About web feeds

What are web feeds?

Web feeds, or RSS (sometimes called Really Simple Syndication) feeds, let you track updates to a website or web page. Look for the feed symbol RSS icon. .

On this website, ready-made feeds are available from the Web feeds link at the top right of every screen. Select the Ready-made feeds tab.

You can also set up custom feeds from documents (Acts, Bills, and Legislative Instruments, but not Other Instruments), or from search or browse results.

To use a web feed, you first need a web feed reader (which most browsers provide by default). After you subscribe to a feed, your feed reader automatically checks the feed and displays whatever is new in one place without you having to revisit the website. The reader lists all the relevant document titles, links to the documents, and information about the updated documents.

The format for feeds can vary, but this website uses the Atom XML standard. See more on web feeds at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_feed.

Feed readers

There are many different feed readers to choose from, most of them free. Many browsers come with a reader built in (eg Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, or Safari), though Chrome does not. You can download a reader, or use a web-based one. Different readers have different capabilities and display options, and some will even email you an alert message when a new item is published.

For more on feed readers, you can search the internet for “RSS reader”, “RSS news aggregator”, or “Atom standard reader”.

Using the feeds to keep up to date: some examples

To keep up to date on:

Do this:

Because:

all new Acts as they are enacted

use the ready-made feed All new Acts published in the last 30 days

this will notify you every time a new Act is published

the latest consolidated Acts and Legislative Instruments

use the ready-made feed All consolidated Acts and Legislative Instruments published in the last 30 days

this will notify you every time a principal Act or Legislative Instrument is updated with amendments

changes to the Resource Management Act 1991

set up a document-based (custom) feed from the Resource Management Act 1991’s contents page

this will notify you every time a new version of the Act is published

a particular Bill as it progresses through the House

set up a document-based (custom) feed from the Bill

this will notify you every time a new version is published

accident compensation Legislative Instruments

use Advanced search; tick Legislative Instruments and ensure Acts, Bills, Other Instruments are not ticked; enter accident compensation in the title field; tick As-made Legislative Instruments under Status. Search, then create a search-based (custom) feed.

this will notify you every time a new Legislative Instrument is published with accident compensation in the title

Custom feeds, step by step

There are two types of custom feeds: feeds based on documents, and feeds from the result of a search or browse. Document-based feeds can include multiple documents (Acts, Bills, and Legislative Instruments, but not Other Instruments).

Document-based feeds

To create a feed from one or more documents (Acts, Bills, or Legislative Instruments):

  1. Navigate to your first document.
  2. On the document page, look for the feed symbol RSS icon. and click on Add to web feed.
  3. If you wish to generate a feed based on multiple documents, Close the dialogue and repeat steps 1 and 2 for the other documents. You can include up to 50 documents in the feed.
  4. If you wish to delete a document, click Remove. You can also Remove all. (These options are available at several different stages.)
  5. When your document list is complete, click Generate.
  6. Give your feed a clear, descriptive name (limit 60 characters), and change the number of days if you wish (set a small number if you’ll check the feed frequently, otherwise a larger number).
  7. Click Subscribe, which takes you to your default feed reader (this depends on your own setup).
  8. The next step depends on your feed reader, but probably involves confirming that you want to subscribe. You may want to add the feed to your browser's Favorites Bar or Bookmarks Toolbar.
  9. You can now return to the New Zealand Legislation website using your browser's back button, or by other means.

While you are building a document-based feed, you will see a warning triangle next to the feed link at the top of the screen. This disappears after you subscribe to or cancel the feed. A partly-built document list will remain accessible for 13 days. You can access it through the Web feeds link at the top of the screen. Select the Document list tab.

Search- and browse-based feeds

To create a feed from a search or browse result:

  1. Perform the search or browse that fits your needs. Note that a feed cannot include content searching.
  2. On the results page, look for the feed symbol RSS icon. and click on Create web feed.
  3. Give your feed a clear, descriptive name (limit 60 characters), and change the number of days if you wish (set a small number if you’ll check the feed frequently, otherwise a larger number).
  4. Click Subscribe, which takes you to your default feed reader (this depends on your own setup).
  5. The next step depends on your feed reader, but probably involves confirming that you want to subscribe. You may want to add the feed to your browser's Favorites Bar or Bookmarks Toolbar.
  6. You can now return to the New Zealand Legislation website using your browser's back button, or by other means.

Note re Supplementary Order Papers: these cannot be included in web feeds. In particular, a web feed set up from a particular Bill's Versions and SOPs page will not notify you if a Supplementary Order Paper is added to the page. (Document feeds relate to the entire document, not specific views of that document.) Instead, you may find Alerts on the Parliament website helpful.

Recreating and modifying feeds

You can recreate an existing feed, which allows you to see the criteria you used to set up the feed, and then modify and regenerate it. (For other ways to manage your web feeds, use your feed reader.)

To recreate a feed, you will first need to locate and copy its URL. This will depend on your feed reader, but may be as simple as opening the feed and copying the URL as it appears in your browser's address bar.

Then, from the New Zealand Legislation website, click on Recreate an existing web feed. This appears under the Web feeds link at the top of every page, and also appears when you are creating a search- or browse-based feed. Enter the URL and press Recreate.

  • For a document-based feed you will see the documents listed, allowing you to add to or remove titles from the list.
  • For a search- or browse-based feed, you will be taken to the original search or browse used to create the feed. If a search, click on Modify search options. You can now view and modify your search or browse options.

Then create this amended feed in the usual way (see Custom feeds, step by step).

You can also recreate and then modify the ready-made feeds using the same process (except for "All publishing activity from the last 30 days", which cannot be edited in this way).