New Zealand: NZ Legislation Update

Harmful Digital Communications Act

The Harmful Digital Communications Bill has been passed into an Act of Parliament.

The Bill was a response to public concerns regarding cyber-bullying and harassment. As previously reported by Duncan Cotterill, the Bill creates a new criminal offence for intentionally posting digital communications which have caused harm.

During the Select Committee process, concerns were raised that the Bill could stifle free expression online and that existing criminal laws were sufficient to address the problem. In response, the Bill was amended to include the ability for a Court to impose a fine (previously, the only penalty available in the Bill was imprisonment).

Other changes over that Act include the ability for an "affected individual" to apply for a Court order, where there is a serious threat that the individual will suffer harm as a result of a digital communication. Defences available to online content hosts were also clarified. Finally, Courts were given the power to seek the expertise of a designated Government agency, in assessing whether the threshold for proceedings to be brought under the Act are met.

Environmental Reporting Bill

The Environmental Reporting Bill was also passed by the House. This Act is intended to clarify which parties and organisations are responsible for environmental reporting (the Secretary for the Environment and the Government Statistician), as well as to set the broad framework for the scope and timing of reporting.

In the new Act, the "environment" has been divided into five environmental domains: air, atmosphere and climate, land, fresh water and marine. Information on biodiversity and ecosystems will feature in the land, fresh water and marine domains reports. The Bill provides for one environmental domain to be reported on every six months. In addition, a comprehensive synthesis report covering all environmental domains will be released every three years.

Evidence Amendment Bill

This Bill makes a number of minor and technical amendments recommended by the Law Commission, following its 2013 review of the Evidence Act 2006. The Bill has been referred to the Select Committee and is open for submissions, which are due on 13 August 2015.

Fighting Foreign Corporate Control Bill

Introduced as a private members' Bill by Fletcher Tabuteau of New Zealand First, this Bill was recently drawn from the ballot and is intended by its drafters to repeal the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement's (TPPA) investor-state dispute settlements provisions. The Bill is yet to have its First Reading.

Radio New Zealand Amendment Bill

This Bill amends the Radio New Zealand Act 1995 by introducing a revised Radio New Zealand (RNZ) Charter. The intention behind the revised Charter is to clarify the statutory functions of RNZ, its role as a public broadcaster and to make the wording of the Charter to be more accessible to the general public.

Social Housing Reform (Transaction Mandate) Bill

This new Bill amends the Housing Corporation Act 1974 and provides Ministers with the power to sell Housing New Zealand Corporation (Housing NZ) properties to social housing providers, without the approval of Housing NZ's board. The Bill also provides that land acquired by Housing NZ under the Public Works Act does not need to be offered back to its original owners.

New Zealand Flag Referendums Bill

The Select Committee considering the process for the referendum on the flag has reported back on the Bill with few amendments. The Bill is now back in the House to be debated a second time.

Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill

The Local Government and Environment Select Committee has released an interim report on its progress in considering the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill. The Committee is seeking written submissions from previous submitters on a range of substantial new changes to the Bill. Particular areas include: a proposal to prioritise buildings in areas of "medium" and "high" seismic risk, reducing the scope of buildings to be covered by the Bill (e.g. by excluding retaining walls and storage tanks), tiered timeframes for the identification and remediation of earthquake-prone buildings (based on seismic risk) and a new requirement to perform remedial work on earthquake-prone buildings, where significant upgrades to those buildings are proposed or underway. The deadline for submissions on the proposed changes is 16 July 2015.

Inquiry: Legislative Response to Future National Emergencies

The Regulations Review Select Committee is conducting an inquiry into recent legislative responses to major national emergencies. Public submissions are currently being invited and are due by 1 August 2015.

Government consultations

  • The Electricity Authority is seeking submissions on variations to Transmission Pricing Methodology in respect of the HVDC component (closing on 14 July 2015) and on its Hedge Market Development project (closing on 21 July 2015).
  • The Ministry for the Environment is consulting on a Proposed National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry under the Resource Management Act 1991 (closing on 11 August 2015).
  • The Productivity Commission is seeking submissions on its draft report regarding housing land use (closing on 22 December 2015).
  • Feedback is being sought on an Issues Paper released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) on a broad review of the Financial Advisers Act and the Financial Service Providers. The deadline for submissions is 22 July 2015.
  • MBIE is also seeking submissions on proposed amendments to the Building Act, which are intended to provide an orderly transition in relation to unsafe buildings after a state of emergency has been declared. Submissions are due by 24 July 2015.
  • MBIE has released a document entitled "Land Access for Telecommunications discussion document 2015". The document focuses on ways in which the installation of Ultra-Fast Broadband can be streamlined. Submissions are due by 24 July 2015.
  • The Commerce Commission is consulting on proposed prices that Chorus can charge for using its copper lines and broadband service. Submissions on its draft decisions are due by 13 August 2015.
  • The Earthquake Commission Act 1993 is under review. See our separate article (link).
  • The Government is consulting on proposals for new legislation to replace the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 and a draft Transition Plan for Christchurch. See our separate article (link).

Other News

Establishment of Legislation Design and Advisory Committee

Following on from the Productivity Commission's recent report on regulatory institutions and practices, the Government has announced a new Legislation Design and Advisory Committee, which will supersede the existing Legislation Advisory Committee. It is intended that the new Committee will have input into the design and content of Bills earlier in their development.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Nick Crang
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions