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Our History

In The Beginning

We are all so sure we will not forget, but we do. This is a short outline of what is known at the moment about the beginning of law librarianship in New Zealand. One hopes the publication of this brief account will prompt others to contribute material from those boxes of records you hold.

A Newsletter, 1977

In June 1977, Jean Plowman, Law Librarian at Victoria University of Wellington, produced the first NZLLG Newsletter. Jean called for contributions to share with colleagues. This newsletter says …we do not envisage a formal group. However, whenever there are sufficient numbers with the desire to meet, we hope they will. One request, though, please send a report of your meeting for the newsletter, so others may be aware of your activities…..

The newsletter covered overseas conferences, airmail editions, which were very important in those days, (as we had no internet or fax) calls for notification of proposed purchases of new and important series and expensive texts. At that time University Law Libraries shared a lot. There was only one law library in a private firm with a non fee earning person running it.

Jean produced the December 1977 and June 1978 newsletters, numbers 1- 4 then passed editorship to Alan Edwards, Law Librarian, Otago University Law School. Alan’s first newsletter was the December 1978 issue.

Newsletter 5, 1984

This newsletter commented that law firm librarians now outnumbered those in law society and court libraries. It was noted that the librarian at the Auckland District Law Society, Ms K Jones, and Pat Northey from Russell Mcveagh, presented a course on law and legal literature. This was done under the auspices of the Special Libraries and Information Services Section of the NZLA.

The newsletter included a questionnaire and one of the questions asked for queries to be answered in the newsletter. Alan ran that column for many years and it was most helpful for those starting out in this difficult subject area.

Newsletter 6, 1985

More people were working in law libraries. People in Auckland and Wellington were starting to get together to share experiences and discuss problems. A Law Librarians’ workshop was to be held in Dunedin on the 23 August 1985, following the 1985 Conference of the NZ Library Association. A number of members were travelling to Australia to attend the fist Asian-Pacific Special and Law Librarians' Conference.

A quaint point - the recipe for leather dressing was included in this newsletter for those with law books covered in calf, that needed preserving.

Newsletter 7, 1985

Alan passed the editorship of the newsletter to an Auckland team of Karen Jones, Shanla Graydon and Pat Northey. These new editors asked for contributions for the newsletter, but as with so many of these things they either wrote it themselves or did nothing. The conference report by Iris Winchester mentioned the possibility of a New Zealand Law Librarians' Chapter of the NZLA.

Newsletter 8, 1986

Now down to two editors. - Noted that ADLS was offering online searching on the Lexis databases. - Butterworths New Zealand released a press announcement saying the New Zealand Law Reports from 1958 were now online on the Lexis database collection.

Newsletter 9, 1986

Three editors again. Noted that the NZLA Conference would once again have a Law Librarians' session.

1986 LINX

Helga Arlington has written a history on the creation and development of the LINX database. Younger law librarians may not realise the significance of this step. Suddenly the profession had equal access to the body of unreported case law and no longer was dependent on the whim of the legal publisher or the "who you know" situation. The law in this area was suddenly freed for access by the lawyers. Why does this sound so odd? Why had it been so difficult? What is the Government thinking off? Is this not a Government function? Why did the profession not care?

When LINX entered a joint venture with LexisNexis to create LINXplus full text unreported decisions were added to the database. The dates for this material may be found here.

Newsletter 10, 1988

After a gap of a year the newsletter appeared again. This time the emphasis on computers and legal material was very marked. The new technology was the CD. WANG was the predominant computer vendor to the legal profession in the country. Kiwinet at the National Library was still alive and had just added the New Zealand Court of Appeal decisions. Great piece from Alan Edwards about the parlous state of unreported court decisions in the country.

Newsletter 11, 1988

Announced a law library seminar to be held at the Engineering School of Canterbury University on Friday, 17th February, 1989. Time was to be devoted to the discussion and formalisation of a New Zealand Law Librarians' Group.

Newsletter 12, April 1989 note 8.

Law Librarians' Seminar and Conference, chaired by Alan Edwards, was held on 17th February 1989 as part of the NZ Library Association Conference at Canterbury University. Discussion and formalisation of a New Zealand Law Librarians' Group was anticipated. The 40 people who attended discussed how to set this up. The meeting resolved to ask the NZLA to form a new SIG. No steps were taken to foreshadow the proposed SIG committee.

