128 laws to go

Stuff reports:

Laws relating to the 1931 Napier earthquake, the Y2K virus, and a fishing boat savings scheme are set for the chop in a planned clear-out of redundant legislation.

The Government proposal would see more than 10 per cent of New Zealand’s laws taken off the books to clear out unused legislation and make the law more accessible to Kiwis.

The Statutes Repeal Bill would remove part or all of 128 pieces of legislation – some more than 130 years old – which are no longer necessary or in use.

Minister Steven Joyce said the draft bill would reduce the total number of public acts in force by more than 10 per cent, making it easier for people to navigate existing legislation and for Government departments to administer laws.

ACT leader David Seymour, the parliamentary undersecretary for regulatory reform, said the Government wanted to ensure that the law was accessible to “ordinary folks” rather than an elite group who knew how to go through legislation.

“While I don’t think that is going to radically change people’s accessibility to the law, it’s the kind of maintenance that a responsible government should be doing so that the statutes are not an unwieldy, over-intimidating set of volumes.”

Long overdue and a good idea.

I quite like the idea of many laws having a sunset clause so they expire unless Parliament renews them, which would mean looking at whether they really are still necessary.

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