Evidence Act 1908

  • repealed
  • Evidence Act 1908: repealed, on 1 August 2007, by section 215 of the Evidence Act 2006 (2006 No 69).

Evidence Act 1908

Public Act1908 No 56
Date of assent4 August 1908


This Act is administered in the Ministry of Justice



1 Short Title, etc

2 Interpretation

Competency of witnesses

3 Witness interested, or convicted of offence

4 Evidence of party, or of wife, husband, or civil union partner of party, in civil cases

5 Evidence of accused and spouse in criminal cases

5A Wife of person charged with certain offences to be competent witness for prosecution [Repealed]

Privilege of witnesses

6 Communications during marriage [Repealed]

7 Privilege in suits for adultery [Repealed]

8 Communications to clergyman and medical men [Repealed]

8A Questions tending to establish a debt or civil liability

Impeaching credit of witnesses

9 How far witness may be discredited by the party producing him

10 Proof of contradictory statements of witness

11 Cross-examinations as to previous statements in writing

12 Proof of previous conviction of witness

12A Proof of convictions by fingerprints

12B Corroboration of evidence of accomplice not required

12C Witnesses having some purpose of their own to serve

Protection of witnesses

13 Cross-examination as to credit

13A Undercover Police officers

13B Pre-trial witness anonymity order

13C Witness anonymity order for purpose of High Court trial

13D Trial to be held in High Court if witness anonymity order made

13E Judge may appoint independent counsel to assist

13F Directions to jury

13G Judge may make orders and give directions to preserve anonymity of witness

13H Variation or discharge of witness anonymity order during trial

13I Witnesses in Police witness protection programme

13J Offences

14 Indecent or scandalous questions

15 Prohibited questions not to be published

16 Witnesses in certain cases may be compelled to give evidence

17 Witness making true discovery to be freed from all penalties

General rules of evidence

18 Proof by attesting witnesses

19 Comparison of disputed handwriting

20 Confession after promise, threat, or other inducement

Rules in particular cases

21 Actions for breach of promise [Repealed]

22 Actions for seduction [Repealed]

22A Admissibility of previous description by identification witness

23 Poisoning cases

23A Evidence of complainant in cases involving sexual violation

23AA Address, and occupation of complainant not to be disclosed in open Court

23AB Corroboration in sexual cases

23AC Delay in making complaint in sexual cases

23B Admissibility of evidence obtained by means of interception device in certain emergencies

Rules in cases involving child complainants

23C Application of sections 23D to 23I

23D Directions as to mode by which complainant's evidence is to be given

23E Modes in which complainant's evidence may be given

23F Cross-examination and questioning of accused

23G Expert witnesses

23H Directions to jury

23I Regulations

Evidence of witnesses in prison

24 Judge may order prisoner to be brought up as a witness [Repealed]

25 Expenses of bringing up prisoner [Repealed]

Documentary evidence in criminal proceedings

25A Admissibility of certain business records [Repealed]

Proof of official documents, etc

26 Judicial notice of the Public Seal of New Zealand [Repealed]

27 Judicial notice of official seals, etc

28 Judicial notice of Acts of Parliament

28A Judicial notice of regulations

29 Copy of Act of Parliament, Imperial legislation, and regulations printed as prescribed to be evidence

29A Copy of reprint of Act, Imperial legislation, or regulations to be evidence

30 Copies of Parliamentary Journals to be evidence

31 Provincial Ordinances, etc

32 Proclamations, Orders in Council, etc

33 Proof of signature, etc, not required

34 Private Acts, etc, of Imperial Parliament

35 Royal Proclamations, Orders of the Privy Council, etc

36 Documents admissible in the United Kingdom to be admissible in New Zealand [Repealed]

37 Manner of proving acts of State, etc, of any country

38 Proclamations, etc, receivable, although not proved by sealed copies

39 Statutes of any country published by authority

40 Certain law books may be referred to as evidence of laws

41 Country defined

42 Standard works in general literature

43 Public documents made evidence by Act, how provable

44 Other public documents, how provable

44A Proof of public registers of other countries

44B Proof that any country is a Commonwealth country [Repealed]

45 Judicial notice of signature of Governor-General, etc [Repealed]

45A Foreign public documents: interpretation

45B Foreign public documents: certificates as to contracting States under Convention

45C Foreign public documents: Convention certificates sufficient authentication of certain matters

46 Gazette notice to be evidence of act of State

47 Documents may be impounded

Evidence of banking records

47A Interpretation

47B Proof of entries in banking records of banks

47C Officer not compellable to produce banking records

Evidence for use in overseas proceedings

48 Interpretation

48A Examination of witness at request of overseas Court

48B Powers of Court may be exercised by Registrar

48C Evidence in support of application

48D Protection of witnesses

48E Witnesses' expenses

48F Solicitor may take affidavit or declaration

Restrictions on production of evidence for use in or by foreign authorities

48G Interpretation

48H Court not to order production of evidence if production would infringe jurisdiction or prejudice sovereignty, etc

48I Attorney-General may prohibit production of documents requested by foreign authority

48J Offence

Mode of taking evidence

49 Witnesses may be sworn in Scotch form [Repealed]

50 Affirmation in lieu of oath [Repealed]

51 Who may administer oaths [Repealed]

52 Oath not affected by want of religious belief [Repealed]

53 Minors under twelve may make declaration [Repealed]

Enactments consolidated

Schedule 2
Hague Convention abolishing the requirement of legalisation for foreign public documents

An Act to consolidate certain enactments of the Parliament of New Zealand relating to the law of evidence

  • The words Parliament of New Zealand were substituted for General Assembly as from 1 January 1987, pursuant to section 29(2) Constitution Act 1986 (1986 No 114).