Here's a summary of some key law changes since our June '21 newsletter and a quick heads-up on some of the law changes coming up. 

What laws have changed recently

With all of New Zealand at alert level 4, Parliament didn't sit last week and is due to start sitting again today (31 August). Select Committees have been continuing to meet virtually during the level 4 lockdown.

To find out more about the law changes that affect your organisation, log into your ComplyWith and check out Clarity of Change in your Obligations Register. The new Auto-update means your Obligations Register will have been updated last weekend with recent law changes (unless you are currently running a legal compliance survey).

Key changes for all sectors

  • On 24 July 2021, the minimum sick leave entitlement increased from 5 to 10 days a year. Entitlements for existing employees increase when they next become entitled to sick leave for a 12-month period.
  • On 1 July 2021:
    • Private landlords became subject to the obligation to comply with the healthy homes standards within 90 days after a tenancy is renewed or a new tenancy starts
    • Changes to the Energy Efficiency (Energy Using Products) Regulations came into force to realign New Zealand’s requirements for certain air-conditioners and refrigerated cabinets with Australia’s requirements
    • Employees who provide certain types of security services became covered by Part 6A of the Employment Relations Act (Continuity of employment if employees’ work affected by restructuring, also sometimes referred to as vulnerable worker protections).
  • Changes to the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act came into force on 9 July 2021. For information on the changes see the FMA's AML/CFT regulations update 2021.
  • Changes to the Overseas Investment Act and Overseas Investment Regulations came into force on 5 July and 29 July 2021. For information on the changes see LINZ’s Changes to the overseas investment legislation.
  • On 30 July 2021, NPD 100 PLUS was added to the list of substances that don’t require tracking in the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017.
  • The Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act was changed on 1 August 2021 to cover video on-demand content. 
  • The disclosure requirements in the Fair Trading Act for extended warranty agreements were changed on 17 August 2021 for agreements entered over the phone.
  • The Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Storing Tyres Outdoors) Regulations 2021 came into force on 20 August 2021.

Changes for the public sector

  • On 13 July 2021, the deadline for the audit report for Crown entities (and organisations in Schedule 4 and 4A of the Public Finance Act) with a 30 June financial year end was extended by 2 months for the 2020/21 and 2021/22 reports. 

Changes for the local government sector

  • On 1 July 2021:
    • The Rates Rebate (Specified Amounts) Order 2021 came into force and replaced the Rates Rebate (Specified Amounts) Order 2020
    • The remaining provisions of the Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Act 2021 come into force
    • The Local Government Members (2021/22) Determination 2021 came into force and replaced the Local Government Members (2020/21) Determination 2020
    • Some temporary COVID changes to the Local Government Act 2002, Freedom Camping Act, and Waste Minimisation Act were repealed.
  • On 13 July 2021, the deadlines for the following accountability documents for 2020/21 and 2021/22 were extended by 2 months:
    • a council-controlled organisation’s annual report 
    • a local authority’s annual report.

Changes for the education sector 

  • Changes to the Education and Training Act came into force on 13 July 2021 to make it clear that Ministerial conditions or purposes on grants for early childhood centres and certified playgroups can relate to employment matters and can be specified to help achieve aims that are (or include) employment relations aims. 
  • The Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations were changed on 30 July 2021 to allow a licence to be cancelled if a service provider previously held a provisional licence, doesn't currently comply with the minimum service standards, and isn't likely to comply in the future.

Changes for the health sector 

  • Changes to the Health Act on 29 June 2021 made changes to how, and for what purpose, information on the National Cervical Screening Programme can be accessed, used, held, and disclosed.

Changes for the gas industry 

  • On 1 July 2021:
    • The Gas (Levy of Industry Participants) Regulations 2021 came into force increasing the wholesale and retail levies. The Gas (Levy of Industry Participants) Regulations 2019 were revoked
    • The gas safety, monitoring, and energy efficiency (GSMEE) levy rate for 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022 was set by the Notification of Levy Rates Under the Energy (Petrol, Engine Fuel, and Gas) Levy Regulations 2017 Notice 2021.

Changes for organisations with NAIT animals 

  • Various reporting time limits under the National Animal Identification and Tracing Act were extended between 19 August 2021 and 2 September 2021 because of the shift to alert level 4.

New content added to ComplyWith Legal Compliance

We’ve recently added compliance content for the:

  • Social Workers Registration Act 2003
  • Victims’ Rights Act 2002

We will have already added content for these Acts to your organisation’s Obligations Register if we know it’s relevant to your organisation. If it’s not in your Obligations Register and you think it may be relevant, please get in touch

What’s coming up?

  • Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances - Additional Pesticides Subject to Transport Restrictions) Safe Work Instrument 2021 comes into force on 30 August 2021.
  • The Electricity Industry Participation Code Amendment (Application for Distributed Generation) 2021 comes into force on 1 September 2021.
  • The Epidemic Preparedness (COVID-19) Notice 2020 is due to expire on 20 September 2021 (but can be extended or revoked earlier).
  • More changes to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act will come into force on 1 October 2021.  


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