What laws have changed recently?

Below is a summary of some key law changes since our February 2022 newsletter. 

To find out more about the law changes that affect your organisation, log into your ComplyWith Obligations Register and dial up some ‘clarity of change’.

While you are in the Obligations Register you’ll see that you can create a ‘My List’ to easily access the legislation of interest to you and to feed into your law change emails. 

Law changes because of COVID-19

The following changes were made because of COVID-19:

  • The Epidemic Preparedness (COVID-19) Notice was renewed again and is currently due to expire on 17 June 2022.
  • From 4 April 2022, COVID-19 vaccinations are no longer mandatory for:
    • workers at affected education services 
    • workers who carry out work for tertiary education providers at tertiary education premises in a Red area
    • workers at premises where My Vaccine Pass was used (food and drink businesses or services, gyms, permitted events, and close-proximity businesses or services).
  • The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccination Assessment Tool) Regulations were revoked on 12 May 2022.
  • The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order (No 4) 2022 came into force on 15 May 2022 and added a new exception for an affected person who isn't vaccinated and/or hasn't had a booster dose, isn’t an exempt person, and tests positive after 15 May 2022. 
  • A temporary change which allowed a deed creating a power of attorney in connection with a security interest to be executed electronically (without the need for execution in the physical presence of witnesses) was extended on 2 May 2022 by the Contract and Commercial Law (COVID-19—Extension of Modification Relating to Powers of Attorney) Order 2022.
  • On 21 April 2022, the grounds for deferring or being excused from jury service were temporarily expanded because of COVID-19 by the COVID-19 Response (Courts Safety) Legislation Act 2022.
  • The Food (COVID-19 Exemption from Compliance with Verification Requirements) Regulations 2021 were revoked on 22 May 2022. 
  • Financial Markets Conduct (Financial Reporting and Other Relief—COVID-19) Exemption Notice 2020 were revoked on 29 April 2022.

Key changes for all sectors 

  • The Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Act 2022 came into force on 23 February 2022. The changes included a new clean vehicle standard and a clean vehicle discount scheme.
  • The Taxation (Annual Rates for 2021–22, GST, and Remedial Matters) Act 2022 became law on 30 March 2022. See Inland Revenue's Introducing GST changes in 2022 and Changes coming in 2022 for information on the key changes.
  • On 1 April 2022:
    • The Accident Compensation (Work Account Levies) Regulations 2002 and Accident Compensation (Earners’ Levy) Regulations 2022 came into force and replaced the 2019 Regulations of the same name.
    • The minimum wage increased from $20 to $21.20 (and from $16 to $16.96 for starting-out workers and trainees). 
    • The student loan repayment threshold was increased from $20,280 to $21,268. 
  • A new Matariki public holiday was added on 12 April 2022 by the Te Pire mō te Hararei Tūmatanui o te Kāhui o Matariki 2022/Te Kāhui o Matariki Public Holiday Act 2022. The first Matariki public holiday is on 24 June 2022.
  • Road user charges were reduced by 36% between 21 April and 21 July 2022 by the Road User Charges (Temporary RUC Reduction Scheme) Amendment Act 2022. As part of the Budget, the Government announced this will be extended until 21 September 2022.
  • The Commerce Amendment Act 2022 made the following changes to the Commerce Act on 6 April and 5 May 2022:
    • The Commerce Commission can authorise entering into an agreement which contains a cartel provision during the COVID-19 epidemic period and that power will become permanent on 5 April 2023.
    • The Commerce Commission can grant an interim authorisation for a person to enter into an agreement that substantially lessens competition if it considers it appropriate to do so.
  • The Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Freshwater) Amendment Regulations 2022 came into force on 1 May 2022 and made changes related to winter grazing in the National Environmental Standards for Freshwater 2020.

Changes for the local government sector

  • The following Notices require certain territorial authorities to notify decisions on the independent hearings panels’ recommendations under the intensification streamlined planning process by a specified date:
    • Resource Management (Direction for the Intensification Streamlined Planning Process to the First Tranche of Specified Territorial Authorities) Notice 2022 
    • Resource Management (Direction for the Intensification Streamlined Planning Process to Hamilton City Council, Waikato District Council, Waipā District Council and Rotorua District Council) Notice 2022
    • The Resource Management (Direction for the Intensification Streamlined Planning Process to Tauranga City Council and Wellington City Council) Notice 2022.
  • The following about setting speed limits came into force on 19 May 2022:
    • The Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022 
    • Land Transport (Register of Land Transport Records—Speed Limits) Regulations 2022 
    • The Land Transport Management (Regional Transport Committees) Regulations 2022.

Changes for the electricity industry

  • On 3 May 2022 the Electricity Industry Participation Code Amendment (Enabling Energy Storage Systems to Offer Instantaneous Reserve) 2022 changed Parts 1 and 13 of the Code to enable new types of instantaneous reserve, such as battery energy storage systems, to be offered as an ancillary service.
  • On 1 April 2022, the first reduction in the electricity low fixed charge tariff option for domestic customers in the Electricity (Low Fixed Charge Tariff Option for Domestic Consumers) Amendment Regulations 2021 came into force.
  • The remaining changes from the Electricity Industry Participation Code Amendment (Code Review Programme) 2019 came into force on 1 March 2022.

Changes for the gas industry

  • The Gas Distribution Services Input Methodologies Amendment Determination (No.1) 2022 came into force on 6 March 2022 and made changes to the tax-adjusted marked risk premium (TAMRP) parameter in the weighted average cost of capital (WACC) calculation and allowed WACC estimates to reflect both a 4 year and 5 year regulatory period.

Changes for the education sector

  • On 25 February 2022, the Education (Proposed Investment Plans: Content and Submission; Assessment Criteria; and Plan Summaries) Notice 2022 replaced the Education (Proposed Investment Plans: Content and Submission; Assessment Criteria; and Plan Summaries) Notice 2021.

Changes for the health sector

  • The Medicines Amendment Regulations 2022 came into force on 19 May 2022 and made changes to powers to authorise people to prepare or administer vaccines, and to Schedule 1 so that the influenza vaccine isn’t classed as a prescription medicine in certain cases (regardless of the recipient’s age).

What’s coming up?

Below is a summary of some of the key changes coming up.

  • On 1 July 2022:
    • The Protected Disclosures (Protection of Whistleblowers) Act 2022 comes into force – see our article about this. 
    • The new levy payment requirements in the Waste Minimisation (Calculation and Payment of Waste Disposal Levy) Regulations apply to the operator of a construction and demolition fill disposal facility: class 2. 
    • Most of the Food Amendment Regulations 2021 come into force.
    • The Gas (Levy of Industry Participants) Regulations 2022 come into force.
    • The Telecommunications Operators (Commerce Commission Costs) Levy Amendment Regulations 2022 come into force.
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