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Hansard Search Help

Hansard search is based on Google.

This has the advantage of making available all of the useful Google search functions. We can search for a phrase, exclude a word, find any combination of words, search with wildcards and so on. These logical functions are commonly known as Boolean operators. They are described in some detail in Google's search help pages which should be read by anyone intending to do serious searching.

Some search examples

These examples are based on the Hansard advanced search form.

Try this search
searching light rail

Notice that the form automatically puts quotes around the exact wording "light rail" and limits the results to the Hansard site.
Boolean search

These 672 results were from all years because no year has been specified. The actual number of results will increase as Google indexes more material.

You may limit the search to the year 2012 by adding 2012 to the site address then pressing Enter.
Boolean search

Make the search even more specific by adding another term (Google treats upper and lower case equally).
Boolean search

Change the year to compare results to a previous year:
Boolean search

Search engines rarely give absolute results. At most the results are approximations and will always require a bit of common sense to interpret. Google is one of the best search tools and is currently the most used. As part of its continuing improvement Google works with a dictionary of synonyms and may attempt to help with your search by looking for synonyms to the search terms as well as for the terms themselves. Google's "artificial intelligence" (AI) and can make for some interesting browsing.
Boolean search  Boolean search

The AI results differ from
Boolean search  Boolean search

Notice that "red light" and "red signal" are now treated as valid search terms by the Google synonym dictionary.

If you need an exact phrase you may assist the AI by enclosing the terms in quotes or by entering them in the exact wording field in the advanced search form.
Boolean search

Google's default behaviour is to look for all the words (ie: the default operator AND is implied between each word). To search for one or both of several words or phrases, you can use the OR operator (type 'OR' in ALL CAPS).
Boolean search

Special indexes

Finally, do remember to use the Hansard special indexes. Every sitting week a speech index is prepared for each member. There is also a subject index. The indexes are cumulated at the end of each year.


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