LEGAL201-23D (HAM)

Public Law

30 Points

Edit Header Content
Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
Te Piringa - Faculty of Law


Edit Staff Content




Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)


Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)



You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
Edit Staff Content

What this paper is about

Edit What this paper is about Content

This paper covers aspects of Public Law including Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, the New Zealand Bill of Rights and the Treaty of Waitangi. Constitutional Law examines the principles of constitutionalism and the framework of the New Zealand system of government. Administrative Law examines the exercise and control of executive power in New Zealand and the relationship between the state, its agencies and the individual. The relevant importance of climate change will be analysed through a judicial review approach taken against the Climate Commission and the Minister of Climate Change.

Edit What this paper is about Content

How this paper will be taught

Edit How this paper will be taught Content

This is a year ­long, two Trimester, paper. The paper comprises one 2 hour lecture on Wednesday. The lecture hours are: Wednesday 9am ­- 11am (L.G. 01)

This course is FLEXI and the lectures will also be available via Zoom. The only exception to this are classes timetabled in rooms without recording functionality.

Any change will be notified via Moodle.

The lectures are supplemented by eight tutorials spread throughout the course. Details of the Tutorial streams that students can sign up for are given below and the dates and times of specific Tutorials are set out in the weekly schedule of activities that can be accessed via the online timetable for this paper.

Office Hours: Wednesday 11am - 1pm or by arrangement

Edit How this paper will be taught Content

Required Readings

Edit Required Readings Content

All law students are required to purchase, for use in all law papers, a copy of Coppard, McLay, Murray & Orpin-Dowell, New Zealand Law Style Guide, 3rd edition, Thomson Reuters (2018). This is available from Bennetts, at an approximate price of $37 including GST.

In addition to the recommended text identified below, the required readings will be in Course Material BOOKS for this paper. These will be available from Waikato Print. Some readings will be posted on Moodle as well.

Casebook/Reading List Link:

Edit Required Readings Content

You will need to have

Edit You will need to have Content

Very HIGHLY Recommended reading

B Harris New Zealand Constitution: An Analysis in Terms of Principles (Thomson & Reuters, Wellington, 2018) (call number

KUQ1734.H37 2018)

P Joseph Constitutional and Administrative Law in New Zealand (5th ed, Brookers, Wellington, 2021)

Further reading (many of these references are on desk reserve, and all are available, in the Law Library) in no particular order, all are very good. Bolded readings are highly recommended

M Belgrave, M Kawharu and D Williams (eds) Waitangi Revisited – Perspectives on the Treaty of Waitangi (Oxford University Press, Auckland, 2005)(call number KUQ354.W143)

A Butler and P ButlerThe New Zealand Bill of Rights Act: A Commentary (2nd ed, LexisNexis, Wellington, 2015) (call number KUQ2095.A3 1990 B88 2015)

M Chen and G Palmer Public Law in New Zealand – Cases, Materials, Commentary and Questions (3rd ed, Oxford University Press, Auckland, 1993)(call number KUQ1710.C48)

M Chen Public Law Toolbox (2nd ed, LexisNexis, Wellington, 2014) (call number KUQ1710.C49 2014)

J Colin (ed) Building the Constitution (Institute of Policy Studies, Wellington, 2000) (call number KUQ1749.B85)

M Durie Te Mana, Te Kawanatanga – The Politics of Maori Self Determination (Oxford University Press, Auckland, 1998) (call number KUQ354.D87)

A Geddis Electoral Law in New Zealand (2nd ed, LexisNexis, 2014) (call number KUQ2176 .G44 2014)

Gross and F Ni Aolain, Fionnuala Law in Times of Crisis: Emergency Powers in Theory and Practice (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2006) (call number K3344 .G76)

G Huscroft and P Rishworth (eds) Rights and Freedoms (Brookers, Wellington, 1995)

V Jackson and M Tushnet, Comparative Constitutional Law (2nd ed, Foundation Press, 2006) (call number K3165 .J32)

S Levine and P Harris (eds) The New Zealand Politics Source Book, (3rd ed, Dunmore Press Ltd, Palmerston North, 1999) (call number JQ5811.N535)

V Toki Indigenous Courts, self-determination and criminal justice (Routlege, 2017)

M Mulholland and V Tawhai(eds) Weeping Waters: the Treaty of Waitangi and constitutional change (Huia Publishers, Wellington, 2010) (call number KUQ1870 .W1W44 2010)

C OrangeThe Treaty of Waitangi (Allen & Unwin New Zealand Limited, Wellington, 1987) (call number DU418.2 .O63)

M PalmerThe Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand Constitutional Law (Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2008) (call number KUQ354 .P38)

G Palmer and M Palmer Bridled Power New Zealand Government under MMP (4th ed, Oxford University Press: Auckland, 2004) (call number JQ5881 .P3)

S. Penk & MR Rose, New Zealand Method Handbook (Thompson Reuters,Wellington, 2014)

P RishworthThe New Zealand Bill of Rights (Oxford University Press, Auckland, 2003) (call number KUQ2095.N44 2003)

Report of the Royal Commission on the Electoral System (1986) (call number JQ5892.N585)

Further material may be provided on the paper site on Moodle (, the University of Waikato’s online learning system. Any such material is provided on the following terms:

University of Waikato owns the intellectual property rights, including copyright, in and to this site, or has acquired the necessary licenses to display the material on the site. As a student of the Te Piringa Faculty of Law, you are granted a limited license to use (access, display or print a single copy) the material from the papers in which you are enrolled for the purposes of participating in the paper only, provided the information is not modified. Materials may not under any circumstances be copied, stored, distributed or provided in any form or method whatsoever to any third party. Any other use of the material is prohibited. None of the material may be otherwise reproduced, reformatted, republished or redisseminated in any manner or form without the prior written consent of University of Waikato. To obtain such consent, please contact the Te Piringa Faculty of Law. Please ensure that the University IP policy is adhered to IP Policy (

Edit You will need to have Content

Learning Outcomes

Edit Learning Outcomes Content

Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Apply critical thinking and communication skills acquired from previous study in the context of public law.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of public law.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Produce essays and answers to problem questions that communicate coherent and principled legal arguments.
    Linked to the following assessments:
Edit Learning Outcomes Content
Edit Learning Outcomes Content


Edit Assessments Content

How you will be assessed

Edit How you will be assessed Content

Final Exam: 50% of overall grade

Internal Assessment: 50% of overall grade

Edit How you will be assessed Content

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 50:50. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 50% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 50:50 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 50% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. On line Test
30 May 2023
12:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Problem Essay
20 Aug 2023
12:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. On line Test
19 Sep 2023
12:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Final Exam
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
Edit Assessments Content