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New Zealand: Landmark Judgment Recognizes Customary Rights in Coastal Marine Area

(May 21, 2021) On May 7, 2021, the High Court of New Zealand, the third highest court in New Zealand’s court hierarchy, issued a decision in Re Edwards (Whakatohea) (No 2) [2021] NZHC 1025 in which it “granted recognition orders for customary marine title and protected customary rights to a number of applicant groups in […]

Australia: Ban on Single-Use Plastic Products Enacted in Australian Capital Territory

(May 10, 2021) On April 8, 2021, the Plastic Reduction Act 2021 (ACT) was notified in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Legislation Register, with the relevant bill having been passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly on March 31, 2021. According to the revised explanatory statement for the bill, the legislation gives effect to a phase-out […]

Australia: Sexual Consent Provisions in Queensland Criminal Code Amended

(Apr. 20, 2021) On April 7, 2021, the Criminal Code (Consent and Mistake of Fact) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2021 (Qld), which was passed by the Queensland Parliament on March 25, 2021, received assent from the state governor. The amendments to the consent provisions related to certain sexual offenses in the Criminal Code Act 1899 […]

New Zealand: Government Indicates that “Drug Checking” Law Will Be Made Permanent

(Apr. 14, 2021) On April 9, 2021, New Zealand’s health minister, Andrew Little, stated in a press release that interim legislation set to expire in December 2021 that enables illegal substances to be tested to verify their contents would be made permanent through legislation passed during this year. The Drug and Substance Checking Legislation Act […]

New Zealand: Bill Providing for Bereavement Leave Following Miscarriage Passed

(Mar. 26, 2021) On March 24, 2021, the New Zealand Parliament unanimously passed the Holidays (Bereavement Leave for Miscarriage) Amendment Bill (No 2). The Bill “makes it clear that the unplanned end of a pregnancy by miscarriage or still-birth constitutes grounds for bereavement leave for the mother and her partner or spouse, and that the […]

New Zealand: Amendments Enacted to Remove Barriers to the Establishment of Maori Seats by Local Authorities

(Mar. 5, 2021) On March 1, 2021, the Local Electoral (Maori Wards and Maori Constituencies) Amendment Act 2021 (2021 Act) received royal assent, having been passed by the New Zealand Parliament on February 23, 2021. The amendments to the Local Electoral Act 2001 were passed under urgency procedures, as the government considered that local authorities […]

Australia: New Legislation Establishes Code of Conduct for Negotiations between News Media and Digital Platforms over Payments for Content

(Feb. 26, 2021) On February 25, 2021, the Australian Parliament passed the Treasury Laws Amendment (News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code) Bill 2021 (Cth). The bill, which has been the subject of considerable domestic and international discussion, establishes a “mandatory code of conduct that applies to news media businesses and digital platform corporations […]

Australia: Bill Making Vaccination Reporting Mandatory Passed

(Feb. 11, 2021) On February 4, 2021, the Australian Parliament passed the Australian Immunisation Register Amendment (Reporting) Bill 2021 (Cth), which amends the Australian Immunisation Register Act 2015 (Cth) (AIR Act) to “require recognised vaccination providers to report certain information in relation to certain vaccinations administered both within and outside Australia”; “authorise the collection and use […]

Tonga: Extension of COVID-19 State of Emergency and Related Directions

(Feb. 3, 2021) On January 19, 2021, the Tongan government extended the country’s state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the declaration next set to expire on February 15, 2021. The state of emergency, under the Emergency Management Act 2007, was first declared on March 20, 2020, by Prime Minister Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa […]

New Zealand: Pre-Departure COVID-19 Testing Introduced for Certain Travelers

(Jan. 22, 2021) On January 3, 2021, New Zealand’s COVID-19 response minister, Chris Hipkins, announced that “[t]ravellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights […]