Ridiculous Rules And Silly Statutes!


For a small nation, New Zealand has more than its fair share of ridiculous rules and silly statutes. The origins of some of these decrees may have been lost in the midst of time, but there’s no doubting these bonkers bylaws will bring a smile to your face.

Did you know that up until the 1980s it was illegal to wear slippers in a public place at night? And the same applied to flying a kite or beating a rug in public. It wasn’t until the repeal of the 1928 Public Offenses Act that these great misdemeanours were decriminalised.

It’s also a little known fact that until 1981 it was an offence to allow a mare to be mated within sight of a public road. Quite why it was acceptable for cattle and sheep to do so, has inexplicably not been recorded!

And did you know that in the small township of Longburn near Palmerston North, a cat was forbidden from leaving the house without having three bells tied around its neck! Apparently the residents used to get very upset at cats killing the local birds and this was their imaginative solution!

Now you may not have realised it either, but if you ever find uranium lying about then according to the Atomic Energy Act 1945 you must report it in writing to the authorities within three months. You’ll also have to confirm where you found it too.

Weird and wonderful though these rules and regulations are, they’re still not as mad as legislation in other parts of the world. Check out these crazy laws and be thankful that being banned from wearing slippers at night is as bad as it gets in New Zealand.

  • It’s illegal to “operate a cow” while intoxicated in Britain.
  • In Western Australia, it’s illegal to be in possession of more than 50kg of potatoes.
  • Florida has made it illegal to pass wind in a public place after 6pm on Thursdays.
  • In Thailand, it’s illegal to step on money.
  • In Oklahoma, it’s against the law to have a sleeping donkey in your bathtub after 7pm.
  • Flushing the toilet after 10pm is banned in Switzerland.
  • In Victoria and South Australia, it’s illegal to hurt a homing pigeon.
  • Watch your choice of restaurant in Chicago as it’s against the law to eat in a place that’s on fire!

Finally, it’s a crime in Samoa to forget your wife’s birthday! Now many of you might think that’s the only reasonable rule in this whole article!