Offences against the person

Key statutes

  • Crimes Act 1961
  • Crimes of Torture Act 1989
  • Harassment Act 1997
  • Maritime Crimes Act 1999
  • Summary Offences Act 1981
  • Terrorism Suppression Act 2002

Key secondary legislation

  • Crimes Amendment Act (No. 4) 2011 Commencement Order 2013
  • Crimes Amendment Act 2005 Commencement Order 2017
  • Crimes (Interception Warrants) Regulations 2003
  • Maritime Crimes Amendment Act 2017 Commencement Order 2018
  • Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Act 2019

Information/links to recent or currently underway reviews

Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 (TSA) - several proposed changes are in the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill (the Bill) that is to be introduced in 2021. The Bill clarifies several definitions in the TSA:

  • introduces new offences of planning or other preparations to carry out a terrorist act,
  • financing of or provision of material support for terrorism, and
  • travelling overseas intending to commit a specified offence relating to terrorism.
  • Introduces new offence of participating in terrorist training.

Harassment Act 1997 - The Act was looked at in 2012 by the Law Commission as part of its investigation into the adequacy of current sanctions and remedies as part of its work on harmful digital communications. Amendments to the Act were made via the Harmful Digital Communications Act.

Crimes of Torture Act 1989 (CTA) is the Act by which NZ subsequently implemented the optional United Nation's Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) to prevent torture and other ill-treatment. NZ’s compliance with OPCAT is monitored by way of regular visits.

Maritime Crimes Act 1999 - amended in 2017 by the Maritime Crimes Amendment Act 2017, including clarification of enforcement officers’ powers to board and search ships. The Act implements obligations under two maritime counter-terrorism treaties to ensure the maritime security framework can respond to contemporary transnational terrorist threats.

Crimes Act 1961 - amended by the Crimes Act Amendment Act 2019 that:

  • repealed three provisions in the Crimes Act (including blasphemous libel and the ‘death within a year and a day rule’),
  • increased the penalty for theft of animals from agricultural land,
  • protected spouses and civil union partners in cases where they would otherwise be an accessory after-the-fact to an offence,

and by the Crimes (Definition of Female Genital Mutilation) Amendment Act 2020 that amended the definition of female genital mutilation.

Summary Offences Act 1961 - last amended by the Family Violence Act 2018 that created an offence of associating with violent offenders in breach of an order under the FVA.

Forward work

The wording of the Terrorist Suppression (Control Orders) Act is currently being reviewed.