NZLLG Newsletter, 14 December 1989, p4. Seminar with Donald Raistrick Head of Library Services, Lord Chancellor’s Department

This was held on the 12th August 1989 at the offices of Russell McVeagh. The title of this address was "The Librarian As Information Manager" and Don talked about issues that were to concern the profession and became conference topics for the next decade. This was "before internet" times. Always interesting to read papers like this. In 2004 Donald Raistrick, head, Knowledge and Information Resources Branch, Department for Constitutional Affairs was awarded the OBE.

NZLLG Newsletter 14, December 1989. No 7.4

NZ Law Librarians' Group

"At a recent meeting of the NZLLG, held in conjunction with the seminar in Auckland on August 12 1989, it was decided that a steering group would be formed to oversee the activities of the group until the next NZLA Conference in February 1990. The elected officers were Co-ordinator Mary Kelly (WDLS), Assistant co-ordinator Phillipa Werry (Baldwin Son and Carey), NZLA Liaison Alan Edwards (University of Otago Law School) and conference co-ordinator Chris Moselen (Chapman Tripp Sheffield Young).

The task is now to canvass all interested parties for ides concerning the proposed nature of the group.....

Newsletter 15, April 1990, p3
National Convenor

Hazel Dobbie, the elected convener presents a message to the group. The structure was to be a special interest group (SIG) under a "reconstituted" NZLA.

Newsletter 18, April 1991.
Became a SIG

The NZLA Council registered the NZ Law Librarians' Group as a SIG on the 14 February 1991. The registered status is a Special Interest group. The item goes on to record that Margaret Greville was working on material for a "law session" at the NZLA Conference. The same note records the Auckland group invited Dr David Paciocco to speak on a recent article he had written on the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

Newsletter 19, July 1991
NZLL Urged to Become More Professional

Hazel Dobbie attached a supplement to this newsletter urging the NZLLG to become more professional. Hazel had spent time as a Winston Churchill fellow in North America. These new developments were to be discussed by members in September 1991 at the NZLA conference law adjunct meeting.

Newsletter 20, November 1991
Inaugural Meeting

The inaugural meeting was held. Elections were held and Margaret Greville was elected chairperson. Other officer holders were elected and the formal group was then situated in the South Island. Membership fees were set. Margaret Greville issued an administrative note to the members of the Group. Notes from the NZLA Specials & Law day were reproduced in the No 21 Newsletter December 1991. From newsletter 21 the names of the national executive were presented in the title page of each issue.

Newsletter 22, March 1992
Convenor's Annual Report

Hazel Dobbie presented the annual report. The National exec, the South Island and Wellington Groups published minutes.

Newsletter 24, September 1992
National Library N Strategy

The National Library developed the "N Strategy". This was to be the global strategic direction for information services in New Zealand for the next 5 - 10 years. Law Librarians were urged to participate. The article goes on to give a complete outline of this strategy and the recommendations for action from a meeting of the law librarians' group meeting held on 24th August 1992. It is quite sad to read these recommendations as the same issues are being talked about today and very little has changed.

Margaret Greville included a note cancelling the 1992 law day at the NZLA conference and urging the group to get active and make decisions about the structure of the group and the need for a national body. She suggested that a constitution was needed. The governance passed to a national executive in Auckland.

1992 - A Web Site

Was created to see how it would look. Pat Northey did it with the assistance of Robert Marsanyi. The first URL indicated it was an Auckland creation as allg was used in the domain name. Shortly after that url had to be changed as the Australian Law Librarian's wanted it for the site they were designing.

The next url was the nzllg domain and the site was kindly hosted at no charge on the Knowledge Basket. This firm hosted the site and paid the traffic charges until the revamp in 2002 by the National Executive, when it went to another commercial platform. The Knowledge Basket could not operate with Cold Fusion which is used for the membership database.

Newsletter 26, February 1993
First NZ Law Librarians' Conference.

We tried to be part of the NZ Law Society Conference in Wellington in March 1993, in order to share the trade exhibits. The NZ Law Society refused this sharing so we went and held our own over the road and shared the exhibits anyway. Our speakers included Mr David McGee, Clerk of the House of Representatives, who has always been very generous to us by providing thoughtful and stimulating papers. Sir Kenneth Keith, at that time President of the Law Commission who has supported our conferences with his exciting views. Marie Wallace, that icon of law librarianship from the USA came all the way from the US and provided stimulating ideas on training and marketing in the law library.

