New Zealand Law Commission

New Zealand's Law Commission was established in 1986 by the Law Commission Act 1985.[3][4] The Commission is an independent Crown entity (ICE) as defined in the Crown Entities Act 2004.[5]

Law Commission
Te Aka Matua O Te Ture
NZ Law Commission logo.svg
Agency overview
Formed1 February 1986
HeadquartersWellington, New Zealand
Employees25 to 35 (varies)[1]
Annual budgetNZ$4.101 million[2]
Ministers responsible
  • Andrew Little, Minister of Justice
  • Aupito William Sio, Associate Minister of Justice
Agency executive

The main objective of the Law Commission, as declared in its founding legislation, is to monitor and critically analyse the laws of New Zealand with a view to identifying—and proposing solutions to—their possible shortcomings.[6]

The commission is part of the Commonwealth Association of Law Reform Agencies.

The Law Commission reviews, reforms and develops New Zealand law. It then makes recommendations to Government to improve the law. It also advises its Responsible Minister and government agencies on how to make the law more accessible and easier to understand.

The Commission has a commitment to consult the public on areas of law that it reviews. It promotes discussion and consultation by publishing Issues Papers. It invites submissions from the public before it makes recommendations to the Responsible Minister. It publishes these recommendations in a report to Parliament. The Minister tables the report and the government then decides whether and how it will amend the law.


As of January 2018 the Law Commission comprises four members:[7]

  • The Hon Sir Douglas White KNZM QC - President
  • Donna Buckingham
  • Helen McQueen
  • Belinda Clark QSO[8]


The Commission's current projects (at May 2018) include:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Structure". The New Zealand Ministry of Justice. Retrieved 7 September 2014. The Commission employs 25 to 35 staff, including legal research and policy advisers, corporate support and library staff.
  2. ^ Scott Simpson; Paul Foster-Bell; Joanne Hayes; et al. (2014). 2012/13 financial review of the Law Commission (Report). The Justice and Electoral Committee. In 2012/13, the total revenue of the commission was $4.101 million, and its total expenditure was $4.256 million, resulting in a deficit of $154,000 (in 2011/12 the commission reported a small surplus of $64,000).
  3. ^ Establishment. Law Commission Act 1985—Section 4. "For the purpose of this Act, there is hereby established a commission to be called the Law Commission."
  4. ^ Short Title and commencement. Law Commission Act 1985—Section 1. "This Act shall come into force on 1 February 1986."
  5. ^ Crown Entities Act 2004 p91
  6. ^ "Functions". Law Commission Act 1985—Section 5. "The principal functions of the Commission are (...) to take and keep under review in a systematic way the law of New Zealand (...) to make recommendations for the reform and development of the law of New Zealand (...) to advise on the review of any aspect of the law of New Zealand conducted by any government department or organisation (...)."
  7. ^ "Our people | Law Commission". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Belinda Clark appointed as Law Commissioner | Law Commission". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Abortion Law Reform | Law Commission". Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Abortion Law Reform". Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  11. ^ "The Use of DNA in Criminal Investigations | Law Commission". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  12. ^ "DNA and crime – Have your say on DNA". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Review of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 | Law Commission". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Reviewing the Property (Relationships) Act". Reviewing the Property (Relationships) Act. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  15. ^ "Declaratory Judgments | Law Commission". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Second Review of the Evidence Act 2006 | Law Commission". Retrieved 28 January 2018.

External linksEdit