Reprint as at 11 October 2013

Evidence Act 2006

Public Act2006 No 69
Date of assent4 December 2006
Commencementsee section 2


Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Justice.


1 Title

2 Commencement

Part 1
Preliminary provisions


3 Act to bind the Crown

4 Interpretation

5 Application

Purpose, principles, and matters of general application

6 Purpose

7 Fundamental principle that relevant evidence admissible

8 General exclusion

9 Admission by agreement

10 Interpretation of Act

11 Inherent and implied powers not affected

12 Evidential matters not provided for

12A Rules of common law relating to statements of co-conspirators, persons involved in joint criminal enterprises, and certain co-defendants preserved

13 Establishment of relevance of document

14 Provisional admission of evidence

15 Evidence given to establish admissibility

Part 2
Admissibility rules, privilege, and confidentiality

Subpart 1Hearsay evidence

16 Interpretation

17 Hearsay rule

18 General admissibility of hearsay

19 Admissibility of hearsay statements contained in business records

20 Admissibility in civil proceedings of hearsay statements in documents related to applications, discovery, or interrogatories

21 Defendant who does not give evidence in criminal proceeding may not offer own statement

22 Notice of hearsay in criminal proceedings

Subpart 2Statements of opinion and expert evidence

23 Opinion rule

24 General admissibility of opinions

25 Admissibility of expert opinion evidence

26 Conduct of experts in civil proceedings

Subpart 3Defendants’ statements, improperly obtained evidence, silence of parties in proceedings, and admissions in civil proceedings

