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

What laws changed recently?

Please note that this is not necessarily a complete list of all law changes relevant to your organisation. 

To get full clarity about legislative changes affecting your organisation, dial up the ‘clarity of change’ function in your ComplyWith Obligations Register. 

While you’re there, create a ‘My List’ to more conveniently access the legislation of most interest to you and to receive timely law change notifications. 

Law changes winding down the COVID-19 response

  • On 20 December 2022, the extended deadlines for renewing registrations for food control plans and national programme businesses that expired during a COVID-19 lockdown period ended. 
  • On 15 December 2022, the maximum fine for intentionally not holding, storing, using, or disclosing COVID-19 personal information for a permitted purpose decreased from $12,000 to $5,000. 

Key changes for all sectors 

  • On 1 March 2023, the Road User Charges (Temporary RUC Reduction Scheme) Amendment Act (No 2) 2023 reduced road user charges again by 36% between 1 March and 30 June 2023 (or a later date in an Order in Council).
  • On 14 February 2023, a state of national emergency for Northland, Auckland, Tairāwhiti, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Hawke's Bay, and the Tararua District was declared because of Cyclone Gabrielle. The declaration triggered the Civil Defence National Emergencies (Information Sharing) Code 2020 which continues for 20 working days after the state of national emergency ends. 
  • On 5 January 2023, changes to freshwater regulation were made by the following:
    • Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Freshwater) Amendment Regulations (No 2) 2022
    • Resource Management (Stock Exclusion) Amendment Regulations 2022
    • National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 Amendment No 1. 
  • On 1 January 2023, the Aotearoa Climate Standards were issued, and obligations about climate-related disclosures in the Financial Markets Conduct Act now apply for annual reporting periods on or after this date. 

Changes for the local government sector

  • On 1 January 2023:
    • the record-keeping and reporting requirements in the Waste Minimisation (Calculation and Payment of Waste Disposal Levy) Amendment Regulations 2021 came into force for the operator of a managed or controlled fill disposal facility: classes 3 and 4
    • the Waste Minimisation (Information Requirements) Regulations 2021 came into force for operators of a cleanfill facility: class 5 or industrial monofill facility. 
  • On 15 December 2022, the Water Services Entities Act 2022 came into force. It included new obligations on local government organisations during the water services entity establishment period.
  • The Local Government Members (2022/23) Amendment Determination (No 3) 2022 was made on 20 December 2022 but deemed to come into force on 12 October 2022.
    Changes for the electricity industry
  • On 16 January 2023, the Electricity (Exemptions from Registration) Regulations 2022 exempted certain owners of distributed generation and metering equipment owners from registering as an industry participant.

Changes for the education sector

  • On 28 February 2023, the Education (Proposed Investment Plans: Content and Submission; Assessment Criteria; and Plan Summaries) Notice 2023 replaced the equivalent 2022 Notice.
  • On 1 February 2023, network approval requirements for licensed early childhood services were brought into force by the Education and Training Amendment Act 2022, Education (Early Childhood Services Network Approval) Regulations 2022, and National Statement on the Network of Licensed Early Childhood Services.
  • On 19 January 2023, the Consent to Assess Against Standards on the Directory of Assessment and Skill Standards Rules 2022 replaced the equivalent 2021 Rules. 
  • On 12 January 2023, new Micro-credential Approval and Accreditation Rules 2022 came into force, and other NZQA rules were replaced, to reflect recent changes to the Education and Training Act.
  • On 1 January 2023:
    • The Tertiary Education (Domestic Students) Notice 2022 replaced the Domestic Tertiary Students Notice 2021
    • The Education (Export Education Levy) Regulations 2022 reintroduced the export education levy
    • The Ministerial Direction on Compulsory Student Services Fees for 2019 was revoked.

Changes for the health sector

  • On 22 December 2022, the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Regulations 2022 expanded the ePrescription Service to controlled drugs. The Medicines Amendment Regulations (No 2) 2022 also came into force, enabling electronic prescribing for medicines (previously enabled by an enduring waiver). 
  • On 15 December 2022:
    • the Misuse of Drugs (Classification and Presumption of Supply) Order 2022 came into force and expanded or reclassified the lists of Class A, B, and C controlled drugs in the Misuse of Drugs Act
    • the Misuse of Drugs (Fentanyl and Tramadol) Amendment Regulations 2022 relaxed the requirements for fentanyl and tramadol.
  • On 13 December 2022, the Rights for Insane Offenders Act 2021 came into force requiring care managers to notify victims of an impending decision to grant leave to certain care recipients, and changing the requirements for victim impact statements.

Changes for child welfare and protection agencies

  • On 17 December 2022, the Oranga Tamariki Amendment Act 2022 removed the requirement to publicly notify information about combined datasets.

Changes for organisations with firearms 

  • On 15 December 2022, the Arms Amendment Regulations 2022 came into force, including changes to the information that licensed dealers must record.

What’s coming up?

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

  • On 1 April 2023, the following come into force: 
    • Minimum Wage Order 2023
    • Student Loan Scheme (Repayment Threshold for 2023–24 Tax Year and Subsequent Tax Years) Regulations 2022
    • Taxation (Annual Rates for 2021-22, GST, and Remedial Matters) Act 2022
    • Electricity Industry Participation Code Amendment (Settlement Residual Allocation Methodology) 2022
    • Electricity Industry Participation Code Amendment (Avoided Cost of Transmission) 2022
    • Electricity Industry Participation Code Amendment (Transmission Pricing Methodology) 2022
    • the remaining provisions in the Credit Contracts Legislation Act 2019.
  • The Civil Defence National Emergencies (Information Sharing) Code ceases to apply on 4 April 2023 (unless the State of National Emergency is earlier extended or terminated)
  • On 5 April 2023, the remaining changes from the Commerce Amendment Act 2022 come into force, including key changes about misusing market power.
  • On 21 April 2023, the new Plain Language Act 2022 comes into force. More information is in our article Let’s be clear.
  • On 30 April 2023, the remaining sections in the Animal Welfare Amendment Act 2022 come into force.


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