Weird laws you never knew existed in New Zealand

Weird laws you never knew existed in New Zealand

To anyone who has never lived in New Zealand, it can be pretty hard to believe how tight Kiwi laws can be.

While we may have a reputation for being a laidback little island, it turns out our rules and regulations aren’t so much.

Here are some of New Zealand’s strangest laws. 

No noise near whales

Many who were planning to watch, may not have been happy after hearing Wellington’s annual Matariki fireworks last year were postponed due to a whale gracing the capital’s harbour.

However, law is law - no matter where you are, and the Marine Mammals Protection Regulations say that “no person shall make any loud or disturbing noises near whales.”

A fine worth up to $10,000 will be dished out to any bold Kiwi or tourist who wants to incur a penalty.

Māori Wardens can tell someone what to do

Based on the Māori Community Development Act, there are criminal offences that apply to only people who are Māori. These offenses can be given by a Māori warden.

For example, those with permission to do so can refuse alcohol to be served to Māori who are likely to become difficult and can even take the car keys out of a Māori’s possession.

No questions asked policy

Those who lose personal items such as their keys or wallet are required not to advertise an award for the return of their lost or stolen property, or they can risk facing a $200 fine.

Don’t buy these books

Some books are temporarily banned in New Zealand while some are permanent.

The Everything Marijuana Book was banned in 2013 because it encourages those who read it to commit a crime.

Interestingly enough, being in possession of this book incurs a harsher penalty than actually growing or selling cannabis.