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Contents (1987 - 15)
Interpretation Act 1987 No 15
Current version for 15 September 2015 to date (accessed 19 November 2017 at 04:23)
Part 5 Section 34
34   Use of extrinsic material in the interpretation of Acts and statutory rules
(1)  In the interpretation of a provision of an Act or statutory rule, if any material not forming part of the Act or statutory rule is capable of assisting in the ascertainment of the meaning of the provision, consideration may be given to that material:
(a)  to confirm that the meaning of the provision is the ordinary meaning conveyed by the text of the provision (taking into account its context in the Act or statutory rule and the purpose or object underlying the Act or statutory rule and, in the case of a statutory rule, the purpose or object underlying the Act under which the rule was made), or
(b)  to determine the meaning of the provision:
(i)  if the provision is ambiguous or obscure, or
(ii)  if the ordinary meaning conveyed by the text of the provision (taking into account its context in the Act or statutory rule and the purpose or object underlying the Act or statutory rule and, in the case of a statutory rule, the purpose or object underlying the Act under which the rule was made) leads to a result that is manifestly absurd or is unreasonable.
(2)  Without limiting the effect of subsection (1), the material that may be considered in the interpretation of a provision of an Act, or a statutory rule made under the Act, includes:
(a)  all matters not forming part of the Act that are set out in the document containing the text of the Act as printed by the Government Printer,
(b)  any relevant report of a Royal Commission, Law Reform Commission, committee of inquiry or other similar body that was laid before either House of Parliament before the provision was enacted or made,
(c)  any relevant report of a committee of Parliament or of either House of Parliament before the provision was enacted or made,
(d)  any treaty or other international agreement that is referred to in the Act,
(e)  any explanatory note or memorandum relating to the Bill for the Act, or any other relevant document, that was laid before, or furnished to the members of, either House of Parliament by a Minister or other member of Parliament introducing the Bill before the provision was enacted or made,
(f)  the speech made to a House of Parliament by a Minister or other member of Parliament on the occasion of the moving by that Minister or member of a motion that the Bill for the Act be read a second time in that House,
(g)  any document (whether or not a document to which a preceding paragraph applies) that is declared by the Act to be a relevant document for the purposes of this section, and
(h)  any relevant material in the Minutes of Proceedings or the Votes and Proceedings of either House of Parliament or in any official record of debates in Parliament or either House of Parliament.
(3)  In determining whether consideration should be given to any material, or in considering the weight to be given to any material, regard shall be had, in addition to any other relevant matters, to:
(a)  the desirability of persons being able to rely on the ordinary meaning conveyed by the text of the provision (taking into account its context in the Act or statutory rule and the purpose or object underlying the Act or statutory rule and, in the case of a statutory rule, the purpose or object underlying the Act under which the rule was made), and
(b)  the need to avoid prolonging legal or other proceedings without compensating advantage.