Beehive from Old Government Buildings

New Zealand public law

The Centre explores New Zealand public law issues concerning the constitution, administrative law, and a wide range of areas of governance.

Our focus

We analyse and discuss issues pertaining to New Zealand public law. This includes core constitutional law issues related to the nature and limits of the power of the New Zealand state, the constitutional status of the Treaty of Waitangi, and the past and future of the country’s constitution.

Other issues we examine include administrative law and aspects of governance, such as resource management, immigration, the public health system, criminal justice, and the regulation of the economy.

The Centre holds an annual Government Law Year in Review half-day seminar, where new developments in many of these areas are discussed. We also hold public lectures by academics, judges, and other state officials.

Find out more about our events.

Our research, publications, and projects examine many different aspects of New Zealand’s system of public law.

Explore our publications and projects.

Recent activity

New Zealand Lives in Public Law

NZCPL Director Professor Joel Colón-Ríos talked to Sir Kenneth Keith about his early life and education, about his role in the judiciary and experience in law reform, and about some of his views about sovereignty and the Treaty of Waitangi.

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Working together for disarmament

The Hon Phil Twyford facilitated a discussion on disarmament  - 1 June 2021.

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Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Māori issues

Dr Carwyn Jones of Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington gave a presentation on Māori issues related to health services in New Zealand.

Find out about the Health Services and Outcomes Inquiry on the Waitangi Tribunal website.

Judicial review

Dr Eddie Clark gave a judicial review presentation as part of the NZCPL Government Law Year in Review 2020.

Bill of Rights and human rights

In February 2020, Prof Claudia Geiringer gave a presentation to the Government Law Year in Review on the New Zealand Bill of Rights in 2019.

Crown–Maori relationship: change or status quo?

Nicola Ngawati from the Ministry for Women led a panel discussion on New Zealand's new Public Service Legislation Bill.

New public service legislation bill

The Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC contributed notes to a panel discussion on new public service legislation.