Crimes Act 1961

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Version as at 28 October 2021

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Crimes Act 1961

Public Act
1961 No 43
Date of assent
1 November 1961
see section 1(2)

The Parliamentary Counsel Office has made editorial and format changes to this version using the powers under subpart 2 of Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019.

Note 4 at the end of this version provides a list of the amendments included in it.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Justice.


1Short Title, commencement, etc
3Meaning of convicted on indictment [Repealed]
4Meaning of ordinarily resident in New Zealand
4ATransitional, savings, and related provisions
5Application of Act
6Persons not to be tried in respect of things done outside New Zealand
7Place of commission of offence
7AExtraterritorial jurisdiction in respect of certain offences with transnational aspects
7BAttorney-General’s consent required where jurisdiction claimed under section 7A
8Jurisdiction in respect of crimes on ships or aircraft beyond New Zealand
8AJurisdiction in respect of certain persons with diplomatic or consular immunity
9Offences not to be punishable except under New Zealand Acts
10Offence under more than 1 enactment
10ACriminal enactments not to have retrospective effect
10BPeriod of limitation [Repealed]
11Construction of other Acts [Repealed]
12Summary jurisdiction [Repealed]
13Powers of courts under other Acts not affected
14Form of sentence in capital cases [Repealed]
15Sentence of death not to be passed on pregnant woman [Repealed]
16Sentence of death not to be passed on person under 18 years of age [Repealed]
17No sentence of solitary confinement to be passed
18Putting under bond [Repealed]
19Enforcement of fines by High Court
20General rule as to justifications
21Children under 10
22Children between 10 and 14
25Ignorance of law
26Execution of sentence, process, or warrant
27Execution of erroneous sentence or process
28Sentence or process without jurisdiction
29Irregular warrant or process
30Arresting the wrong person
31Arrest by constable pursuant to statutory powers
32Arrest by constable of person believed to have committed offence
33Arrest by other officers or persons pursuant to statutory powers
34Persons assisting constable or officer in arrest
35Arrest of persons found committing certain crimes
36Arrest of person believed to be committing crime by night
37Arrest after commission of certain crimes
38Arrest during flight
39Force used in executing process or in arrest
40Preventing escape or rescue
41Prevention of suicide or certain offences
42Preventing breach of the peace
43Suppression of riot
44Suppression of riot by Police
45Suppression of riot by persons acting under lawful orders
46Suppression of riot by persons without orders
47Protection of members of New Zealand forces
48Self-defence and defence of another
49Self-defence against provoked assault [Repealed]
50Provocation defined [Repealed]
51Defence of person under protection [Repealed]
52Defence of movable property against trespasser
53Defence of movable property with claim of right
54Defence of movable property without claim of right
55Defence of dwellinghouse
56Defence of land or building
57Assertion of right to land or building
58Exercise of right of way, etc
59Parental control
60Discipline on ship or aircraft
61Surgical operations
61AFurther provisions relating to surgical operations
62Excess of force
63Consent to death
64Obedience to de facto law
65Other enactments not affected
66Parties to offences
67Conspiracy between spouses or civil union partners
68Party to murder outside New Zealand
69Party to any other crime outside New Zealand
70Offence committed other than offence intended
71Accessory after the fact
74Punishment for treason or attempted treason
75Evidence of treason
76Punishment for being party to treason
77Inciting to mutiny
78AAWrongful communication, retention, or copying of classified information
78AWrongful communication, retention, or copying of official information
78BConsent of Attorney-General to proceedings in relation to espionage or wrongful communication, retention, or copying of classified information or official information
78CQuestions of law in relation to espionage or wrongful communication of information
78DSearch without warrant [Repealed]
80Oath to commit offence
81Seditious offences defined [Repealed]
82Seditious conspiracy [Repealed]
83Seditious statements [Repealed]
84Publication of seditious documents [Repealed]
85Use of apparatus for making seditious documents or statements [Repealed]
86Unlawful assembly
88Reading the Riot Act [Repealed]
89Failure of rioters to disperse [Repealed]
90Riotous damage
91Forcible entry and detainer
93Piratical acts
94Punishment of piratical acts
95Attempt to commit piracy
96Conspiring to commit piracy
97Accessory after the fact to piracy
98Dealing in slaves
98AADealing in people under 18 for sexual exploitation, removal of body parts, or engagement in forced labour
98AParticipation in organised criminal group
98BTerms used in sections 98C to 98F
98CSmuggling migrants
98DTrafficking in persons
98EAggravating factors
98FAttorney-General’s consent to prosecutions required
100Judicial corruption
101Bribery of judicial officer, etc
102Corruption and bribery of Minister of the Crown
103Corruption and bribery of member of Parliament
104Corruption and bribery of law enforcement officer
105Corruption and bribery of official
105ACorrupt use of official information
105BUse or disclosure of personal information disclosed in breach of section 105A
105CBribery of foreign public official
105DBribery outside New Zealand of foreign public official
105ECorruption of foreign public officials
105FTrading in influence
106Restrictions on prosecution
107Contravention of statute
108Perjury defined
109Punishment of perjury
110False oaths
111False statements or declarations
112Evidence of perjury, false oath, or false statement
113Fabricating evidence
114Use of purported affidavit or declaration
115Conspiring to bring false accusation
116Conspiring to defeat justice
117Corrupting juries and witnesses
118Assisting escape of prisoners of war or internees
119Breaking prison
120Escape from lawful custody
121Assisting escape from lawful custody
122Assisting escape of mentally impaired person detained for offence
123Blasphemous libel [Repealed]
124Distribution or exhibition of indecent matter
124AIndecent communication with young person under 16
125Indecent act in public place
126Indecent act with intent to insult or offend
127No presumption because of age
128Sexual violation defined
128AAllowing sexual activity does not amount to consent in some circumstances
128BSexual violation
129Attempted sexual violation and assault with intent to commit sexual violation
129ASexual conduct with consent induced by certain threats
131Sexual conduct with dependent family member
131ADependent family member defined
131BMeeting young person following sexual grooming, etc
132Sexual conduct with child under 12
133Indecency with girl under 12 [Repealed]
134Sexual conduct with young person under 16
134ADefence to charge under section 134
135Indecent assault
136Conspiracy to induce sexual intercourse [Repealed]
137Inducing sexual intercourse under pretence of marriage [Repealed]
138Sexual exploitation of person with significant impairment
139Indecent act between woman and girl [Repealed]
140Indecency with boy under 12 [Repealed]
140AIndecency with boy between 12 and 16 [Repealed]
141Indecent assault on man or boy [Repealed]
142Anal intercourse [Repealed]
142ACompelling indecent act with animal
144Indecency with animal
144ASexual conduct with children and young people outside New Zealand
144ABParty or accessory liability for sexual acts with children or young people outside New Zealand done by, or involving, foreigner principal parties
144BConsent of Attorney-General required
144COrganising or promoting child sex tours
145Criminal nuisance
146Keeping place of resort for homosexual acts [Repealed]
147Brothel-keeping [Repealed]
148Living on earnings of prostitution [Repealed]
149Procuring for prostitution [Repealed]
149ABeing client in act of prostitution by person under 18 years of age [Repealed]
150Misconduct in respect of human remains
150AStandard of care applicable to persons under legal duties or performing unlawful acts
151Duty to provide necessaries and protect from injury
152Duty of parent or guardian to provide necessaries and protect from injury
153Duty of employers to provide necessaries
154Abandoning child under 6
155Duty of persons doing dangerous acts
156Duty of persons in charge of dangerous things
157Duty to avoid omissions dangerous to life
158Homicide defined
