, and they are published online and in hard copy as usual.

The first SOP to be published in the new format was SOP No 151 to amend the Advanced Technology Institute Bill.

To find RT SOPs on this website, do the same as for other SOPs—first, navigate to the relevant Bill. Then find SOPs under the Versions and SOPs tab.

GST increase to 15% from 1 October 2010 is not automatically reflected in fees and charges in published legislation

14 September 2010 (updated 5 August 2013)

The prescribed fees and charges in Acts and Regulations (or Legislative Instruments) set out on this website do not reflect the increase in GST that took effect on 1 October 2010 (except in the case of changes made specifically by amending legislation that came into effect on or after 1 October).

The effect of section 78(3) of the Goods and Services Tax Act 1985 is, in general terms, to increase the amount payable for a fee/charge. For more about tax changes, visit the Inland Revenue website.

However, you will need to consult with the Government agency that administers the relevant legislation to obtain details of the actual fee or charge payable. The name of the relevant agency appears on the contents page of an Act or Regulation (or Legislative Instrument), or under Legislative history or Administrative information on the contents page.