Episode 92

Gordon Brysland

When the High Court frames an interpretation issue these days, it often says no more than that the legislation ‘is to be interpreted by considering the text, having regard to its context and purpose’1.  This mirrors the position legislated for in New Zealand, where s 10(1) of the Legislation Act 2019 provides – ‘The meaning of legislation must be ascertained from its text and in the light of its purpose and its context’.  This is considered in Beca Carter, the first NZ case referred to in iNOW!2  A further point made is that the ‘meaning of the text … should always be cross-checked against purpose’3.  The meta-principles applying to the interpretation of statutes in both countries are all but identical.  Across the Tasman, they are hard-wired into legislation.  Our High Court says they are well-settled and non-controversial.  iTip – these principles guide the ‘method’ we are required to apply.

Gordon Brysland – Tax Counsel Network

See here for the official PDF of Episode 92 of interpretation NOW!

In this episode:

Thanks – Oliver Hood, Annie Huang, Charlie Yu & Michelle Janczarski.


1 Moorcroft [2021] HCA 19 (at [15]), Westpac [2021] HCA 3 (at [54]), cf Barnes, Dharmananda & Moran Modern Statutory Interpretation (at [2.1]).

2 Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner Ltd v Wellington CC [2022] NZCA 624 (at [51]).

3 Fonterra [2007] NZSC 36 (at [22]) Tipping J quoted.