The New Zealand Law Society Library offers the most comprehensive legal information collection available to practitioners in New Zealand. The NZ Law Society Library is a private library for use by members and associate members of the New Zealand Law Society, the Judiciary, and Ministry of Justice Court staff only. This Practice Briefing outlines the research resources and services available to all members of the New Zealand legal profession through the NZ Law Society Library.
Staffed research libraries located in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch offer a vast range of current legal information, in print and online, as well as historic and old edition collections. NZ Law Society members may visit and use facilities at the research libraries in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch during usual business hours, with 24/7 card access available by arrangement. The Auckland Library has extended staffed hours on 4 days: 8.30am – 8pm Monday to Thursday.
A smaller library is located in Dunedin (staffed 6 hours per week). The library in Dunedin requires an access card at all times, contact Otago Branch Manager to arrange access.
Most of the Library’s print collection is only available on loan for use in court. Contact your nearest Law Society Library for more information on borrowing policies.
The Law Society Library also operates 29 kiosks (computers & printers) located in Lawyers’ Rooms in courthouses or Branch offices throughout New Zealand. Kiosk facilities enable practitioners working outside the main centres to access the Library’s extensive online collection. Kiosks are unstaffed. (See LIBRARY LOCATIONS below)
Trained librarians based in the three research libraries offer a range of legal information services, available to lawyers throughout New Zealand.
Lawyers may request:
Copies: Copies of judgments, legislation, articles or other commentary.
Charges: $17 per item; or $22 per item for urgent requests (within 2 hours).*
Legal research: A team of experienced legal researchers offer efficient and thorough research on any legal subject.
Charges: $40 per 15 mins; or $60 per 15 mins for urgent requests (within 4 hours). *
Note: provision of urgent research will depend on sufficient capacity at the time a request is made.
*Charges shown exclusive of GST. Other charges may apply. Further information here.
The Library catalogue provides information on the Library’s entire collection of New Zealand and foreign legal information resources. You can search the online catalogue from your desktop to see if the Library holds a particular publication or database. The Library catalogue is available at here.
If you are unable to find a title, Library staff will be happy to assist you to find it within the collection or to source it for you, if it is held by another New Zealand law library.
A complete alphabetical list of all subscription databases can be found here.
Titles are also organised by jurisdiction, subject and publisher. Selected free legal resources can be found on the Free Legal Resources page.
Online databases are supplied by international legal publishers on a subscription basis. The Library’s online collection currently consists of over 400 legal databases for New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada and other common law jurisdictions. All databases are regularly updated.
Subscription databases must be accessed on a Law Society Library computer or Wi-Fi network in one of the research libraries or a Branch kiosk. Subscriptions databases cannot be accessed directly from your desktop due to legal publishers’ licensing restrictions (with the exception of AGIS, see DESKTOP ACCESS below).
The Law Society’s own LINX database is a primary research tool for NZ law. Library staff have produced LINX, a leading NZ case law and journal index database, since 1986. Case law records include headnotes and most have a pdf of the unreported decision attached. As well as in-depth coverage of NZ case law, LINX also contains a unique journal index going back to 1986. Library staff index all journal titles to which the NZLS Library subscribes so every article indexed is available from the Library’s collection. Coverage includes most New Zealand legal journal titles, major Australian and UK journals as well as some Canadian law journals. LINX is available in the three research libraries in Auckland, Canterbury and Wellington and is updated daily. Linxplus (via LexisNexis) is available in all Branch kiosks around New Zealand.
The Law Society has negotiated direct desktop access for all members to AGIS Plus Text, a comprehensive journal database. AGIS is produced by the Australian Attorney-General’s Information Service. The AGIS collection has been developed to support the study of Commonwealth-based law. It offers a comprehensive collection of abstracts and articles in all areas of law, including banking, companies and securities, constitutional law, criminal law, environmental law, copyright law, family law and human rights. AGIS has over 160,000 records including full text articles from 142 resources, from 1975 onwards, with content from Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region plus selected articles from the United Kingdom, United States and Canada starting from 1999.
A link to AGIS can be found via the Library’s ‘Journals’ page. To access AGIS from outside the Library, you need to enter your NZ Law Society login. When prompted, enter your Lawyer login (NZ Law Society Registry-issued Lawyer ID) and password (instructions are given if you have forgotten your ID).
Library users can access all subscription databases via the Library’s free Wi-Fi when working on site at a library in Auckland (High Court & District Court), Hamilton, Wellington or Christchurch. A PIN is required for WiFi access. You have the option of a casual daily PIN, or a permanent PIN. A permanent PIN can be used to access Library resources at any of the five locations with Wi-Fi available. More information about Wi-Fi Access.
Auckland – High Court Building, Parliament Street, Auckland 1010.
Christchurch – Justice & Emergency Services Precinct, Ground Floor, Emergency Services Building (B2 entrance, Tuam Street) Christchurch 8011.
Wellington – High Court Building, Kate Sheppard Place, Thorndon, Wellington 6011.
Dunedin – Level 4, John Wickliffe House, 265 Princes Street, Dunedin 9016.
Auckland District Court – 65-69 Albert Street, Auckland 1010
Blenheim – 58 Alfred Street, Blenheim 7201
Gisborne – 1 Customhouse Street, Gisborne 4010
Greymouth – 60 Guinness Street, Greymouth 7805
Hamilton High Court – 109 Anglesea Street, Hamilton 3204
Hastings – Cnr Railway Road & Eastbourne Street, Hastings 4120
Invercargill – 33 Don Street, Invercargill 9810
Kaikohe – Station Road, Kaikohe 0405
Kaitaia – 13 Redan Road, Kaitaia 0410.
Levin – 9 Bristol Street, Levin 5510
Lower Hutt District Court – Laings Road, Lower Hutt 5010
Manukau – 30 Manukau Station Road, Manukau, Auckland 2104
Masterton – Dixon Street, Masterton 5810
Napier – 251 Hastings Street, Napier 4110
Nelson – 200 Bridge Street, Nelson 7010
New Plymouth – Robe Street, New Plymouth 4310
North Shore District Court – Cnr Don McKinnon Drive & Corinthian Drive, Albany 0632
Palmerston North – 436-464 Main Street, Palmerston North 4410
Papakura – Cnr Great South Road & Wood Street, Papakura 2110
Porirua – 4 Hagley Street, Porirua 5022
Pukekohe – 25 Stadium Drive, Pukekohe 2120
Queenstown – 36 Stanley Street, Queenstown 9300
Rotorua – 1162 Tutanekai Street, Rotorua 3010
Tauranga – Cameron House, 46 Cameron Road, Tauranga 3110
Thames – 505 Queen Street, Thames 3500
Timaru – 12-14 North Street, Timaru 7910
Waitakere – 9-11 Ratanui Street, Henderson 0612
Whanganui – Market Place, Whanganui 4500
Whangarei – 107-109 Bank Street, Whangarei 0110.
For assistance with use of the Kiosk facilities and for issues with access to and use of publishers’ databases, contact the NZLS Librarian for your region.
Contact information for each region is set out below:
Janice Woolford: 0800 222 221 firstname.lastname@example.org
Robin Anderson: 0800 367 529 email@example.com
Julia de Friez: 0800 377 347 firstname.lastname@example.org