159Killing of a child
160Culpable homicide
161Procuring death by false evidence [Repealed]
162Death must be within a year and a day [Repealed]
163Killing by influence on the mind
164Acceleration of death
165Causing death that might have been prevented
166Causing injury the treatment of which causes death
167Murder defined
168Further definition of murder
169Provocation [Repealed]
170Illegal arrest may be evidence of provocation [Repealed]
172Punishment of murder
173Attempt to murder
174Counselling or attempting to procure murder
175Conspiracy to murder
176Accessory after the fact to murder
177Punishment of manslaughter
179Aiding and abetting suicide
180Suicide pact
181Concealing dead body of child
182Killing unborn child
182AMiscarriage defined [Repealed]
183Abortion procured by person other than health practitioner
184Procuring abortion by other means [Repealed]
185Female procuring her own miscarriage [Repealed]
186Supplying means of procuring abortion [Repealed]
187Effectiveness of means used immaterial [Repealed]
187AMeaning of unlawfully [Repealed]
188Wounding with intent
189Injuring with intent
189AStrangulation or suffocation
190Injuring by unlawful act
191Aggravated wounding or injury
192Aggravated assault
193Assault with intent to injure
194Assault on a child, or by a male on a female
194AAssault on person in family relationship
195Ill-treatment or neglect of child or vulnerable adult
195AFailure to protect child or vulnerable adult
196Common assault
198Discharging firearm or doing dangerous act with intent
198AUsing any firearm against law enforcement officer, etc
198BCommission of crime with firearm
199Acid throwing
200Poisoning with intent
201Infecting with disease
202Setting traps, etc
202APossession of offensive weapons or disabling substances
202BPowers in respect of crime against section 202A [Repealed]
202BASentencing for second crime against section 202A(4)
202CAssault with weapon
203Endangering transport [Repealed]
204Impeding rescue
204AFemale genital mutilation
204BFurther offences relating to female genital mutilation
205Bigamy defined
206Punishment of bigamy
207Feigned marriage or civil union
207ACoerced marriage or civil union
208Abduction for purposes of marriage or civil union or sexual connection
209AYoung person under 16 cannot consent to being taken away or detained
210Abduction of young person under 16
210APeople claiming in good faith right to possession of young person under 16
211Criminal libel and publishing defined [Repealed]
212Publishing upon invitation [Repealed]
213No prosecution without leave of Judge [Repealed]
214Plea of justification [Repealed]
215Punishment of criminal libel [Repealed]
216Criminal slander [Repealed]
216BProhibition on use of interception devices
216CProhibition on disclosure of private communications unlawfully intercepted
216DProhibition on dealing, etc, with interception devices
216FUnlawful disclosure
216GIntimate visual recording defined
216HProhibition on making intimate visual recording
216IProhibition on possessing intimate visual recording in certain circumstances
216JProhibition on publishing, importing, exporting, or selling intimate visual recording
216KExceptions to prohibition in section 216J
216LDisposal and forfeiture
216MEffect of appeal on order made under section 216L
216NProtection from liability
218Matters of ownership
219Theft or stealing
220Theft by person in special relationship
220ATheft of livestock and other animals
221Theft of parts of killed animals
222Theft by spouse or partner
223Punishment of theft
224Power of search for goods stolen or unlawfully obtained in transit [Repealed]
225Power to search vehicles for goods stolen or obtained by crimes involving dishonesty [Repealed]
226Conversion of vehicle or other conveyance
227Being in possession of instrument for conversion
228Dishonestly taking or using document
228ADesigning, manufacturing, or adapting goods with intent to facilitate commission of crimes involving dishonesty
228BPossessing, selling, or disposing of goods designed, manufactured, or adapted with intent to facilitate commission of crimes involving dishonesty
228CPossessing goods capable of being used to facilitate crimes involving dishonesty with intent to facilitate commission of those offences
229Criminal breach of trust
230Taking, obtaining, or copying trade secrets
231AEntry onto agricultural land with intent to commit imprisonable offence