27 Defendants’ statements offered by prosecution

28 Exclusion of unreliable statements

29 Exclusion of statements influenced by oppression

30 Improperly obtained evidence

31 Prosecution may not rely on certain evidence offered by other parties

32 Fact-finder not to be invited to infer guilt from defendant’s silence before trial

33 Restrictions on comment on defendant’s right of silence at trial

34 Admissions in civil proceedings

Subpart 4Previous consistent statements made by witness

35 Previous consistent statements rule

Subpart 5Veracity and propensity


36 Application of subpart to evidence of veracity and propensity

Evidence of veracity

37 Veracity rules

38 Evidence of defendant’s veracity

39 Evidence of co-defendant’s veracity

Evidence of propensity

40 Propensity rule

41 Propensity evidence about defendants

42 Propensity evidence about co-defendants

43 Propensity evidence offered by prosecution about defendants

Complainants in sexual cases

44 Evidence of sexual experience of complainants in sexual cases

Subpart 6Identification evidence

45 Admissibility of visual identification evidence

46 Admissibility of voice identification evidence

46A Caution regarding reliance on identification evidence

Subpart 7Evidence of convictions and civil judgments

47 Conviction as evidence in civil proceedings

48 Conviction as evidence in defamation proceedings

49 Conviction as evidence in criminal proceedings

50 Civil judgment as evidence in civil or criminal proceedings

Subpart 8Privilege and confidentiality

Matters relating to interpretation and procedure

51 Interpretation

52 Orders for protection of privileged or confidential material, or material relating to matters of State


53 Effect and protection of privilege

54 Privilege for communications with legal advisers

55 Privilege and solicitors’ trust accounts

56 Privilege for preparatory materials for proceedings

57 Privilege for settlement negotiations or mediation

58 Privilege for communications with ministers of religion

59 Privilege in criminal proceedings for information obtained by medical practitioners and clinical psychologists

60 Privilege against self-incrimination

61 Discretion as to incrimination under foreign law

62 Claiming privilege against self-incrimination in court proceedings

63 Replacement of privilege with respect to disclosure requirements in civil proceedings

64 Informers

65 Waiver

66 Joint and successive interests in privileged material

67 Powers of Judge to disallow privilege


68 Protection of journalists’ sources

69 Overriding discretion as to confidential information

70 Discretion as to matters of State

Part 3
Trial process

Subpart 1Eligibility and compellability

71 Eligibility and compellability generally

72 Eligibility of Judges, jurors, and counsel

73 Compellability of defendants and associated defendants in criminal proceedings

74 Compellability of Sovereign and certain other persons

75 Bank officer not compellable to produce banking records

76 Evidence of jury deliberations

Subpart 2Oaths and affirmations

77 Witnesses to give evidence on oath or affirmation

78 Interpreters to act on oath or affirmation

Subpart 3Support, communication assistance, and views

79 Support persons

80 Communication assistance

81 Communication assistance need not be provided in certain circumstances


Subpart 4Questioning of witnesses

83 Ordinary way of giving evidence

84 Examination of witnesses

85 Unacceptable questions

86 Restriction of publication

87 Privacy as to witness’s precise address

88 Restriction on disclosure of complainant’s occupation in sexual cases

89 Leading questions in examination in chief and re-examination

90 Use of documents in questioning witness or refreshing memory

91 Editing of inadmissible statements

92 Cross-examination duties

93 Limits on cross-examination

94 Cross-examination by party of own witness

95 Restrictions on cross-examination by parties in person

96 Cross-examination on previous statements of witnesses

97 Re-examination

98 Further evidence after closure of case

99 Witnesses recalled by Judge

100 Questioning of witnesses by Judge

101 Jury questions

Subpart 5Alternative ways of giving evidence

102 Application

102A Relationship of Courts (Remote Participation) Act 2010 to sections 103 to 106


103 Directions about alternative ways of giving evidence

104 Chambers hearing before directions for alternative ways of giving evidence

105 Alternative ways of giving evidence

106 Video record evidence

Directions about child complainants’ evidence

107 Directions about way child complainants are to give evidence

Giving of evidence by undercover Police officers

108 Undercover Police officers

109 Effect of certificate under section 108

Giving of evidence by anonymous witnesses

110 Pre-trial witness anonymity order

111 Effect of pre-trial witness anonymity order

112 Witness anonymity order for purpose of High Court trial

113 Effect of witness anonymity under section 112

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

115 Judge may appoint independent counsel to assist

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

117 Variation or discharge of witness anonymity order during trial

118 Witness in Police witness protection programme

119 Offences

Signature of statements by assumed name

120 Persons who may sign statements by assumed name

Subpart 6Corroboration, judicial directions, and judicial warnings

121 Corroboration

122 Judicial directions about evidence which may be unreliable

123 Judicial directions about certain ways of offering evidence

124 Judicial warnings about lies

125 Judicial directions about children’s evidence

126 Judicial warnings about identification evidence

127 Delayed complaints or failure to complain in sexual cases

Subpart 7Notice of uncontroverted facts and reference to reliable public documents

128 Notice of uncontroverted facts

129 Admission of reliable published documents

Subpart 8Documentary evidence and evidence produced by machine, device, or technical process

General and special rules

130 Offering documents in evidence without calling witness

131 Admission of depositions

132 Documents required to be discovered or included in common bundle

133 Summary of voluminous documents

134 Admission of documents discovered in civil proceedings

135 Translations and transcripts

136 Proof of signatures on attested documents

137 Evidence produced by machine, device, or technical process

138 Authenticity of public documents

139 Evidence of convictions, acquittals, and other judicial proceedings

140 Proof of conviction by fingerprints

141 New Zealand and foreign official documents

142 Notification of acts in official documents

143 Presumptions as to New Zealand and foreign official seals and signatures

144 Evidence of foreign law

Special rules applying where no requirement for legalisation of foreign public document

145 Interpretation

146 Foreign public documents: certificates as to contracting States under Convention

147 Foreign public documents: Convention certificates sufficient authentication of certain matters

Special rules relating to public documents admissible under Australian law

148 Evidence of public documents by reference to Australian law

149 Evidence of other public documents

Part 4
Evidence from overseas or to be used overseas

Subpart 1Proceedings in Australia and New Zealand

Interpretation and application

150 Interpretation

151 Meaning of specified proceeding

152 Power of Minister of Justice in relation to certain tribunals

153 Act not to apply to certain proceedings in High Court of New Zealand and Federal Court of Australia

153A Courts (Remote Participation) Act 2010 does not apply to remote appearances under this subpart