Newsletter 27, June 1993
Convener Helga Arlington starts a "Convenors Column."

A working draft of a mailing list was in progress. It was noted that the Group sent submissions to the review of the Davis Law Library being conducted that year by Rob Brian from the Parliamentary Library in New South Wales.

Great breakthrough news after the conference. Mr David McGee sent a letter to the Group saying that he had authorised the Parliamentary Librarian to allow access to Select Committee materials deposited in that library without reference to his office. He went on the say "I am talking to the Parliamentary Librarian about some of the other points raised at the conference and, of course, I look forward to hearing about any proposals that the Group may have resolved on during its deliberations." Yours sincerely, D G McGee, Clerk of the House of Representatives.

A number of very positive letters were received after the conference from Marie Wallace and Chris Eales congratulating the conference committee on presenting the event.

A draft constitution was included in this newsletter. Convenor Helga Arlington called for responses by September 1993.

Newsletter 28, September 1993
Information Requirements of the Legal Profession

Later known as the Taylor Baines report was discussed in the convenors column. The NZLLG Working Party on Access to Government Information produced a detailed report on the terms of reference.

Newsletter 29, December 1993
NZLS & Taylor Baines Supplied Scoping Notes.

Feedback from the scoping phase was provided to the newsletter. Pretty useful tables included. No mention of the significance of the internet which had not been noticed at this time.

LIINZ at Waikato University

This site was inspired by the Cornell LII creation. It was a great effort by a young law student. It was closed down when non approved material was inserted on the site.

Newsletter 30, March 1994
Access to Government and State Information in New Zealand

The paper from the NZLLG sets out a lot of the problems with the legal information landscape at that time. A note about the difficulties with the types of omnibus bills being produced by the Government of the day. Difficulties with statutes and the lack of bound volumes and consequent annotation were noted. Difficulties with SOPs, delegated legislation usually published as rules in the NZ Gazette were all an issue. We had no Legislative History notes in printed statutes at that time. That started in 2000 after many years of lobbying. Some firms were constructing their own legislative histories as the legislation got more and more complicated. Margaret Greville commented on this note and added her own most useful points. Gail Dallimore commented on Codes of Practice and Rosanne Byrne commented on State information. 10 years later some of the issues have disappeared and some are exactly the same.

Newsletter 31, June 1994
Second Conference Held 30 June - 2 July 1994

The Convenor's column notes the upcoming conference with Mrs Nadja Tollemache, Banking Ombudsman, as keynote speaker. Holley Moyer a consultant from Hildebrandt the firm consulting on law firm management in the US, was coming to energise us all.

Convenor Helga Arlington was retiring at the conference and urged all members to read and be ready to comment on the draft constitution. The draft was printed in this edition of the newsletter. CDs were just beginning, the Parliamentary Library had an email address!

Newsletter 32, September 1994
Conference Papers Printed

Mrs Nadja Tollemache's paper and other speakers consented to sharing their papers in this way. Noted that WDLS now had an internet connection.

Newsletter 33, December 1994
Internet Column Added to the Newsletter

Robin Anderson started this column. The Internet was so exciting we had to note the developments.

The New Zealand information landscape changed forever with the launch of The Knowledge Basket on the 28th November 1994. The announcement said the service was specialising in New Zealand news and information. The first media vendor on the platform was the NZPA. GP Print supplied the New Zealand Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) and full text legislation. At last New Zealand had its own material online. 2006 will be the 12th year The Knowledge Basket has been offering New Zealand material to New Zealand users.

This is the year Pat Northey passed the newsletter baton to a committee in Wellington.

The newsletter was changed to a journal in 1995. The new Editorial Committee was Bethli Wainwright from Simpson Grierson, Dougal McKechnie from the Commerce Commission, Victor Lipski from the VUW Law Library and Robin Anderson from the WDLS library.

(1995) 1 NZLL (1)

Sharman Buckle from Chapman Tripp, as the new Convenor, in a strongly worded article, urged New Zealand law librarians to take a positive stance on professional education. - twelve years on what have we done?

She also recorded her priority as National Convenor to see the completion of the constitution, so far in draft form, and to improve communications within the NZLL Group.

She noted the very healthy financial environment the new executive had inherited.

Jo AnneTuffield contributed an article, Special Libraries: Positioning Ourselves for the 21st Century. The points made have been written and talked about at conferences throughout the world to date but not a lot appears to have been implemented.

Alan Edward's excellent Q&A column continued to offer very helpfull information.

One of the most appalling snippets was the note about the printing of the bound statutes.The 1992 volumes were to be published in March 1995, 1993 to be published in June 1995 and the 1994 statutes in November 1995. The Statutory Regulations of 1991/2/3/ were due to be published in February, May and September 1995 respectively. This information was from the Attorney General, written replies, Replies Supplement, August - December 1994. Unfortunately the replicated note dates the snippett as December 1995, which was an error.

Status Publishing and Brookers wiped out the consequences of this Government inaction by the production of electronic statutes. We tend to forget how it was before Status Publishing offered the first e-statutes.

(1995) 1 NZLL (2)

The Convenor's Column noted the Taylor Baines report on the future of legal information, had been circulated widely within the profession but not to law librarians.

The VUW law Library and the WDLS had signed a Memorandum of Intent to merge the entities into the New Zealand Law Centre.

Mike Gough from Wordstream contributed an article describing FolioViews which was to become the standard software for legal publishers in New Zealand.

Product News included seriously interesting developments with information about the (then) new Knowledge Basket and the products available on that platform. The new Legislation Information Agent service was described and recommended.

(1995) 1 NZLL (3)

Pink Ribbon had a full page advertisement in this copy. This great product was later sold to LexisNexis Australia.

NZLLG submissions to the NZ Library and Information Association on the Copyright Act 1994 were published.

A meeting report on The Knowledge Basket was included.

(1995) 1 NZLL (4)

The editorial was on the topic of Preservation and Access of the Government's Published Record. It noted the rapid need for this to be sorted. In 2005 we are still discussing it as a country and the paper is still crumbling. Even though we now have various digitising units available it appears to be the politics not the mechanics that are the problem.

Dr Greg Morgan from the Davis law Library at the University of Auckland contributed an article on Formal Standard and Recognition for Law Librarians: Securing Our Standards and Standing. The article spoke again about the need for more formal law library training and noted the comments in the Taylor Baines report on that need.

Articles included Roadmap to Research: Legal Research Training in the Law Firm Environment, by Karlene Robinson. This article included useful examples of "tip sheets".

A report on the Continuing Education programming held in Auckland, by Jane Treadwell.

It was noted that Brookers had made their electronic legislation available through Kiwinet.

1995 Lobbying

Pat Northey was delegated to appear before the select committee on the Statutes Drafting and Compilation Bill. As a result of the passage of the Statutes Drafting and Compilation Amendment Act 1995 and the making of the Inland Revenue Department Drafting Order 1995, all Revenue Bills are now drafted in the Inland Revenue Department Drafting Unit.

Richard Northey, the Chair of the Regulation Review Committee invited the NZLLG sub committee, Pat Northey, Gail Dallimore and Rosanne Byrnne, to appear before the committee in 1996. The Committee was examining the topic of access to delegated legislation. The Committee also invited Doug Graham and Paul East to appear and speak to the issue.

(1996) 2 NZLL (1)

A strongly worded Editorial stressed once more the importance of access to the law and the scandal of the Government Print printing process which had fallen so far behind.

(1996) 2 NZLL (2)

The retiring Convenor, Sharman Buckle, commented in her column on the joint NZ Law Librarians' conference held with the New Zealand Law Conference. Mention was made on the development of a law librarianship elective to be offered as part of the MLIS from VUW.

The Editorial mentioned the submission on Access to Government and State Informtion, done by Rosanne Byrne, Gail Dallimore and Pat Northey and their appearance at the Regulations Review Committee on the availability of delegated legislation.

Jane Treadwell was the new National Convenor.

This issue had interesting articles and the one written by Helga Arlington, Towards the Formulation of Standards - a Look at Potential Law Librarian Liability should still be in the forefront of law library minds.

LINX moved onto The Knowledge Basket platform. NZ Law Partner from Brookers became available. Status Publications had already made a similar compilation available. (1996) 2 NZLL (3) Jane Treadwell in her Convenor's column announced the start of the law-lib list.

(1996) 2 NZLL (4)

The Convenors Column and the Editorial talked about the NZLLG meeting held at Turangi. The theme was to look at a review of the group, a stock take and a discussion on why the group existed at all.

