Here's a summary of some key law changes since our August 2021 newsletter and a heads-up on some of the law changes coming in December 2021 and January 2022. 

What laws have changed recently?

Parliament is now in the countdown to the summer recess. The last sitting day is 16 December 2021 and Parliament will resume on 8 February 2022.

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.

Changes because of COVID-19

The following changes were made because of the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • The Epidemic Preparedness (COVID-19) Notice was renewed again and is currently due to expire on 19 December 2021.
  • The COVID-19 Response (Vaccinations) Legislation Act came into force on 26 November 2021. It provides the framework for vaccination and testing mandates for workers in sectors such as hospitality and close contact businesses for when New Zealand moves to the COVID-19 protection framework (the traffic light system) at 11.59pm on 2 December 2021. See Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and testing  for more information. 
  • A new obligation to only collect, use, or disclose personal information given or obtained for contact tracing purposes for a permitted purpose was added to the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act on 20 November 2021. A similar protection for vaccination information was added by the COVID-19 Response (Vaccinations) Legislation Act on 26 November 2021.
  • On 20 November 2021, the maximum fine for not complying with mandatory vaccination and testing requirements increased to $12,000 for individuals, and $15,000 for others (previously a $4,000 fine). The penalty of 6 months in prison for individuals was unchanged.
  • On 25 October 2021, certain people who work at or for an affected education service and certain health and disability sector workers became subject to mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. 
  • Vehicle licences, warrants of fitness, certificates of fitness, and driver licences that expired between 21 July 2021 and 29 November 2021 were extended until 30 November 2021.
  • The COVID-19 Response (Management Measures) Legislation Act 2021 came into force on 3 November 2021 and made a number of temporary changes. 
  • Certain firearms licences and endorsements were extended on 10 October 2021. The Police’s News and updates has more information.
  • An updated Addendum to the Responsible Lending Code came into force on 5 November 2021. It gives guidance on how lender responsibilities can be implemented while dealing with borrowers impacted by COVID‐19.

Other key changes for all sectors

  • New import and export prohibition orders under the Customs and Excise Act came into force on 30 September 2021 and 1 October 2021. 
  • A new higher resident withholding tax on interest rate of 39% was added on 1 October 2021 by the Taxation (Income Tax Rate and Other Amendments) Act 2020.
  • Further changes to the Overseas Investment Act came into force on 24 November 2021. LINZ’s Changes to the overseas investment legislation has information on the changes.
  • The Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Act 2020 came into force on 28 November 2021 and bans smoking in vehicles carrying people under 18 years. 

Changes for the public sector

  • The Legislation Act 2019, Legislation (Publication) Regulations 2021, and Secondary Legislation Act 2021 came into force on 28 October 2021. PCO's Secondary legislation reforms has more information.
  • The Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development was issued under the Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities Act on 28 September 2021 .
    Changes for the local government sector
  • The Water Services Act 2021 came into force on 15 November 2021 replacing the drinking water provisions in the Health Act. It regulates drinking water suppliers, and the drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater networks.
  • The Local Government Members (2021/22) Amendment Determination 2021 was made on 31 August 2021 (but has effect from 1 July 2021). The changes reflect the Government Clean Car Discount.

Changes for the health sector 

  • The End of Life Choice Act 2019 came into force on 7 November 2021.
  • The Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Amendment Act 2021 came into force on 30 October 2021. The changes include extra requirements when using audiovisual links and a new requirement that agreements with government agencies for the transport of special patients must be in writing and include an approved transport management plan. 
  • The Medicines Amendment Regulations (No 2) 2021 replaced Schedule 1 of the Medicines Regulations on 1 September 2021.

Changes for the electricity industry 

  • The Electricity Industry Participation Code Amendment (Application for Distributed Generation) 2021 came into force on 1 September 2021. 

Changes for organisations with NAIT animals 

  • Various reporting and error notification time limits under the National Animal Identification and Tracing Act were extended between 2 September and 21 October 2021 because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • On 2 November 2021, the requirements for becoming an information provider were strengthened by the amended NAIT Standard: Accreditation of Information Providers.

New content added to ComplyWith Legal Compliance

We’ve recently added new content for the Ozone Layer Protection Act and Ozone Layer Protection Regulations. 

We have already added content for the Act and Regulations to your organisation’s Obligations Register if we know it’s relevant to your organisation. If it isn’t in your Obligations Register and you think it may be relevant, please get in touch. 

What’s coming up?

The end of 2021 and the start of 2022 will be a busy period for law changes. Below is a summary of some of the key changes coming up.

  • Various changes to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act now come into force on 1 December 2021 (delayed from 1 October 2021 because of the COVID-19 outbreak).
  • The Health (Fluoridation of Drinking Water) Amendment Act 2021 comes into force on 13 December 2021.
  • The following Electricity Industry Participation Code amendments are coming up:
    • Electricity Industry Participation Code Amendment (Definition of Disclosure Information (No 2) 2021: 15 December 2021
    • Certain changes from the Electricity Industry Participation Code Amendment (Code Review Programme) 2019: 16 December 2021 and 31 December 2021
    • Electricity Industry Participation Code Amendment (Inverter Standard for Distributed Generation) 2021: 18 December 2021
    • Electricity Industry Participation Code Amendment (Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding Systems) 2021: 21 December 2021
  • Certain provisions in the Resource Management Amendment Act 2020 come into force on 31 December 2021.
  • The Telecommunications (Regulated Fibre Services) Regulations 2021 come into force on 31 December 2021.
  • On 1 January 2022:
    • The Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 comes into force
    • The Education (Domestic Tertiary Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme) Rules 2021 comes into force
    • The Financial Reporting (Inflation Adjustments) Regulations 2021 comes into force
    • The Waste Minimisation (Information Requirements) Regulations 2021 apply to transfer station operators 
    • Certain record keeping requirements in the Waste Minimisation (Calculation and Payment of Waste Disposal Levy) Regulations 2009 apply to operators of a construction and demolition facility: class 2.
  • The Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Amendment Regulations 2021 come into force on 5 January 2022.
  • The Gas Governance (Critical Contingency Management Amendment Regulations 2021 come into force on 12 January 2022.
  • Certain provisions in the Education (Early Childhood Services) Amendment Regulations come into force on 1 February 2022.
  • Chapter 12 of the updated Responsible Lending Code comes into force on 1 February 2022.
  • The Health and Disability Services (Safety) Standards Notice 2021 comes into force on 28 February 2022 and replaces the 2008 and 2010 Notices.


BIG C Background Image