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New Zealand: New COVID-19 Public Health Response Legislation Enacted

(May 28, 2020) On May 13, 2020, the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020 was enacted in New Zealand. The act provides a new legal framework for making and enforcing orders containing restrictions and requirements for businesses, gatherings, and movement in response to COVID-19. It was enacted in time for the country’s move to “Alert […]

New Zealand: Court of Appeal and Supreme Court Issue Protocol for Remote Hearings During COVID-19 Restrictions

(Apr. 28, 2020) On April 17, 2020, the Chief Justice of the New Zealand Supreme Court and the President of the Court of Appeal issued a protocol that will apply to remote hearings of the two courts while the country is subject to various restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The country entered “Alert […]

New Zealand; Singapore: New Declaration on Trade in Essential Goods for Combating the COVID-19 Pandemic

(Apr. 17, 2020) On April 15, 2020, the governments of New Zealand and Singapore “launched a new trade initiative to ensure supply chain connectivity and the removal of blockages to trade in a list of essential products that includes medicines, medical and surgical equipment.” The initiative builds on a joint statement by the two countries in […]

New Zealand: Amendments to Enhance Voter Registration and Voting Processes Passed

(Mar. 16, 2020) On March 4, 2020, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Electoral Amendment Bill, which contains various amendments to the Electoral Act 1993 and the Electoral Regulations 1996 aimed at improving “enrolment and voting processes to better enfranchise voters, uphold the integrity of the electoral system by ensuring that elections are conducted efficiently […]

New Zealand: Bill to Regulate Vaping Introduced

(Mar. 12, 2020) On February 24, 2020, the New Zealand government introduced the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill into the Parliament. The government minister responsible for the Bill, Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa, stated that it “aims to strike the right balance between making sure vaping is available for smokers who want […]

New Zealand: Bill to Restore Voting Rights for Some Prisoners Introduced

(Mar. 6, 2020) On February 25, 2020, the New Zealand government introduced the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill in the Parliament. The bill amends the Electoral Act 1993 to enable people sentenced to terms of imprisonment of less than three years to vote in the country’s general elections. This would reinstate the rule […]

New Zealand: Bill Pardoning Māori Prophet Convicted in 1916 Passed

(Jan. 2, 2020) On December 18, 2019, the New Zealand Parliament passed historic legislation that pardons Rua Kēnana, a pacifist religious prophet from the Tuhoe iwi (tribe) who was convicted in August 1916 of “moral resistance” to a police attempt to arrest him in February 1916. In April 1916, around seventy armed police officers came to the […]

New Zealand: Bill Enabling Control Orders for Returning “Foreign Fighters” Passed

(Dec. 26, 2019) On December 12, 2019, the New Zealand Parliament passed the Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill, which allows the commissioner of police to apply to the High Court for control orders to be imposed on New Zealanders who have engaged in terrorism-related activity overseas. The minister of justice, Andrew Little, stated that the Bill […]

New Zealand: Referendums on Assisted Dying and Cannabis Legalization to be Held in 2020

(Dec. 17, 2019) On December 3, 2019, the New Zealand government launched a new website to provide information on two referendums that will be held in conjunction with the 2020 general election. This followed a vote in Parliament in November 2019 to pass the End of Life Choice Bill (now the End of Life Choice […]