232Aggravated burglary
233Being disguised or in possession of instrument for burglary
235Aggravated robbery
236Assault with intent to rob
238Punishment of blackmail
239Demanding with intent to steal, etc
240Obtaining by deception or causing loss by deception
240AApplication of section 240 to match-fixing
241Punishment of obtaining by deception or causing loss by deception
242False statement by promoter, etc
243Money laundering
243ACharges for money laundering
244Defence of enforcement of enactment
245Application of section 243 to acts outside New Zealand
247Punishment of receiving
249Accessing computer system for dishonest purpose
250Damaging or interfering with computer system
251Making, selling, or distributing or possessing software for committing crime
252Accessing computer system without authorisation
253Qualified exemption to access without authorisation offence for New Zealand Security Intelligence Service [Repealed]
254Qualified exemption to access without authorisation offence for Government Communications Security Bureau [Repealed]
257Using forged documents
258Altering, concealing, destroying, or reproducing documents with intent to deceive
259Using altered or reproduced document with intent to deceive
260False accounting
261Counterfeiting public seals
262Counterfeiting corporate seals
263Possessing forged bank notes
264Paper or implements for forgery
265Imitating authorised or customary marks
266Offences involving coinage
268Attempted arson
269Intentional damage
270Endangering transport
271Waste or diversion of electricity, gas, or water
272Providing explosive to commit crime
273Using probate obtained by forgery or perjury [Repealed]
274Paper or implements for forgery [Repealed]
275Counterfeiting stamps [Repealed]
276Falsifying registers [Repealed]
277Falsifying extracts from registers [Repealed]
278Uttering false certificates [Repealed]
279Forging certificates [Repealed]
280Imitating authorised marks [Repealed]
281Imitating customary marks [Repealed]
282Interpretation [Repealed]
283Preparations for coining [Repealed]
284Counterfeiting coin [Repealed]
285Altering coin [Repealed]
286Impairing coin [Repealed]
287Defacing coin [Repealed]
288Melting coin [Repealed]
289Possessing counterfeit coin [Repealed]
290Uttering counterfeit coin [Repealed]
291Buying and selling counterfeit coin [Repealed]
292Importing and exporting counterfeit coin [Repealed]
293What constitutes criminal damage [Repealed]
294Arson [Repealed]
295Attempted arson [Repealed]
296Damage to other property by fire or explosive [Repealed]
297Attempt to damage property by fire or explosive [Repealed]
298Wilful damage [Repealed]
298ACausing disease or sickness in animals
298BContaminating food, crops, water, or other products
299Wilful waste or diversion of water, gas, or electricity [Repealed]
300Interfering with means of transport [Repealed]
301Wrecking [Repealed]
302Attempting to wreck [Repealed]
303Interfering with signals, etc [Repealed]
304Interfering with mines [Repealed]
305Providing explosive to commit crime [Repealed]
306Threatening to kill or do grievous bodily harm
307Threatening to destroy property
307AThreats of harm to people or property
308Threatening acts
309Conspiring to prevent collection of rates or taxes
310Conspiring to commit offence
311Attempt to commit or procure commission of offence
312Accessory after the fact to crime
312AInterpretation [Repealed]
312BApplication by Police for warrant to intercept private communications [Repealed]
312CMatters on which Judge must be satisfied in respect of applications [Repealed]
312CAApplication by Police for warrant to intercept private communications in relation to serious violent offences [Repealed]
312CBMatters on which Judge must be satisfied in respect of applications relating to serious violent offences [Repealed]
312CCApplication by Police for warrant to intercept private communications relating to terrorist offences [Repealed]
312CDMatters of which Judge must be satisfied in respect of applications relating to terrorist offences [Repealed]
312DContents and term of warrant [Repealed]
312EEffect of warrant [Repealed]
312FRenewal of warrants [Repealed]
312GEmergency permits [Repealed]
312HSecurity of applications [Repealed]
312IDestruction of irrelevant records made by use of interception device [Repealed]
