There are three main types of New Zealand legislation:
- Acts of Parliament (also called Statutes)
- Statutory Regulations
- other subordinate legislation (including deemed regulations).
Acts of Parliament
These are laws made by the New Zealand Parliament. There are three main types of Act:
- public Acts: Acts that are of general application; most Acts are Public Acts
- local Acts: Acts that affect a particular locality only
- private Acts: Acts that are for the particular interest or benefit of a person or body.
Proposed Acts are called Bills. Most Bills are drafted by the PCO. Bills are categorised as Government Bills, Members' Bills, local Bills, and private Bills. Proposed amendments to a Bill may be set out in a document known as a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP).
Statutory Regulations generally consist of laws made by the Governor-General, Ministers of the Crown, and certain other bodies. Statutory Regulations generally deal with technical details that may be subject to frequent change (for example, forms, fees, administrative procedures). Almost all Statutory Regulations are drafted by the PCO.
Statutory Regulations are made under the authority of empowering legislation. See the annual tables Acts and other authorities under which Statutory Regulations are made.
Statutory Regulations can be distinguished from other types of regulations by their being published in the official publication known as the Statutory Regulations series (an annual series parallel to the New Zealand Statutes series). (Statutory Regulations are also published in individual pamphlet form and on the New Zealand Legislation website.)
The following are published in the Statutory Regulations series:
- regulations as defined in section 2 of the Regulations (Disallowance) Act 1989 (but see the note below)
- instruments that are not regulations but are published as if they were regulations by the direction of the Attorney-General or the Chief Parliamentary Counsel under section 14 of the Acts and Regulations Publications Act 1989.
Note that some regulations are regulations for the purpose of the Regulations (Disallowance) Act 1989 but not for the purpose of the Acts and Regulations Publications Act 1989. These are generally not published in the Statutory Regulations series. See "Other subordinate legislation" below.
Statutory Regulations may not necessarily have the word "regulations" in their title. They may instead be called orders, rules, notices, determinations, proclamations, or warrants.
On both this website and on the New Zealand Legislation website, Statutory Regulations are often referred to simply as "regulations".
Other subordinate legislation
This includes certain other laws made by Ministers of the Crown, public officials, local bodies, and other individuals and entities with law-making powers. Most of this type of legislation is not drafted by the PCO.
One kind of subordinate legislation is known as deemed regulations. More information about deemed regulations »
Tables of legislation in force
The PCO publishes annual Tables of New Zealand Acts and Ordinances and Statutory Regulations and Deemed Regulations in Force in printed form only. More information about the Tables »
See also the table of legislation waiting to be brought into force by Order in Council (as at 1 July 2012).