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Review of the Civil List Act 1979: Law Comm Report

Media Release
Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Palmer SC President Law Commission

The Law Commission's latest report "Review of the Civil List Act 1979 - the Governor General"

17 December 2009 Review of the Civil List Act 1979 – the Governor-General
The Law Commission’s report 112, Review of the Civil List Act – the Governor- General, was tabled in Parliament today.

The report recommends that Part 1 of the Civil List Act 1979, relating to remuneration and support for the Governor-General, should be repealed and replaced by a modern, stand-alone Act.

“We need a new statute to reflect the nature of the modern office of Governor-General,” says President of the Law Commission Sir Geoffrey Palmer.

“The office is vitally important to New Zealand’s Constitution. The Office of Governor- General is an important symbol of our nation. The Governor-General stands above political differences to provide a sense of national unity and identity.

The Governor-General also demonstrates the fact that New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy. There is both real and symbolic importance in having these provisions that relate to the Governor-General in separate legislation.” The report recommends that the Governor-General’s salary should no longer be exempt from income tax. “There is no longer any justification for that exemption,” says Sir Geoffrey.

The report also recommends changes to the provisions for the funding of the Governor- General’s programme both in New Zealand and internationally that the Commission believes will enhance transparency.

The changes proposed in the report would take effect for the appointment and term of the next Governor-General.

The report is available on the Law Commission’s website www.lawcom.govt.nz

ENDS

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