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Legislation (Incorporation by Reference) Bill

15 March 2005

Legislation (Incorporation by Reference) Bill Introduced

The Legislation (Incorporation by Reference) Bill has been tabled in Parliament. It corrects an inadvertent error in three Acts which requires material referenced in regulations, such as New Zealand Standards, to be published for free on the Internet.

“The publication of material in this way raises concerns around copyright protection both in New Zealand and internationally,” says Commerce Minister Pete Hodgson.

Mr Hodgson said the government was grateful to United Future for supporting the change.

“United Future wanted to ensure that builders had ready access to standards for design and construction in a way that did not impose additional costs on the building industry. The agreement reached between the Government and United Future does precisely that”, Mr Hodgson said.

Following discussions with United Future, the removal of the obligation to publish such material is to be replaced by provisions enabling the Chief Executive of the Department of Building Housing (DBH) to:

make available for inspection free of charge all material incorporated by reference into Compliance documents and regulations under the Act at its Wellington office,

make available for inspection free of charge the standards used by building practitioners in the design and construction of buildings at all DBH regional offices,

make copies of all material incorporated by reference available for purchase, either on-line or by way of a request form, at all DBH offices, and;

make a copy of any material that is incorporated by reference available in any other way considered appropriate (for example, on the internet).

The government has also agreed with United Future to consider a further amendment to the Building Act to require the publication of compliance documents on the DBH website free of charge, and for the Chief Executive of the DBH to report to Parliament on measures taken to facilitate access by the department to material incorporated by reference.

The Bill also amends the Commerce Act 1986 and Health Act 1956 to enable material to be made available in ways deemed appropriate. The Copyright Act 1994 is also to be amended to clarify that the copyright of third parties is not affected when material subject to copyright is incorporated into legislation by reference.

ENDS

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