About legislation


There are two main types of New Zealand legislation:

Proposed Acts are called Bills. A Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) is a type of proposed amendment to a Bill.

This website provides Acts, secondary legislation drafted by the Parliamentary Counsel Office, Bills, and SOPs.

About Acts

Acts 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.

There are also some imperial Acts and provincial Acts (or Ordinances) in force in New Zealand.

This website provides all in-force Acts, as well as Acts not yet in force and many repealed Acts. See What is on this website for more details.

About secondary legislation

Secondary legislation is made under empowering Acts

Parliament delegates the authority to make secondary legislation in particular Acts. Secondary legislation is then made under those Acts. (There is also a small amount of secondary legislation made under the Royal prerogative rather than an Act.) If an Act empowers secondary legislation to be made, that will be identified in one or more empowering provisions within the Act. Each empowering provision has a publications note below it that sets out how the secondary legislation must be published. The note also states whether the secondary legislation must be presented to Parliament, and whether Parliament can disallow that legislation.

Finding secondary legislation

This website provides secondary legislation drafted and published by the Parliamentary Counsel Office. See What is on this website for more details. You can find secondary legislation using Quick search or Browse if it is principal current legislation, or Advanced search if you are looking for revoked or amending secondary legislation. You can also find it from the empowering Act under which it was made.

Other secondary legislation is drafted and published by other agencies. That legislation is not published on this website. You can contact the administering agency for help finding it.

All Acts on this website have a Secondary legislation tab for information on any secondary legislation made under that Act. If secondary legislation made under the Act is published on this website, it is listed under the tab, along with its empowering provision and administering agency.

To find secondary legislation published somewhere else, you can contact the empowering Act’s administering agency (identified at the top of the screen, under the Act name) for help. But there may be other agencies or bodies that can make and publish secondary legislation under an Act. Find the relevant empowering provision within the Act, and check its publications note to find who can make secondary legislation under it and how they must publish it. You can then contact that agency or body if you need to know more.

More about an Act’s Secondary legislation tab

Note that only secondary legislation drafted and published by the Parliamentary Counsel Office is listed under the tab. There may be secondary legislation published elsewhere by other agencies.

While we aim to ensure the secondary legislation listed under the tab is complete for all in-force Acts, please contact us if you find something is missing.

For Acts repealed before 28 October 2021, the list of secondary legislation made under it may be incomplete.

By default, secondary legislation made under an Act is displayed only if it is principal secondary legislation. Amendment and revoked secondary legislation is not displayed automatically. Click the Show option to view it.

Sometimes secondary legislation is made under an Act that is then repealed, and that secondary legislation continues to be in force under a new replacement Act. On this website, the secondary legislation will be listed under both the old Act and the new Act, making it easier to see its history.

There are rare examples of documents that were made as Legislative Instruments before the commencement of the Legislation Act 2019 and remain disallowable, but are not classed as secondary legislation. Those documents will still be listed under an Act’s secondary legislation tab.

About Bills

Proposed Acts are called Bills. Bills include:

This website provides all current Bills and many Bills that are no longer current. See What is on this website for more details. See also Bills and Laws and How a bill becomes law on the Parliament website.

About Supplementary Order Papers

Proposed amendments to a Bill may be set out in a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP). Find SOPs by navigating to the relevant Bill, then looking under the Versions and SOPs tab.

This website provides all current SOPs and many SOPs that are no longer current. See What is on this website for more details. See also Supplementary Order Papers on the Parliament website.