312JDestruction of relevant records made by use of interception device [Repealed]
312KProhibition on disclosure of private communications lawfully intercepted [Repealed]
312LNotice to be given of intention to produce evidence of private communication [Not in force]
312MInadmissibility of evidence of private communications unlawfully intercepted [Repealed]
312NRestriction on admissibility of evidence of private communications lawfully intercepted [Repealed]
312OPrivileged evidence [Repealed]
312PReport to be made to Judge on use of warrant or permit [Repealed]
312QCommissioner of Police to give information to Parliament [Repealed]
313General provisions as to procedure [Repealed]
314Procedure where prior consent to prosecution required [Repealed]
314AStatutory search power [Repealed]
314BGeneral power to stop vehicles [Repealed]
314CPowers incidental to stopping vehicles under section 314B [Repealed]
314DOffences relating to stopping vehicles under section 314B [Repealed]
315Arrest without warrant
316Duty of persons arresting
317Power to enter premises to arrest offender or prevent offence [Repealed]
317APower to stop vehicles for purpose of arrest [Repealed]
317AAPowers incidental to stopping vehicles under section 317A [Repealed]
317ABOffences relating to stopping vehicles under section 317A [Repealed]
317BRoad blocks [Repealed]
318When bail not allowable [Repealed]
319Rules as to granting bail [Repealed]
319ADetention while bail bond prepared and signed [Repealed]
319BVariation of conditions of bail [Repealed]
320Arrest of absconder [Repealed]
320APerson on bail may be arrested without warrant in certain circumstances [Repealed]
320BFailure to answer bail [Repealed]
320CNon-performance of condition of bail bond to be certified by Judge [Repealed]
321Person committed for trial may plead guilty before trial [Repealed]
322Changing venue or sitting [Repealed]
323Powers of court of committal as to custody or bail of accused [Repealed]
324Attendance of witnesses at substituted court [Repealed]
325Powers of substituted court to compel attendance [Repealed]
326Trial in substituted court [Repealed]
327Witnesses’ expenses where indictment removed at instance of the Crown [Repealed]
328Form of indictment [Repealed]
329Contents of counts [Repealed]
330Crimes may be charged in the alternative [Repealed]
331Certain objections not to vitiate counts [Repealed]
332Indictment for perjury or fraud [Repealed]
333General provisions as to counts not affected [Repealed]
334Further particulars [Repealed]
335Variance and amendment [Repealed]
336Indictment for treason [Repealed]
337Attempt proved when crime is charged [Repealed]
338Crime proved when attempt is charged [Repealed]
339Part of charge proved [Repealed]
340Joinder of counts [Repealed]
341Charge of previous conviction [Repealed]
342Objections to indictment [Repealed]
343Indictment of parties [Repealed]
344Accessories after the fact, and receivers [Repealed]
344AAMoney launderers [Repealed]
344AInterlocutory order relating to admissibility of evidence [Repealed]
344BAttendance at identification parade voluntary
344CInformation relating to identification witness to be supplied to defendant [Repealed]
344DJury to be warned where principal evidence relates to identification [Repealed]
345Filing indictment [Repealed]
345ATime for filing indictment [Repealed]
345BExtension of time for filing indictment [Repealed]
345CTrial Judge may excuse disclosure of information relating to Police investigations [Repealed]
345DLeave to file amended indictments [Repealed]
346Failure of prosecutor to file indictment [Repealed]
347Power to discharge accused [Repealed]
348Copy of indictment [Repealed]
349Special provisions in case of treason [Repealed]
350Bench warrant [Repealed]
351Failure of witness to attend [Repealed]
352Refusal of witness to give evidence [Repealed]
353Record of proceedings [Repealed]
354Right to be defended [Repealed]
355Arraignment [Repealed]
356Plea [Repealed]
357Special pleas [Repealed]
358Pleas of previous acquittal and conviction [Repealed]
359Second accusation [Repealed]
360Evidence of former trial [Repealed]
361Plea on behalf of corporation [Repealed]
361ATrial before a Judge with a jury general rule [Repealed]
361BAccused may apply for trial before a Judge without a jury [Repealed]
361CJudge may order trial without a jury in certain cases [Repealed]
