Summary of the key law and content changes on ComplyWith
(update as of 25 February 2020)

What laws have changed recently?

2019 ended with a flurry of law changes, and with Parliament back sitting from 11 February we’re expecting that flurry to continue in the run-up to the September election.

Below are the key changes since our October newsletter. Please check out Updater in your ComplyWith for more information about the law changes affecting your business.

  • From 1 December 2019, location compliance certificates are required for hazardous substance locations that store class 6 and 8 substances.
  • New provisions for dealing with buildings affected by emergencies in designated areas were added to the Building Act on 18 December 2019.
  • The time frame to renew a trade mark registration was extended on 13 January 2020 to include the period up to 6 months before the expiry date.
  • The Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act was changed as follows:
    • On 20 December 2019, a range of changes were made to strengthen the requirements to lend responsibly and add new penalties and consequences for non-compliance.
    • From 13 January 2020, the lender responsibilities and Part 3A (repossession) only apply to consumer credit contracts. Previously they also applied to consumer goods secured under a credit contract.
  • A new exception for accessible format copies (for example, braille books) was added to the Copyright Act on 4 January 2020.
  • A new obligation about providing climate change adaption information when required was added to the Climate Change Response Act on 14 November 2019 by the (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act 2019.

Other changes for businesses operating in specific sectors include:

  • The education sector:
    • The Education (Pastoral Care of Domestic Tertiary Students) Interim Code of Practice 2019 came into force on 1 January 2020.
    • Stronger penalties and consequences for not complying with the Pastoral Care of International Students Code of Practice and the new Interim Code for Domestic Students were introduced on 20 December 2019.
    • The definition of domestic students was changed on 1 January 2020 when the Domestic Students (Tertiary Education) Notice 2019 came into force. It replaced the 2011 and 2016 Notices.
    • From 9 January 2020, a person with a primary teaching qualification can be a person responsible for a licensed early childhood education and care centre that is teacher led.
  • Local authorities:
    • The Building (Levy) Regulations 2019 came into force on 10 January 2020 and replaced the Building Levy Order 2005.
    • New powers for territorial authorities to designate affected areas with the Minister’s approval (and manage buildings in those areas) were added by the Building Amendment Act 2019.
    • The definition of substantial alteration was narrowed by the Building (Specified Systems, Change the Use, and Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Regulations 2019 on 16 December 2019.
  • The Railways Regulations 2019 came into force on 1 January 2020 and replaced the Railways Regulations 2008.
  • The basis of calculation of the telecommunications regulatory levy changed on 31 October 2019 when the Telecommunications Operations (Commerce Commission Costs) Levy Regulations came into force. It replaced the 2011 Regulations.
  • New continuing professional development requirements for people who hold a certificate of competence under the HSW (Mining Operation and Quarrying Operations) Regulations came into force on 1 February 2020.
  • New compliance obligations about not fitting a national animal identification and tracing (NAIT) tag outside the tag’s registered location and an annual declaration for certain non-NAIT animals were added to the National Animal Identification and Tracing Act on 14 December 2019.

What's coming up?

Some of the upcoming law changes include:

  • The Privacy Bill is still at the Committee of the Whole House stage. Our latest information is that it is now expected to come into force later in 2020 (possibly in September).
  • A lot of law changes come into force on 1 April 2020. These include:
    • The minimum wage increases from $17.70 to $18.90.
    • The annual repayment threshold for the Student Loan Scheme Act increases from $19,760 to $20,020.
    • New investment income reporting requirements come into force.
    • The medicinal cannabis scheme comes into force.
    • The new default price-quality path for electricity distributors comes into force.
    • The Education (Vocational Education and Training Reform) Amendment Act 2020 comes into force. This begins the first phase of changes for polytechs as they become subsidiaries of the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology.
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