The Editorial noted the discussion on National Library finding list and the possibility of updating and extending the list of Canadian Law Reports held in New Zealand, first created by the library of the ADLS.

(1997) 3 NZLL (1)

The Convenor's Column noted the conference to be held in February 1998. The NZLLG web site had undergone major redesign.

(1997) 3 NZLL (2)

The Editorial mentions the launch of a Court of Appeal database. It poses the question about the work of the legal publishers and why so many of the Court of Appeal decisions remain unreported.

(1997) 3 NZLL (3) & (4)

Convenor Jane Treadwell, and the Editor Robin Anderson, both resign their respective roles.

(1998) 4 NZLL (1)

The new National Executive of NZLL Inc. is announced in this copy.

Robin Anderson is the National Convenor and Margaret Greville is the journal editor. Her editorial mentions the budget cuts in Universities, a NZLLG conference to be held in Christchurch on the end of the LIANZA conference and the possiblity of a 1999 Auckland retreat.

The articles give perspective across all types of law libraries on the cuts being made to budgets at this time.

Also mentioned is the number of submissions to the PCO on the Government PAL project. Astonishing that the project looks as though it will not be operative till 2008, 10 years later.

Alan Edwards reviews the sources of New Zealand e-law.

The new Legislation Direct advertises in this issue. Notes it is the former GP Legislation Services, a division of Blue Star Print Group and before 1990, the Goverment Printing Office.

This was the last issue of the journal. PDF copies were supposed to be available on this site at some stage.

1997 The Interpretation Bill.

This Bill was introduced in this year. The NZLLA presented a submission on the topic of inclusion of a legislative history in each published statute. On 4th December 1998 the Interpretation Bill, 90-2, was reported back from the Justice and Law Reform Committee. Their recomendation was as follows:-

"The New Zealand Law Librarians Group submits that the bill should be amended to require a ``legislative history' to be included at the end of every printed statute. A legislative history is a summary of an Act's historical process through Parliament and would include the titles, numbers and dates of all relevant bills, the details of any Supplementary Order Paper and the dates of all assent copies. It could also include references to Hansard, relevant treaties, law reform publications, and any printed reports on the bill. We recommend no change to clause 5 (1). We consider that a purposive approach does not always require a fair, large, and liberal interpretation of legislation, as sometimes a narrower interpretation is to be preferred. The main rationale behind clause 5 (1) is to ensure that the courts, in accordance with their constitutional role, give effect to the law as expressed by Parliament. A direction to take ``context' into account may lead to a more liberal approach to statutory interpretation that departs from the words of the statute and therefore the purpose of Parliament. Clause 5 (2) of the bill provides that ``matters that may be considered in ascertaining the meaning of an enactment include the indications provided in the enactment'. A legislative history, if included, may be used as an aid to interpretation, which could lead to uncertainty in the interpretation of legislation. Therefore, we do not recommend the inclusion of a legislative history in printed statutes. "

In spite of this recommendation we saw an abbreviated legislative history suddenly appear on printed statutes published from the beginning of the Parliamentary year in 2000. No comment was received from the Office of the Clerk prior to the event, about this new development. With the provision of a new Parliamentary website in 2006 the full legislative history of a Bill is availalabe at last.

2000 to date. President's newsletters.

These e-mail letters were developed by Amanda Cole when she was President.


NZLLG and LIANZA: One of the highlights of the Christchurch conference was the vote taken at our AGM, agreeing (unanimously) the details of our future relationship with LIANZA. As you know, our referendum last year led to NZLLG becoming a separate organisation and no longer a SIG, but we wanted to maintain a close working relationship with LIANZA and so spent some time discussing the details of this with LIANZA. The agreed structure is as follows:


  • Each group recognises the other as a sister organisation
  • Each will endeavour to include the other in discussions of matters of mutual interest
  • Each may present papers to the other on matters of interest
  • Each organisation's papers (other than confidential ones) are available to the other
  • An annual meeting will be held between the two - Each bears sole financial responsibility for its own activities
  • Each will offer to the other members' rates at its events
  • The agreement will be reviewed after one year 

A formal document listing all of these points will be drawn up and signed shortly.