361DJudge may order trial without jury in certain cases that are likely to be long and complex [Repealed]
361EJudge may order trial without jury in cases involving intimidation of juror or jurors [Repealed]
362Challenging the array [Repealed]
363Challenges and directions to stand by [Repealed]
364Caution to accused when undefended [Repealed]
365Question to accused when undefended [Repealed]
366Comment on failure to give evidence [Repealed]
366AUnsworn statement prohibited [Repealed]
367Evidence and addresses [Repealed]
367ANotice of alibi [Repealed]
368Adjourning trial for witnesses [Repealed]
369Admissions [Repealed]
369AProsecution may withdraw in certain cases [Repealed]
370Jury retiring to consider verdict [Repealed]
371Motion in arrest of judgment. Sentence [Repealed]
372Correction of erroneous sentence [Repealed]
373Discretion to keep jury together [Repealed]
374Discharge of juror or jury [Repealed]
375Power to clear court and forbid report of proceedings [Repealed]
375ASpecial provisions in cases of sexual nature [Repealed]
376Presence of the accused [Repealed]
377Proceedings on Sunday [Repealed]
378Stay of proceedings [Repealed]
378AOrder for retrial may be granted if acquittal tainted [Repealed]
378BMeaning of terms used in sections 378C and 378D [Repealed]
378CConsent of Solicitor-General required in certain circumstances for exercise of powers in relation to acquitted person [Repealed]
378DOrder for retrial may be granted by Court of Appeal if new and compelling evidence discovered [Repealed]
378EOrders to safeguard fairness of retrial [Repealed]
378FEffect of order for retrial [Repealed]
379Interpretation [Repealed]
379ARight of appeal in certain cases [Repealed]
379ABAppeal against decision of Court of Appeal on appeal against certain orders [Repealed]
379BAppeal from decision of High Court relating to bail [Repealed]
379CProcedural provisions relating to appeal on question of bail [Repealed]
379CAAppeal against order in respect of costs [Repealed]
379DExecution of decision of Court of Appeal [Repealed]
380Reserving question of law [Repealed]
381Appeal where no question reserved [Repealed]
381AQuestion of law arising out of discharge under section 347 or stay of prosecution may be referred to Court of Appeal [Repealed]
382Powers of Court of Appeal where appeal is on question of law [Repealed]
383Right of appeal against conviction or sentence [Repealed]
383AAppeal against decision of Court of Appeal on appeal against conviction or sentence [Repealed]
384Right of appeal against sentence or conviction for contempt of court [Repealed]
384AJurisdiction in certain cases where appeals lie to different courts [Repealed]
385Determination of appeals in ordinary cases [Repealed]
386Powers of appellate courts in special cases [Repealed]
387Revesting and restitution of property on conviction [Repealed]
388Time for appealing [Repealed]
389Supplemental powers of appellate courts [Repealed]
390Duty of Solicitor-General [Repealed]
391Costs of appeal [Repealed]
392Duties of Registrar with respect to notices of appeal, etc [Repealed]
392ADecision about mode of hearing [Repealed]
392BHearings on the papers [Repealed]
393Certain powers exercisable by 1 Judge [Repealed]
394Evidence for appellate courts [Repealed]
395Right of appellant to be represented, and restriction on attendance [Repealed]
396Power to forbid report of proceedings, etc [Repealed]
397Granting of bail to appellant, and custody pending appeal [Repealed]
398Judgment of Court of Appeal [Repealed]
399Intermediate effects of appeal [Repealed]
400Consent of Attorney-General to certain prosecutions
401Contempt of court [Repealed]
402Costs [Repealed]
403Compensation for loss of property [Repealed]
404Restitution of property [Repealed]
405Civil remedy not suspended
406Prerogative of mercy [Repealed]
406AAppeals against decisions made on references [Repealed]
407Effect of free pardon
408Act to bind the Crown
409Rules of court [Repealed]
411Consequential amendments
412Repeals and savings
413Enactment creating offence is repealed and replaced or consolidated
414Repealed enactment continues to have effect
415Inconsistency with other enactment or rule of law

An Act to consolidate and amend the Crimes Act 1908 and certain other enactments of the Parliament of New Zealand relating to crimes and other offences

Title: amended, on 1 January 1987, pursuant to section 29(2) of the Constitution Act 1986 (1986 No 114).