The number of visitors to the New Zealand Legislation website continue to grow, with over 250,000 visitors per month in 2017, the Parliamentary Counsel Office says.
In its Annual Report for the year to 30 June 2017, the PCO says work on identifying further improvements to the website has progressed. It says areas to be targeted include enhancements to the search functionality, improving the relationships between legislation on the site and content on other websites, and other improvements to usability.
During the 2016 calendar year the PCO says it drafted 50 Government bills and 310 legislative instruments. This was down from 65 in 2015.
Quantity of legislation drafted and published by PCO (calendar year)
Progess on legislative stewardship
The PCO says that during the 2016/17 year it progressed its work on legislative stewardship. It says this arose from two challenges: one posed by the Performance Improvement Framework (PIF) reviewers, that the PCO become the steward of the statute book; and more generally as a response to the obligations placed on chief executives by the State Sector Act 1988 to exercise legislative stewardship over the legislation administered by their departments.
"The Access to Secondary Legislation Project ... and the plain language initiative are two of the ways the PCO plans to fulfil its stewardship role. The Legislation Bill currently before the House also reflects the stewardship function," it says.
The new Legislation Bill was introduced by the Attorney-General in 2016/17 to rewrite and replace the Legislation Act 2012. It will make the changes needed to implement the Access to Secondary Legislation Project, update and incorporporate the Interpretation Act 1999, and "make other reforms relating to the production of high-quality legislation that is easy to find, use, and understand".
The PCO says the Access to Secondary Legislation Project will require all secondary legislation to be published on the New Zealand Legislation website.
"The result will be a single, comprehensive, official, public source of all New Zealand's legislation," it says, but notes that the project does not include legislation drafted by local authorities.