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Parliament strikes out 137 redundant Acts

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/05/2017

© Rick Friedman/Getty Images Parliament has trimmed down the statute books by wiping out 137 redundant Acts.

The Statutes Repeal Bill, which did the job, was passed on Tuesday night.

The repealed Acts ranged from the Church Property Trustees (Canterbury) Amendment Act 1890 to the relatively modern Children's Health Camps Board Dissolution Act 1999.

Regulatory Reform Minister Paul Goldsmith said the repealed Acts were either no longer needed, no longer had any effect, or hadn't come into force because they had been overtaken by policy changes.

He gave parliament an assurance there wouldn't be any "unintended consequences" from wiping out the Acts.

During the bill's committee stage Labour tried to insert the ancient blasphemy law, but the government thought that should be put into a future repeals bill.

The blasphemy law had escaped notice until earlier this month when British comedian Stephen Fry was investigated by Irish police for alleged blasphemy.

The investigation was scrapped, but it raised questions about why blasphemy was still a crime in New Zealand.

It's been on the statutes since the 1800s and has only been used once for a prosecution.

That was in 1922, and it failed.

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