1.50Laws should enter into force only after their publication. The exceptions to this important constitutional convention are matters of national security or of great commercial or legal significance where time is an overriding factor. Accordingly, Orders in Council must be published as soon (and as widely) as possible. To satisfy this requirement, Orders in Council and other instruments made in Executive Council are notified in the New Zealand Gazette, which is the official journal of the government.
1.51Orders in Council made at a Monday meeting will appear in the New Zealand Gazette the following Thursday. In a case where an Order in Council must enter into force before the next regular issue of the New Zealand Gazette, a special Gazette may be arranged (see the CabGuide for further information).
1.52Orders in Council enter into force on the date stated on the order. For an order making regulations or other secondary legislation, this date should be no earlier than 28 days after the date of its notification in the New Zealand Gazette (“the 28-day rule”—see paragraphs 7.101 – 7.104). Even if the 28-day rule is waived, it is most unusual for regulations to enter into force any earlier than the day immediately following the Executive Council meeting. An Order appointing a day for an enactment to enter into force, known as a “commencement order”, may, however, enter into force on the same day as that on which the order is made (see section 29 of the Legislation Act 2019).