Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Government Publications

Government publications are held at the Central Library, on the 2nd Floor, and many are also available online (see section links below). Most Government Publications are 'Reference Only' - this means they're not available for loan. Some early material is kept in the Rare Books Room, or on microfiche.

Useful Call Numbers

Subject Dewey Number
Corporate plan 354.062 NEW
Directories of official information 354.931 DIR
Guide to Parliament 328.931
Human rights amendment act 342.085 NEW
New Zealand land claims act (1840) 346.0432 LOV
NZ patents 1860-1890 929.3 HAM
Public access to government information 025.26


Online Access


Online access to legislation is available through the New Zealand Legislation website. We also suggest reading this guide to the NZ Legislation website, detailing what's on the site and how it works.

New Zealand Legislation


New Zealand Acts as enacted by Parliament and the earlier Legislative Council, are now available online going right back to 1841.

The New Zealand Acts 1841 - 2007 As-Enacted Collection has been put together by the Parliamentary Counsel Office by scanning original printed volumes to produce facsimiles in PDF format. The files have also been through an OCR (optical character recognition) process, which makes the text searchable. The collection is hosted on the website of the New Zealand Legal Information Institute.

All Acts from between 1841 and 2007 are included in the collection, whether or not they have been repealed. They are in their original form, so do not include any later amendments.

Historical - New Zealand Acts As Enacted

Acts (or Statutes)

Acts, or Statutes, are the laws of the country. New Acts are first published as separate individual documents shortly after being passed into law, then in a bound volume of all legislation published during that year titled Statutes of New Zealand.

Most Acts can be located in the blue bound volumes, organised by year and number. Recently passed Acts are in loose leaf format and arranged alphabetically in boxes at the end of the bound statutes. Acts can expire, be amended by subsequent Acts or be repealed

There is an alphabetical list of the current Acts in force at the end of the shelf.

Reprinted Statutes

Substantially amended Acts will often be reprinted with all their amendments included. There are two sequences of these located after the main set of blue volumes. The first is called the Reprinted Statutes (RS) which have brown covers. The second newer sequence is called the Bound Reprinted Statutes (BRS) and these have green covers. The list of current Acts may refer you to either to a RS or BRS volume where you will find all the legislation arranged alphabetically within it.


Before an Act is passed into law it is known as a bill (not all bills become law) — bills are proposed laws that have been introduced into Parliament. Bills are printed individually and gathered together at the end of each year (or more often).

Types of bills:

Applies to the whole community
Applies to a particular locality
Applies only to a particular individual or group

The progress of each bill can be found in the Parliamentary Bulletin.

Types of Bills — NZ Parliament Website

Statutory Regulations and Bylaws

Finer details of Acts are not always decided by Parliament - legislation can be delegated to Non-Parliamentary Bodies and Individuals (1936 - current). Statutory regulations are generally laws made by the Governor-General, Ministers of the Crown, and certain other bodies, dealing with technical details subject to frequent change.

It is a requirement by Law that regulations be published in the New Zealand Gazette once effective - with Titles, Date and Act under which they were made.

Recent regulations are bound in red volumes. Earlier years are in the 'stack' staff-only area - please ask a staff member for assistance.

Records of Parliament's Activities

Journals of the House of Representatives

These are essentially the minutes of Parliament - the decisions and activities of the House in a weekly summary.

On our shelves at Central

We hold the Journals of the House on our shelves from 1858 to the present day - ask at the 2nd floor desk.

Online access

Online access is available going back to 2006.

Journals of the House Online

Appendix to the Journals

The Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives (AJHR), sometimes known as "the A to Js", are a collection of government-related reports published every year from 1858.

These are reports tabled before Parliament for its consideration, collectively known as Parliamentary Papers

On our shelves at Central

We hold the A to Js in print form on our shelves from 1858 to the present day - ask at the 2nd floor desk.

Online access

Online access is available for two time periods - 1858-1951 through Papers Past, and from 2006 onwards on the New Zealand Parliament website.

