About Law Manual Online

Law Manual Online is a free pool of plain language legal information. It is designed to empower everyday people in Aotearoa New Zealand to know their legal rights.

The Law Manual Online is about making the law easy to understand so you can decide your next steps when you’re dealing with a legal problem. 

Community Law creates a bunch of easy-to-read manuals and guides, including:

  • Community Law Manual
  • Lag Law: Your Rights in Prison and On Remand
  • Pregnancy Rights
  • Rights at School in Kura (formerly Problems at School).

All of these guides are available for free online, or you can buy physical copies from our online bookshop.

We try hard to keep the information on this website up-to-date with any recent changes. However, we encourage you to get specific legal advice before relying on this information.  

What’s new

Check out recent updates to: 

  • Dealing with Work and Income – we’ve added lots of new, easy-to-read information about main benefits, ongoing assistance, temporary additional support, and how to challenge a Work and Income decision. Keep an eye out for the many useful tips throughout the chapter. 
  • Sex, gender and sexual orientation– we’ve added new information about how to change the sex marker on your birth certificate/passport/drivers licence, and how to access gender affirming healthcare.
  • Bullying, harassment, and sexual harm – this chapter now includes a legal guide for those who have experienced sexual harm, and/or who want to understand the legal terminologies and reporting process.
  • ACC” – If you get injured while giving birth, those injuries are now covered by ACC.
  • Consumer Protection” and “Credit and Debt” have both been updated to explain the changes to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act.
  • Dealing with government agencies” – we’ve added a new section about the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.

Disaster Relief

We have a brand new topic written in the aftermath of the devastating floods in Northland region and Hawkes Bay. This section covers legal information for people impacted by a natural disaster or severe weather event. We are updating this resource to keep it up to date for folks affected by other events, including earthquakes, floods and storms. It has information on care of children, insurance, tenancy, employment and more.  

Community Toolkitwww.communitytoolkit.org.nz

Go to “The Community Toolkit” if you’re looking for legal information for community groups. This has recently been updated to explain the new Incorporated Societies Act 2022, and includes information about how to register or re-register under the new Act.   


The publications team at Community Law Wellington and Hutt Valley created and take care of the Law Manual Online and all of the listed guides. We want the Manual to be useful to everyone, especially those most negatively affected by capitalism, colonisation, racism, sexism, ableism and all the other systems of oppression causing harm to our communities.

We are a not-for-profit charity and we are not part of the government. Our content is created for the community, by the community. If you have any feedback or notice any important content areas that we’ve missed, please let us know.

Email us at publications@wclc.org.nz or write to us at PO Box 24005, Wellington 6142.

Help the manual

We’re a small team that relies on the generosity of all our supporters. You can make a one-off donation or become a supporter by sponsoring the Manual for a community organisation near you. Every contribution helps us to continue updating and improving our legal information, year after year.

Donate Become a Sponsor
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Also available as a book

The Community Law Manual

The Manual contains over 1000 pages of easy-to-read legal info and comprehensive answers to common legal questions. From ACC to family law, health & disability, jobs, benefits & flats, Tāonga Māori, immigration and refugee law and much more, the Manual covers just about every area of community and personal life.

Buy The Community Law Manual

Lag Law: Prisoner's Rights

Lag Law answers heaps of common questions you might have if you’re going to prison, you’re in prison, or you’re getting out of prison. It talks about your rights in prison, and sets out the laws and rules that affect you when you’re put in prison . 1 free copy for people in prison and the whānau of someone in prison. If that’s you, email laglaw@wclc.org.nz for your free copy

Buy Lag Law: Prisoner's Rights

Pregnancy Rights

A basic, plain language guide that contains practical answers to questions about pregnancy and the law. It covers sex and consent, options after a positive pregnancy test, what help you can get with school, work, and parenting and more. Pregnancy Rights is written for young pregnant people, their whānau and advocates.

Buy Pregnancy Rights

Find the Answer to your Legal Question

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