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New Zealand: Referendum to Be Held on Electoral System

(Oct. 22, 2009) On October 20, 2009, the New Zealand Government announced that there will be a referendum in 2011 asking voters whether they want to retain the current Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting system or change to a different system. (Press Release, Hon. Simon Power, MMP Referendum to Be Held at 2011 Election (Oct. […]

New Zealand: Bill Introduced to Repeal Partial Defense of Provocation

(Oct. 8, 2009) Under New Zealand's Crimes Act, 1961, provocation is a partial defense in homicide cases that can result in a person being found guilty of manslaughter rather than murder. (Crimes Act 1961, No. 43, ss. 169-170, New Zealand Legislation website, (last visited Oct. 3, 2009).) This defense was created at a time […]

France; New Zealand: The Government of France Changes Its Position on Returning Preserved Tribal Heads to New Zealand

(July 30, 2009) In recent years, the Government of New Zealand has made concerted efforts to recover preserved Maori heads taken abroad so that they can be returned to the appropriate tribe (iwi) for burial. New Zealand has signed both the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention on the Means of Prohibiting […]

New Zealand: Requirements to Build Eased as Part of Stimulus Plan

(Feb. 9, 2009) On February 2, 2009, New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key, announced a proposal to revise the country's Resource Management Act (RMA). The changes are aimed at easing the way for development projects and home remodeling plans, which would help stimulate the economy. Other elements of the economic plan include increased public spending […]

New Zealand: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme

(Oct. 27, 2008) The Climate Change (Emissions Trading) Amendment Act 2008 recently received royal assent. This legislation introduces a greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme under which participants (large emitters of greenhouse gases) must calculate their emissions via set formulas, retain sufficient records for verification, report the level of emissions, and provide, if requested, sufficient information […]

Australia; New Zealand: Mutual Recognition of Securities

(July 2, 2008) From July 2008, New Zealand and Australia will implement a Mutual Recognition of Securities Offerings (MRSO) that will permit issuers to use a single prospectus to offer shares, debentures, or managed or collective investment schemes to investors in both New Zealand and Australia. (Securities Commission New Zealand & Australian Securities and Investments […]

New Zealand: Securities Prosecution to Be Funded

(June 2, 2008) It was announced on May 21, 2008, that the New Zealand government is implementing amendments to permit the use of the Securities Commission's Litigation Fund for criminal prosecutions (under the Securities Act) brought against finance companies that have misled investors. Previously this fund could only be used in relation to civil litigation. […]

China; New Zealand: Free Trade Agreement

(May 2, 2008) On April 7, 2008, New Zealand and China signed a free trade agreement (FTA). The FTA covers: • staggered removal of tariffs on 96% of New Zealand exports; • rules to determine products that qualify for tariff cuts, to counter unfair trade or unexpected surges in imported products; • provisions to facilitate […]

New Zealand: Proposal to Amend Terrorism Suppression Bill

(Dec. 2, 2007) A bill to amend the Terrorism Suppression Amendment Act has been introduced in the New Zealand Parliament. The Terrorism Suppression Amendment Bill 2007 will ensure compliance with international obligations and improve workability. The bill provides for: ensuring New Zealand's compliance with United Nations Resolution 1267 by automatically designating U.N.-nominated entities as terrorist […]

New Zealand: Environmental Activists Cannot Be Charged Under Anti-Terrorism Laws

(Nov. 2, 2007) In a public statement made on November 8, 2007, New Zealand's solicitor-general Dr. David Collins QC declined to authorize charging recently arrested environmental activists under the Terrorism Suppression Act, on the basis that there was insufficient evidence to meet the high standard required by the legislation that the group was planning on […]