153B Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1992 operates in parallel with this subpart

Service of and compliance with New Zealand subpoenas in Australia

154 Service of New Zealand subpoenas in Australia

155 New Zealand subpoena may require evidence to be given in New Zealand or Australia

156 Service of subpoena

157 Expenses

158 Payment of additional amounts to witness

159 Subpoenas for production

160 Setting aside of subpoena served in Australia

161 Failure to comply with subpoena

162 Other powers not affected

Service of and compliance with Australian subpoenas in New Zealand

163 Service of Australian subpoenas in New Zealand

164 Compliance with Australian subpoena

165 Failure of witness to comply with Australian subpoena

166 Transmission of documents or things to Australian court

167 Other powers to serve subpoenas not affected

Audio links and audiovisual links in New Zealand proceedings

168 New Zealand court may receive evidence, and related examination and submissions, by audio link and audiovisual link from Australia

168A Costs of giving evidence, and making examination and submissions, from Australia

169 Powers of New Zealand court in Australia

170 Evidence, examination, and submissions by audiovisual link

171 Evidence, examination, and submissions by audio link

172 Rights of Australian counsel

Audio links and audiovisual links in Australian proceedings

173 Australian court may take evidence, and receive related examination and submissions, by audio link or audiovisual link from New Zealand

174 Powers of Australian court

175 Orders of Australian court

176 Place where evidence given or examination or submissions made part of Australian court

177 Privileges, protections, and immunities of Judges, counsel, and witnesses in Australian proceedings

178 Power of Australian court to administer oaths in New Zealand

179 Contempt of Australian court

180 Assistance to Australian court

Enforcement of Australian orders


181 Enforcement of certain orders made by Australian court [Repealed]

Subpart 2Evidence for use in civil proceedings overseas and evidence for use in civil proceedings in High Court

182 Interpretation

183 Relationship with subpart 1

Evidence for use in civil proceedings overseas

184 Application to High Court for assistance in obtaining evidence for civil proceedings in another court

185 Power of High Court to give effect to application for assistance

186 Privileges of witnesses

187 Orders not to bind the Crown or Crown servants

Procedure for taking evidence overseas for use in civil proceedings in High Court

188 Procedure for taking evidence outside New Zealand in civil proceedings in High Court


189 False statements

Subpart 3Evidence for use in overseas criminal proceedings

190 Interpretation

191 Relationship with subpart 1

192 Examination of witness at request of overseas court

193 Powers may be exercised by Registrar

194 Evidence in support of application

195 Protection of witnesses

196 Witnesses’ expenses

197 Solicitor may take affidavit or declaration

198 False affidavit or declaration

Subpart 4Rules and regulations

199 Rules

200 Rules and regulations

Part 5


201 Regulations

Periodic review of operation of Act

202 Periodic review of operation of Act

Transitional provisions

203 Notice of hearsay before commencement

204 Notice before commencement relating to co-defendants’ veracity

205 Notice before commencement concerning propensity evidence about co-defendants

206 Identification already carried out

207 Transitional provisions relating to Law Practitioners Act 1982

208 Transitional provision relating to communication assistance

209 Transitional provision relating to cross-examination by unrepresented parties

210 Transitional provision concerning alternative ways of giving evidence

211 Transitional provision concerning giving of evidence by child complainants

212 Transitional provision relating to offering documents in evidence without calling witness

213 Transitional provision relating to translation and transcripts

214 General

Repeal and amendments

215 Repeal

216 Consequential amendments

Schedule 1
Enactments repealed

Schedule 2
Amendments to other enactments

Reprint notes