Parliamentary Debates (Hansard)

Weekly publications giving text of Speeches and Debates in the House except, those made when the House in Committee.

We have physical copies of Hansard at the Central Library - a complete run. Ask at the 2nd floor desk.

Hansard (Debates) Online

Annual Reports

Government departments and ministries table half-yearly reports at Parliament. Parliamentary papers contain most Government Departments' Annual Reports, Reports of Statutory Bodies (QUANGOs) & Reports of Offices of Parliament.

On our shelves at Central

Annual Reports are arranged by Shoulder Number and Letter. The Letter denotes Government department and broad subject headings. Number is for individual papers. Ask at the 2nd floor desk.

Online access

Online access is available via the NZ Parliament website for Current Papers (2002-), or via Papers Past for historical reports (1858-1951). You can filter by keyword, date or Parliament (e.g. 51st Parliament).

Parliamentary Bulletin

The Parliamentary Bulletin was published at the end of each sitting week from 1986 to August 2017. It contained information about Parliament's work from that week and any prior non-sitting weeks. The Parliamentary Bulletin included the Journal, the weekly progress of legislation, information about select committees, the business statement outlining bills for debate in the next sitting week, etc. In essence, it summarised the House business for the week.

This content is still available online, separately (see link below).

Parliamentary Bulletin


We have a selection of Budgets on our shelves. Try a search for 'Zealand budget' to browse those available.

Online access

Budgets from 1997 onwards are available online on the Treasury website.

Budgets on the Treasury website

Standing Orders

The Standing Orders are the primary rules of the House, regulating activities in Parliament. Read more about Parliamentary Rules

These are kept at the 2nd floor enquiries desk (Call Number 328.931).

Capital Letter

This is a weekly digest and review of administration, legislation and law. Fully indexed and available on our shelves - you'll find them shelved with the New Zealand Reference Magazines

The New Zealand Gazette

The New Zealand Gazette is the official newspaper of the New Zealand government. It is an authoritative journal of constitutional record and contains official commercial and government notifications that are required by legislation to be published.

  • It is published weekly by the Gazette Office of Internal Affairs
  • It contains official notices and proclamations
  • It usually has 3 editions. These are Customs, Commerce, and Principal and Trade Registers (e.g. Marriage Celebrants, Occasional Trade and Industry edition).

Online access

Gazettes from 2000 onwards are available online.

New Zealand Gazette online

Older Government Publications in the Rare Books Room

These can be found on the 2nd floor of the Central Library.

Some early Government publications are shelved in the Rare Books Room, rather than the open shelves.

Personal ID is required to be held at the 2nd floor enquiries desk while you view these publications. Ask at the 2nd Floor desk and staff will be able to bring these out for you to view.

Kept in the Rare Books Room are:

  • Parliamentary Debates (1850s & 1860s)
  • Provincial Ordinances
  • Journals to the House of Representatives (1860s)
  • Appendices to the Journals
  • Journals of Legislative Councils
  • Votes and Proceedings of Legislative Councils and the House of Representatives
  • Gazettes

Local Government Publications

The Central Library holds:

  • Wellington City Council annual reports, annual plans, long term plans, consultation documents and other reports
  • Greater Wellington Regional Council annual reports and other publications

These are not available for loan but can be photocopied. Please ask at the 2nd Floor Enquiries Desk for the location of these.

You can access Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council publications online.

District Plans

Wellington City District Plan is held at the 2nd Floor Enquiries Desk, but is no longer updated. You can access the current District Plan online.

District councils and City council's district plans:

Subject: Dewey Number:
Kapiti coast proposed district plan 711.4 KAP
Wellington city district plan 711.4 WEL
Upper Hutt transitional district plan 711.4 UPP

Most Local Governments have free web sites that can be accessed for up to date information.

Environmental issues put out by Local Authorities can be found at call number 333.72, in the New Zealand Collection (2nd Floor, Central Library) for reference (non-lending) material. For copies that can be borrowed, ask at the Central Library 1st Floor Desk.

Any item kept at the Enquiries desk requires ID to be left while looking at the item.