Other changes: Also at the AGM, we voted on and agreed to proposed changes to our Constitution, as a result of discussions at last year's Ellerslie Advance. The changes were:


  • We have changed the name of National Convenor to President, to reflect NZLLG's status as an independent organisation
  • The process of electing the President has changed somewhat - rather than the current two-year term, following the elections the successful candidate will become "President-Elect" and hold this office for one year, followed by one year as President and then one year as Immediate Past President. This ensures that the person holding the role of President spends time working with the current President and learning about the role, then after holding the position remains to provide input and guidance where needed to the next President.

National Library Act Review: NZLLG was asked to comment on aspects of the current review of the National Library Act, and we have put together a submission on the issues surrounding the Legal Deposit provisions. In this and other submissions we have concentrated on aspects of particular concern to law librarians, focusing on legal and government information and how this is treated….


NZLLG asked McGovern & Associates to carry out the redesign of the website. The Association has a long-standing relationship with this firm, and look forward to continuing this association with the design of our new site. Comments were "Watch this space - exciting developments are on the way in 2001!"

Intellectual property: Yes, very grand, but following Kate Wilson's thought-provoking conference presentation it has occurred to us that we should be protecting our name and logo against usurpers! So we are currently investigating costs and procedures for registering our trade mark. Helps to know some IP lawyers at such times….


Lobbying activities: NZLLG regularly lobbies government on issues relating to legal information and law libraries. We make submissions on many discussion documents and other government proposals and inquiries. Currently we are examining the latest paper on parallel importing - we made a submission on the original paper released in April 2000, and may add further comment to this one…..


National Information Strategy (NIS): NZLLG has participated with LIANZA at each development stage of the NIS, and the final document has adopted a number of key suggestions we made. We're particularly pleased to see that there is now a Heritage section, which includes legal resources - maintaining access to heritage legal materials is something NZLLG has been discussing and is an issue of key importance to us and to the New Zealand legal community and the public. We support LIANZA's NIS lobbying initiatives and plan to remain involved in these discussions.

ISSUE 5 : MARCH 2001

The 2000 Christchurch Conference not only broke even but made a profit! This will be used for future regional and national NZLLG educational and professional activities. A get-together in Christchurchis planned, to discuss future activities for the region. The date will be 26 April 2001.


The subject of education for librarianship has been discussed elsewhere recently. NZLLG is currently talking about issues relating to education for law librarians - all kinds of education from basic introductory training, to continuing professional development for experienced law librarians. Whether offered as part of existing academic courses, carried out in-house by employers or for members by local regional associations, we want to evaluate everything currently on offer and talk about what isn't being offered but should be.

If you can see gaps or specific needs, or have views on what should be covered at particular levels of training, we want to hear from you! Content as well as format, method and quality of delivery will all be discussed. Please send your comments to me or to your Regional Convenor. We will be calling for further comment on specific issues later on, but if you have any initial thoughts please let us hear them!

ISSUE 6 : APRIL 2001

Auckland members are preparing a submission on the INNZ review at present and welcome your ideas.

ISSUE 7 : MAY 2001

The New Zealand Law Foundation Two grants totalling $33,050 were given to Legal Information NZ Ltd as seeding funding to develop a legal portal. The money will be used to scope the elements needed to build a comprehensive online internet site which will offer the public and legal profession a gateway to New Zealand-focused legal and associated information. The scoping review is being undertaken by Paul Reynolds of McGovern & Associates who has also established a website for public consultation on the project (

ISSUE 8: JUNE 2001

LOBBYING UPDATE: We have written to the Attorney-General and to the Parliamentary Counsel Office following the announcement that Unisys have been selected as implementation partner for the Access to Legislation project. NZLLG has been involved at earlier stages of the consultation process and we have expressed our continuing interest in involvement in the project. We have also written to the National Library regarding Index New Zealand, raising some issues we have identified with INNZ and making some recommendations for change.

ISSUE 9: JULY 2001

Was held on Friday 14th September

Also in September, NZLLG members will meet to discuss the issue of professional education for law librarians. This will be a full day workshop, facilitated by Jane Treadwell, to identify educational needs (including ongoing education and training) and hopefully come up with some recommendations and strategies. It will be held on Saturday 15th September at Turnbull House, Wellington.

ISSUE 10 : AUGUST 2001

The new NZLLG website will be launched at Wellington District Law Society Library on the evening of Friday 14th September.

The AGM will be held on the morning of Friday 14th September, at Turnbull House in Wellington.


