Legal collection

Legal and government publications

The legal collection provides an introduction to New Zealand law and the New Zealand legal system with a wide range of law books and legal resources. We hold comprehensive sets of contemporary parliamentary bills, statutes/acts, legislative instruments (regulations) and a selection of legal commentaries, law reports and case law. We also subscribe to a variety of legal journals.

The Community Law Manual available both in hard copy and online, can be a great place to start for legal queries.


Law books

An extensive collection of books dealing with the New Zealand legal system, the laws of New Zealand and specialist legal issues are available.


We hold current sets of the following legislation:

The majority of these print collections are available in the first floor of Central City Library.

We also have a complete run of New Zealand Parliamentary Debates, as well as a collection of mainly historic legislation in the Central Auckland Research Centre.  

Some statutes / acts, bills and legislative instruments are available on the New Zealand legislation website and some legislation is also available on the New Zealand Parliament website.

Case law

We have a number of publications dealing with New Zealand case law. Please search the catalogue for holdings and location information.

Full case reports

New Zealand law reports publishes selected cases determined by the judicial committee of the Privy Council, Court of Appeal and the High Court. We hold from 1883 onwards.

District court reports covers a wide range of district court cases including civil and criminal cases. We hold from 1989 onwards.

New Zealand administrative reports provides reports on the decisions of the Accident Compensation Corporation Appeal Authority, Commerce Commission, Copyrighting Tribunal, Indecent Publications Tribunal, Legal Aid Appeal Authority, Licensing Control Commission, Overtime and Shift-work Recognition Authority, Social Security Appeal Authority, Appeals to the Supreme Court [Administrative Division]. We hold from 1976 onwards.

Case law digests

New Zealand case law digest summarises a collection of important decisions of New Zealand courts, tribunals and other administrative and regulatory bodies. We hold digests from 1983 onwards.

Online case law is available on the New Zealand legal Information Institute website.

Butterworths current law consolidates unreported decisions of the High Court and the Court of Appeal. We hold decisions from 1979 onwards.

Legal commentaries

Laws of New Zealand is a multi-volume encyclopaedia that contains booklets on legal topics. Each topic has an essay explaining the main points and details of relevant cases and legislation. This is an excellent place to start research on a specific legal topic or find a concise statement on a particular area of law.

Loose leaf commentaries

New Zealand forms and precedents provide a commentary on legal topics and a basic precedent for every legal document a practitioner may draft.

Sim's court practice deals with the law relating to the practice of the High Court, the court of Appeal, and the Privy Council. It contains:

  • Judicature Acts with commentary
  • High Court Rules with commentary
  • Court of Appeal Rules with commentary
  • Privy Council Rules with commentary
  • Miscellaneous Acts and Rules
  • Appendix of Injunctions

District court practice: civil jurisdiction provides a guide to the working of the District Court’s civil jurisdiction. In addition to the annotated text of the District Courts Act 1947 and the District Court Rules 1992, the work contains appendices dealing with organising and presenting a plaintiff’s case in the District Court, debt recovery and enforcement of judgments in the District Court.

Law journals

The following journals are available in print:

The latest issues of many journals are on display on the first floor of Central City Library. Other copies are located in the Central Library basement and can be asked for at the enquiries desk.

The New Zealand journal of employment relations can be found in our Digital Library along with articles from other law journals.

Articles from law journals can also be found in our Digital Library.

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