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Developing and making regulations

Issue date: 
Tuesday, 18 July 2017
Issue status: 
Published by: 
Version note: 

This publication is part of the CabGuide.

Process for the development and making of regulations

Download a PDF of the regulation work flow below.

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The process for developing regulations to be made by Order in Council, contained in paragraph 7.91 of the Cabinet Manual, is as follows:

  • identifying the need for regulations (through departmental monitoring and consideration of the relevant statute)
  • developing the policy behind the regulations (if necessary), including regulatory impact analysis, and drafting the paper for Cabinet committee consideration
  • consultation, as required, with: relevant departments, the government caucus, other parties represented in the House and independent members of Parliament, and affected groups (if required by legislation or otherwise appropriate)
  • submitting the policy (if any) to a Cabinet committee and Cabinet for approval (if the regulations are entirely routine and do not require new policy decisions,
  • the Minister may authorise drafting without reference to Cabinet)
  • drafting of the regulations by the Parliamentary Counsel Office (PCO)
  • drafting the Cabinet Legislation Committee (LEG) paper seeking authorisation for the submission of the regulations to EC
  • submitting the regulations to LEG seeking authorisation for submission to the Executive Council (EC)
  • confirmation of the LEG decision by Cabinet and submission of the regulations to EC on the same day if Cabinet agrees
  • notification in the New Zealand Gazette (the Gazette) on the following Thursday
  • a 28-day period (the 28-day rule) before the regulations come into force
  • publication in the Legislative Instruments series.

Departmental planning must take account of the time needed for all of these steps, including those weeks during the year when Cabinet committees and/or EC will not meet. A minimum of six weeks should be allowed between the completion of the drafting of the regulations and the date on which the regulations come into force.

The governing Act will indicate whether regulations are required to implement a policy or decision. If the matter falls within the delegated authority of the individual Minister, regulations may not be needed. The Act should also be checked to see whether it requires that the Governor-General must be advised by a particular Minister to make the regulations in Executive Council (EC).

Refer to the following pages for more information

Last updated: 
Sunday, 23 August 2015

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