Legal matters

New Zealand Acts, Bills and Regulations can be read on the New Zealand Legislation website. You can read and download any of these free of charge. This site is updated regularly by the Parliamentary Counsel Office, which drafts and publishes most New Zealand legislation.

The following are commentaries and advice of popular legal subject matters:

General business law

There are many books that discuss New Zealand business law in general. Here is a selection:

Articles about all of these legal matters can be found in magazines. To find articles about these subjects search one of our eResources.

Please note that discussion of legal matters in articles published outside New Zealand or in older volumes of New Zealand publications may not be relevant in this country, at this time.

Fair trading

Ask these organisations for help, information, and advice:

Commerce CommissionWe deliverCanterbury Development Corporation

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce

NZ Manufacturers and Exporters Association makes it easier for small business in New Zealand to understand and comply with government, and succeed. The site has free resources, tools and information to help people start, manage and grow their business.


The Insolvency and Trustee Service administers personal bankruptcies and company liquidations in New Zealand. Information about all aspects of bankruptcy and liquidation can be found in the Information Library section of their website.

Registering a company

The New Zealand Companies Office is the government office that administers the registration of companies in New Zealand. All the information and forms necessary for registration can be found on their website.

Customs tariffs

The amount of duty that must be paid on goods imported to New Zealand is listed in a document called the Working Tariff Document of New Zealand. The Tariff can be viewed online through the New Zealand Customs Service Te Mana Arai o Aotearoa.

Tax and GST

There are some useful books in our libraries dealing with business taxation and GST in New Zealand or try the organisations listed under Business services in our internet gateway.

To help you understand copyright legislation look at the Copyright Licensing Agency website or try using one of the books about copyright in our libraries.


The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) administers patents, design registration and trademarks. Use the Information Library section of their website to answer your questions or try one of the books about intellectual property in our libraries.


… standards can provide you with credible and widely accepted specifications that can be used in contract agreements and, as means of compliance with regulations. (Standards New Zealand, 2005).

Christchurch City Libraries has an extensive collection of standards. To find out which one you need you can use the online catalogues of the standards organisations or ask a librarian.


There are a number of books in our libraries about employment law and some organisations will give advice and information around this subject.

Canterbury Development CorporationIndustry informationCanterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce

New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association

Services to business

Occupational Safety and Health

Ask these organisations for help, information, and advice:

Occupational Safety and Health Service

Canterbury Development Corporation

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce

MEA NZ Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association

Formed in August 2007 by the merger of the Canterbury Manufacturers’ Association and the New Zealand Engineers’ Federation.

There are many books which provide information and advice about OSH issues. Search our catalogue or try clicking on the subjects below:


For advice on your right to privacy and how to protect other people’s right to privacy contact The Office of the Privacy Commissioner which is responsible for the promotion and protection of individual privacy. It checks on the sharing of data (information matching) between government agencies, provides an extensive education programme to help people understand the Privacy Act and manages a complaints process.

We also have library resources about the New Zealand privacy act.

Print this page