This is a single section from Chapter 2. Read the full chapter here.

Are any matters addressed by the new legislation covered by existing legislation?

New legislation should not re-state matters that are already addressed in existing legislation.


Where a provision in existing legislation satisfactorily addresses an issue, it is preferable not to repeat that provision in new legislation. This kind of duplication often results in unintended differences, especially where legislation is amended over time or where the legislation is intended to address a different policy objective.

In some cases, existing legislation can be used to supplement new legislation. Some Acts are of general application (the Interpretation Act). Others must be expressly applied by the new legislation (see, for example the Ombudsmen Act 1975).

Where appropriate, “flag” provisions may be used in the new legislation to identify (but not re-state) the relevant provisions of the other legislation (see, for example, s. 8 of the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009, or s. 30B(3) of the Receiverships Act 1993).

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