The AGM was held on Friday 14th September, at Turnbull House in Wellington. AMONG other matters, the new NZLLG National Executive was announced. FOLLOWING the call for nominations there was only one nominee for each position, so a ballot of members was unnecessary. The following have been appointed for the 2001-2 year:

Amanda Cole (President - continuing a 2-year term),
Julia Harris (Vice President and President Elect for 2002-3),
Geoff Lush (reappointed as Treasurer),
Margaret Greville (Secretary),
Jenny Casey (Auckland Convenor),
Kay Young (reappointed as Central Convenor),
Paul Barham (Wellington Convenor),
Susan Hobbs (South Island Convenor)…. .

A discussion of access to legal information issues, particularly the issue of old (and getting older) materials still needed for research purposes - how to keep track of their whereabouts and ensure last remaining copies are safeguarded. The group will consider ideas raised on this issue shortly. - A description of the Legal Information New Zealand Ltd portal project from Geraldine Baumann, a director of the company - Issues related to legal publishing and liaison with publishers….

As you will know, the NZLLG's journal "New Zealand Law Librarian" has been on hold while we decide the best way to continue with our publications. This issue was debated at the meeting on the 14th, and it has been decided to move to an annual publication rather than the previous quarterly one (unrealistic for a small organisation to produce) and that an editorial board will be established to manage the content. Further discussions will take place shortly and specific decisions on the publication process will be made.

On Saturday 15th September a full day workshop was held for NZLLG members to discuss issues related to professional education for law librarians. This proved to be a stimulating and productive day, attended by around 20 members from all areas of the profession. We discussed what skills and knowledge are needed for working in law libraries, how these could be best learned, what solutions are currently available and what other options could be made available. Some concrete actions were agreed upon and volunteers were given specific tasks to follow up - a list of these will be circulated soon for members' information and we will also be passing some of this information on to the current library education providers together with any relevant specific feedback we received from members.….


Helga Arlington of the Auckland District Law Society Library, a longtime NZLLG stalwart, will be the Webmaster for our new site following its launch. She will have other members helping to update the site, but will co-ordinate overall site management….


The new NZLLG website was launched on Friday 2 November, with functions in Auckland and Wellington (and in Christchurch on the 23rd) for members and guests to celebrate this long-awaited event! The site is now live ….


Otago University Law Librarian Alan Edwards is working with Colin Fong of Sydney on the 3rd edition of their work Australian and New Zealand Legal Abbreviations….

ISSUE 15 & 16

had no new issues.

ISSUE 17 :APRIL 2002

…Issues for discussion - Archiving of old NZLLG papers. Particularly in relation to all the very valuable work done over the past few years by a number of members on the issue of public access to legislation. Ways of collecting and safeguarding this material were discussed and will be investigated.

ISSUE 18 : JULY 2002

The conference will be held at Te Papa, Wellington, on 11-13 September.

Nominations for positions on the NZLLG National Executive for 2002-3 closed on July 19th and are currently being recorded by the Secretary. Further announcements on that topic to follow! The 2002-3 executive will take office following the AGM, to be held during the Visible Justice conference in September.

ISSUE 19 : AUGUST 2002

As announced on law-lib previously, the NZLLG National Executive for 2002-3 have been appointed, only one nomination having been received for each post. The roles will be filled by:

President: Julia Harris (Open Polytechnic)
Vice President and President-Elect 2003-4: Dougal McKechnie (Dept for Courts)
Secretary: Margaret Greville (Canterbury University Law Library)
Treasurer: Fiona Corcoran (Waikato University Law Library)
Auckland Convenor: Jenny Casey (KPMG Legal)
Central Convenor: Fiona Corcoran (Waikato University Law Library)
Wellington Convenor: Gail Dallimore (Crown Forestry Rental Trust)
South Island Convenor: Julia de Friez (Canterbury University Law Library)

These newsletters were written by Amanda Cole, President, NZLLG.

No further material is availble from other Past Presidents. If you can help us to locate this information we would be grateful.


In the late 1990s and early 2000s various access to the law projects were funded by this foundation.


