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New Zealand Legislation On The Net

New Zealand Legislation On The Net: E-Government In Action

The government is to make authoritative, accurate, and up-to-date versions of New Zealand legislation available without charge through the internet. Print access will continue to be provided at a reasonable price.

The Attorney General, Margaret Wilson says the planned website will also provide free public access to bills at each stage of the parliamentary process.

"This will enhance the opportunity for people to participate in the democratic process, because it will be easier for them to access proposed changes to the law, and to make submissions on those changes.

"The plan is a significant step towards providing the public with a world class system for accessing New Zealand legislation," said Ms Wilson.

“The Government believes that the right of the public to access legislation is a fundamental democratic right. Until now, the State has provided access to legislation only in a printed form. This form of access no longer meets the needs of many people. Providing access to legislation in an electronic form will better meet the needs of people to have rapid access to current legislation, so that they can easily find out what their legal rights, responsibilities and remedies are.

"It is an excellent example of E-Government in action," said Ms Wilson. “This initiative fits very well with recent initiatives in e-commerce. It will support the provisions of the Electronic Transactions Bill, because overseas businesses will be able to access an up-to-date version of the relevant New Zealand law.

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“The next steps are to acquire or develop an electronic database of New Zealand legislation and develop a new drafting tool for law drafters. New systems will also be needed for internet access and producing legislation in printed form.

The Parliamentary Counsel Office will shortly be issuing a request for an implementation partner to assist with the management of these projects.

The project will begin immediately. A target completion date will be set after preliminary work on the acquisition of an electronic database of legislation has been completed.

"When the access project is completed, the New Zealand public will have a legislation access service that is comparable to that available to most users of legislation in comparable jurisdictions overseas”, said Ms Wilson.

“It is also an excellent example of the opportunities that E-Government presents to provide higher quality, cost-effective, government services and to enhance the relationship between New Zealanders and their government.”

Ends

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