What laws have changed recently?
To find out more about the law changes that affect your organisation, log into your ComplyWith Obligations Register and dial up some ‘clarity of change’.
While you are in the Obligations Register you’ll see that you can create a ‘My List’ to easily access the legislation of interest to you and to feed into your law change emails. To find out more about these features please see the February 2022 TechTalk article.
Law changes because of COVID-19
The following changes were made because of the COVID-19 outbreak:
- The Epidemic Preparedness (COVID-19) Notice was renewed again and is currently due to expire on 18 March 2022.
- The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order 2022 came into force on 23 January 2022 and added requirements for affected people to have a COVID-19 booster dose.
- On 16 December 2021 the option and requirements for recurring saliva testing were removed by the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Required Testing and Vaccinations) Amendment Order (No 2) 2021.
- The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccination Assessment Tool) Regulations 2021 came into force on 15 December 2021 and set out an assessment tool that can be used to decide whether it is reasonable to require workers to only carry out work if vaccinated.
- On 3 December 2021 the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements were extended to workers of food and drink and close-proximity businesses by the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order (No 6) 2021.
Handy hint: The easiest way to get visibility of laws that have had changes made to them because of COVID-19 is to type ‘covid’ into the search bar in the Obligations Register.
Key changes for all sectors
- On 1 February 2021 the Arms Amendment Regulations 2021 made further changes to the requirements for storing firearms and ammunition.
- The Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Amendment Regulations 2021 come into force on 5 January 2022 and made a range of minor changes to the requirements for locating, storing, and segregating hazardous substances and waste.
- The Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2021 came into force on 21 December 2021 to facilitate urban housing intensification in Aotearoa New Zealand’s major cities.
- Chapter 12 of the updated Responsible Lending Code came into force on 1 February 2022.
- Various changes to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act came into force on 1 December 2021, including a new due diligence duty for directors and senior managers.
- The Financial Reporting (Inflation Adjustments) Regulations 2021 came into force on 1 February 2021 and made inflationary adjustments to the monetary limits for large and medium charitable entities and large New Zealand companies.
Changes for the local government sector
- On 14 February 2022 the time for regional councils to change their regional policy statements to comply with the National Planning Standards was extended from 3 May 2022 to 3 May 2024.
- On 1 January 2022:
- The Waste Minimisation (Information Requirements) Regulations 2021 came into force for transfer station operators.
- Certain recordkeeping requirements in the Waste Minimisation (Calculation and Payment of Waste Disposal Levy) Regulations 2009 were applied to construction and demolition facility: class 2 operators.
- Changes to the Resource Management Act about climate change that were due to come into force on 31 December 2021 now come into force on 30 November 2022.
- The Health (Fluoridation of Drinking Water) Amendment Act 2021 came into force on 13 December 2022 and added a new obligation to add fluoride to drinking water supplied through a local authority supply if directed by the Director-General.
Changes for the electricity industry
- The Electricity (Low Fixed Charge Tariff Option for Domestic Consumers) Amendment Regulations 2021 came into force on 30 December 2021 and will phase out the low fixed charge tariff option for domestic consumers.
- The regime for 'automatic under-frequency load shedding' relays (AUFLS) was re-introduced on 21 December 2021 by the Electricity Industry Participation Code Amendment (Automatic Under-Frequency Load Shedding Systems) 2021.
- The Electricity Industry Participation Code Amendment (Inverter Standard for Distributed Generation) 2021 came into force on 18 December 2021.
- Certain changes from the Electricity Industry Participation Code Amendment (Code Review Programme) 2019 came into force on 16 December 2021 and 31 December 2021.
- The Electricity Industry Participation Code Amendment (Definition of Disclosure Information (No 2)) 2021 came into force on 15 December 2021 and permanently lowered the threshold for when information is disclosure information.
Changes for the gas industry
- The maximum penalty for some offences was increased to $200,000 (previously $20,000) on 12 January 2021 by the Gas (Information Disclosure and Penalties) Amendment Act 2021 and Gas Governance (Critical Contingency Management) Amendment Regulations 2021.
Changes for the telecommunications industry
- The Fibre Information Disclosure Determination 2021 came into force on 1 January 2022 and set out a new information disclosure regime for Enable Networks Limited, Northpower Fibre Limited, Northpower LFC2 Limited, and Tuatahi First Fibre Limited.
Changes for the education sector
- The Education (Early Childhood Services) Amendment Regulations came into force on 1 February 2022 and require service providers to apply for a licence amendment before changing the identity of the service provider operating the service.
- The new Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 and Education (Domestic Tertiary Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme) Rules 2021 came into force on 1 January 2022.
- 2 additional categories of domestic tertiary student were added when the Domestic Tertiary Students Notice 2022 came into force on 1 January 2022.
- The Education and Training Amendment Act 2021 came into force on 16 December 2021 and made the following changes:
- extended the period during which trainees must not be charged compulsory student services fees to 31 December 2022
- clarified that the police vetting requirements in Schedule 4 only apply to people who work with children but aren’t children’s workers under the Children’s Act.
Changes for the health sector
- The Health and Disability Services (Safety) Standards Notice 2021 came into force on 28 February 2022 and replaced the 2008 and 2010 Notices.
What’s coming up?
Below is a summary of some of the key changes coming up.
- On 1 April 2022:
- The minimum wage will increase from $20 an hour to $21.20 an hour.
- The first reduction in the electricity low fixed charged tariff option for domestic customers in the Electricity (Low Fixed Charge Tariff Option for Domestic Consumers) Amendment Regulations 2021 comes into force.
- The annual student loan scheme repayment threshold will be increased by the Student Loan Scheme (Repayment Threshold) Regulations 2021.
- The following COVID-19 exemptions are due to be revoked:
- Financial Markets Conduct (Financial Reporting and Other Relief—COVID-19) Exemption Notice 2020 on 29 April 2022
- Food (COVID-19 Exemption from Compliance with Verification Requirements) Regulations 2021 on 22 May 2022.