  • In 1999 Mr Tony Robinson received a grant for the investigation of Information Needs of the Profession. This was in the name of the LILS Committee Investigation from the NZLS LILS Committee. The scoping report was granted $120,000.00. 
  • In 2001 an application from the Legal Portal Project seeking seeding funding by Mr Tony Robinson of Legal Information (NZ) Limited, received $103,650.00 
  • In 2001 a further application by the Legal Portal Project - Scoping Review: Phase I by Mr Tony Robinson Legal Information (NZ) Limited received $13,050.00. 
  • The Foundation also contributed in a much smaller way to commercially viable products that had already taken the risk of creating legal information products. 
  • In 1999 Ms Suzanne Dowling of Law Library Management received a grant of $15,000.00 to add a Taxation Database to the Briefcase Legal Database prdouct created and sold by her company. 

2005 Liasons with LIANZA

Dougal McKechnie was a member of the Renumeration Committee , Alan Edwards was a member of the Credentials Committee and President, Helga Arlington was a member of the Professional Registration Taskforce.

2005 Website Makeover.
President Helga Arlington decided that the website was not functioning adequately and asked Pat Northey to make another one. This was done and was completed in December 2005.


1. Special General Meeting 14 June 2007 The minutes of the Special General Meeting are available to members under Members Section > Meetings & Reports. Members voted to adopt the NZLLA Statement of Good Practice for Legal Publishers and voted in favour of affiliation to the LIANZA Professional Registration Board. Information on this from LIANZA .

2. Helga Arlington wrote this mail to the law-lib list on the 13th September 2007. It is a comment on the recent Law Commission miscellaneous paper, "Presentation of New Zealand Statute Law" (NZLC IP2)

"Dear colleagues

The release of this LC paper on statutes is a milestone for NZLLA, incorporating as it does, the work that was done by the National Legal Information Panel (NLIP) - especially the commissioning of the Rubacki report. Read Chapter 4 of the Law Commission's report and you will see that the recommendations made by Michael Rubacki have been adopted and expanded upon by the Commission, which strongly recommends that all of New Zealand's statutes, including "historical statutes" before the PAL start date, be included in PAL. Particular mention is made of the "shattering statutes" volumes of the late 19th century, which are already unavailable in many libraries.

Margaret Greville, Pat Northey, Anne Paton and I have all contributed work to this project, along with a number of others. Thanks as well to Jo Twist who drew the Commission's attention to the work NZLLA was doing in this area.

I am awaiting the launch of an expanded PAL before declaring the success of this part of NLIP's "Ocean project" - but the Commission's paper is a very significant and gratifying step along the way. "


Helga Arlington, Librarian

Auckland District Law Society Library & Research Centre


1. January - Alan Edwards retired this year. He sent this note to us.

"Dear colleagues,

Although I have a couple of working days to go, today seems a good time to bid you all a fond ‘au revoir’ as I head into retirement.

Working in law librarianship (since 1973) has been the most satisfying career imaginable, due in very large part to the impressive collegiality of law librarians here and abroad.

It only seems yesterday that I was knocking at the doors of Joan Plowman (Victoria) and Julia McMahon O’Higgins (Auckland) for advice.

Thank you for your friendship, advice, assistance in sourcing material to meet our clients’ needs, and support of NZLLA.

I wish you every success and satisfaction in your careers and long may NZLLA play a vital role in NZ society.

Kate Thompson (currently in the Medical Library at Otago) has been announced as my successor here, to start later in January. (Kate worked here for several years while doing her MLIS.)

Kind regards"


2. March - Pam McMillan had to relinquished her role on the Publisher / Vendor Liaison Committee. President Alistair Jenkin sent special thanks to Pam for her work with the Committee. Catherine Frew has taken over as the Convenor of this committee.

3. April - The President sent this note on the launch of the PAL website. "The New Zealand Law Librarians' Association is pleased that the Public Access to Legislation ( website has gone live. We congratulate the Parliamentary Counsel Office in the latest development of this project.

The Association believes straightforward public access to free, comprehensive, up to date statutes is vital for all New Zealanders as part of our democratic society, and the launch of the site is a great step forward.

The PAL website will provide access to acts, regulations and bills. The website will follow the progress of a bill through to an act and will remain available into the future. We hope that in time, all of New Zealand's earlier legislation will be able to be added to PAL, so that is can become a complete resource.

The Association looks forward to the website becoming officialised and therefore an official site of New Zealand legislation. Congratulations again to the Parliamentary Counsel Office."

Alistair Jenkin

4. - Helga Arlington commented on the launch of PAL. News columns written for the Australian journal can be seen here. Photo archive Photographs from past Association functions and events are held here. Click on functions below to view photos. Legal Information Symposium 2004 Committee Website Launch