Library Subject Guides

Law: Referencing

New Zealand Law Style Guide

The New Zealand Law Style Guide (3rd ed) is the “house style” of the University of Canterbury School of Law.


If you cannot find what you need, please contact the Law Subject Librarians – Theresa Buller, John Arnold and Kim Allan. 

You can:

Cross References in MS Word

As you are writing your paper, rather than having to update numbering manually in subsequent footnote citations such as
35 Spiller, above n 31, at 93
the cross reference function of MS Word can be used to update the numbering throughout the document.

In Word:

  • Insert the footnote as normal: Ctrl+Alt+f is the keyboard shortcut
    • Instead of typing the number x for "above n x", type "above n "
    • Click the References tab and then click Cross-reference (a little over halfway along the ribbon)
    • Choose Footnote on the "Reference Type" dropdown
    • Click on the footnote referred to from the bottom of the dialogue box, and then click Insert
  • To update the cross-reference numbers as new footnotes are added 
    • Click into the footnote area of any page
    • Select all footnotes: Ctrl+a is the keyboard shortcut
    • F9

If you need to do endnotes (rather than footnotes):

  • Keyboard shortcut is Ctrl+Alt+d
  • Cross-referencing for endnotes is the same as for footnotes, except choose Endnote on the "Reference Type" dropdown step


Answers and suggestions for

  • materials frequently referenced but not specifically given in the Style Sheet or NZLSG book – a link to the the relevant section of NZLSG is given; and
  • situations in which NZLSG provides no direct guidance. These are signalled by “cf NZLSG”, and being our suggestions only it may be desirable to check with your lecturer or supervisor.

Book chapter with individual author, but book has personal authors not editors – see NZLSG 6.2.4, eg

Richard Boast “Maori Land and the Treaty of Waitangi” in Richard Boast and others Maori Land Law (2nd ed, LexisNexis, Wellington, 2004) 1.


Briefing paper to a Government Minister – see NZLSG 5.4(c)

Ministry of Justice Review of the ‘Claim of Right’ Defence – Initial Briefing (9 June 2010).


Cases in law reports published in New Zealand: search Legal Citations of Aotearoa New Zealand for type of brackets round the year and the report’s abbreviation; see NZLSG 3.2 for the general form.


Company Law online commentary (NZLSG 6.3)

Rebecca Atkins (ed) Company Law (online ed, Thomson Reuters).


Company Law A-Z online commentary (NZLSG 6.3)

Susan Watson and others Company Law – A to Z of New Zealand Law (online ed, Thomson Reuters).


Encyclopedias available electronically:

Laws of New Zealand, see NZLSG  6.6.2

For other encyclopedias, cite in the same way as for print encyclopedias, but add “online ed” after the year of publication – see NZLSG 6.5.2, eg
Halsbury’s Laws of Australia Insurance: General Principles (online ed) at [235]–[270].

The Max Planck Encyclopedia of International Law, however, is structured more like an edited book (cf NZLSG 6.2), so applying that rule along with NZLSG 6.5.2 about online editions of encyclopedias, our suggested format would be, eg
Stephan Hobe “Non-Governmental Organizations” in Rüdiger Wolfrum (ed) Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (online ed).


Heath and Whale online commentary (NZLSG 6.3)

Heath and Whale online commentary (online ed, LexisNexis).


Journal articles in journals published in New Zealand: search Legal Citations of Aotearoa New Zealand for type of brackets round the year and the journal’s abbreviation; see NZLSG 6.4 for the general form.


NZ Company Law and Practice Commentary CCH) (NZLSG 6.3)

NZ Company Law and Practice Commentary (online ed, CCH).


New Zealand Parliamentary Debates (Hansard): the entry in the Bibliography is just: NZPD. For footnotes, see NZLSG 5.1.1.



  • Repealed statutes are not tagged with “Repealed” (NZLSG 4.1).


Transcript of Oral Arguments in the Supreme Court, see NZLSG 3.8.


Treaties (NZLSG 10.1)

Convention on the Rights of the Child 1577 UNTS 3 (opened for signature 20 November 1989, entered into force on 2 September 1990).

Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community (13 December 2007, entered into force 1 December 2009).


Treaty of Waitangi, see NZLSG 4.1.1(e)