Useful Criminal Legislation

Legislation that is commonly applied in the District Court’s criminal jurisdiction includes:

  • Animal Welfare Act 1999
    An Act to reform the law relating to the welfare of animals and the prevention of their ill-treatment.
  • Bail Act 2000
    The purpose of this Act is to reform and restate the law relating to bail. Includes rules as to granting bail; restrictions on bail; police bail; court bail; electronic monitoring; procedures after bail granted; and bail pending appeals.

  • Crimes Act 1961
    An Act relating to crimes and other offences. Includes punishments; defences; crimes against public order; crimes against the administration of law and justice; sex crimes; crimes against the person; crimes against privacy; property crimes; and conspiracies.
  • Criminal Procedure Act 2011
    An Act setting out the procedure for the conduct of criminal proceedings, and providing for the use of technology in relation to criminal procedure and the court record of criminal proceedings.
  • Criminal Procedure (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act 2003
    An Act stating the law in relation to criminal procedure and mentally impaired persons: providing the courts with appropriate options for the detention, assessment and care of defendants and offenders with an intellectual disability; and providing the procedure for acquittals on account of insanity.

  • Criminal Procedure Rules 2012
    Rules with the objectives of regulating the practice and procedure of District Courts and the High Court; and of securing just and timely determination of proceedings.

  • District Court Act 2016
    The purposes of this Act are—

    (a) to reconstitute District Courts as a single court with divisions for a Family Court, a Youth Court, and a Disputes Tribunal; and
    (b) to provide for—

    (i) the constitution and jurisdiction of the court; and
    (ii) the practice and procedure of the court; and
    (iii) the selection, appointment, removal, and conditions of the judicial and other officers of the court; and

    (c) to make provision for any other related matters; and
    (d) to improve the transparency of court arrangements in a manner consistent with judicial independence.

  • Evidence Act 2006
    An Act to help secure the just determination of court proceedings by: providing for facts to be established by the application of logical rules; providing rules of evidence that recognise the importance of the rights affirmed by the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990; promoting fairness to parties and witnesses; protecting rights of confidentiality and other important public interests; avoiding unjustifiable expense and delay; and enhancing access to the law of evidence.

  • Fair Trading Act 1986
    An Act to create a trading environment in which the interests of consumers are protected, businesses compete effectively, and consumers and businesses participate confidently. Includes unfair conduct; false representations; consumer information; product safety; laybys; warranties; auctions; and enforcement and remedies.

  • Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015
    An Act to deter, prevent and mitigate harm caused to individuals by digital communications; and to provide victims of harmful digital communications with a quick and efficient means of redress. Includes Communication Principles; enforcement; and offences.

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 2015
    An Act to provide for a balanced framework to secure the health and safety of workers and workplaces. Includes health and safety duties; duties of Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBUs); duties of officers and workers; worker participation and representation; enforcement; criminal proceedings and prosecutions; and inspections and inspectors.

  • Land Transport Act 1998
    An Act to promote safe road user behaviour and vehicle safety; provide for a system of rules governing road user behaviour, the licensing of drivers, technical aspects of land transport, and recognise reciprocal obligations of persons involved; and enable New Zealand to implement international agreements relating to road safety and land transport.

  • Misuse of Drugs Act 1975
    An Act to provide for the classification of drugs. Includes drug prohibitions; offences relating to drug smuggling; drug checks; and Class A, B and C controlled drugs.

  • New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990
    An Act to affirm, protect, and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms in New Zealand; and to affirm New Zealand's commitment to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Includes civil and political rights; life and security of the person; democratic rights; religious rights; freedom from discrimination; and rights of persons arrested, detained and charged.
  • Resource Management Act 1991
    An Act relating to the use of land, air, and water. The purpose of the Act is to promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources. Includes policy statements; District Plans; Regional Plans; resource consents; and the role and powers of the Environment Court.

  • Search and Surveillance Act 2012
    An Act to facilitate the monitoring of compliance with the law, and the investigation and prosecution of offences in a manner that is consistent with human rights values. Includes search warrant powers; police powers to stop and search; warrantless searches; surveillance device warrants; applications for search warrants; issuing of search warrants; conduct of searches; privilege and confidentiality; admission of evidence; and offences.

  • Sentencing Act 2002
    The purposes of this Act are to set out the purposes for which offenders may be sentenced or otherwise dealt with; promote those purposes, and aid in the public’s understanding of sentencing practices, by providing principles and guidelines to be applied by courts in sentencing or otherwise dealing with offenders; provide a sufficient range of sentences and other means of dealing with offenders; and provide for the interests of victims of crime.

  • Summary Offences Act 1981
    An Act relating to summary offences, including offences against public order, persons or property; regulating sale of spraycans; offences resembling forgery or fraud; disclosure of certain official information; intimidation, obstruction and hindering police; indencency; offences resembling nuisance; infringement offences; and search, arrest and jurisdiction.