A bill to improve public access to the law has been introduced to Parliament, Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today.
“This Government is committed to producing an accessible, clear and up-to-date statute book,” Mr Finlayson said. “The Legislation Bill will make it easier to find and access secondary legislation by requiring it to be published on the New Zealand Legislation website alongside Acts of Parliament.”
Currently over 100 agencies are empowered to make secondary legislation on a wide range of matters such as food standards and financial reporting standards. There is no single source for these legislative instruments, many of which are published on agency websites or in gazettes notices.
If enacted, the Legislation Bill will extend the scope of the New Zealand Legislation website to include secondary legislation which will result in a single, official, public source for New Zealand legislation (with the exception of legislation made by local authorities which is not included in the Bill).
“Implementation of the Legislation Bill will provide greater certainty for the public about their rights and obligations, reduce compliance costs and enhance Parliamentary scrutiny of secondary legislation,” Mr Finlayson said.
The Legislation Bill also improves the New Zealand’s legislative framework by:enacting legislative disclosure requirements which require agencies to disclose information about the development and key features of government-initiated legislation at the time of introduction; absorbing the Interpretation Act 1999, with some technical improvements, so that all laws about the making and application of legislation are contained in one piece of legislation; and re-enacting, with minor updates, the Legislation Act 2012.