7.16 The Legislation Act 2019 contains a mechanism for systematically revising the presentation of some New Zealand Acts to make them more accessible. After being revised, they are introduced as revision bills into Parliament for re-enactment. Revision is not intended to change the substantive effect of the law.
7.17 The Attorney-General must prepare a revision programme for each new Parliament, setting out the statutes to be revised over each three-year period. The Parliamentary Counsel Office is responsible for preparing the revision programme in consultation with the agencies that administer the legislation. Revision bills must be certified before introduction by a panel comprising the President of the Law Commission, the Solicitor-General, a retired High Court Judge, and the Chief Parliamentary Counsel. This panel certifies that the revision powers have been exercised appropriately and the effect of the law is not changed except as authorised. If this is the case, the revision bill can proceed through the House under a streamlined process.
7.18 Although revision bills must be certified as outlined in paragraph 7.17 as not making more than minor alterations to the substance of law, amendments may be made during the legislative process that make more substantive alterations. If such substantive amendments are sought, a revision bill should, on introduction, be accompanied by an SOP that sets out any amendments expressly identified as intended to change the effect of the old law. The Attorney-General should draw this SOP to the attention of the Business Committee.
7.19 Agencies should review the legislation they administer and consult with the Parliamentary Counsel Office to see if it would benefit from revision.