New Zealand -- Age of Consent

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New Zealand

Young people and the law

Teenagers and their parents can find themselves in some unpredictable and alarming situations. Here we look at what rights teenagers have.



Sex - the age of consent

The age of consent for women is 16. This means a boy of 16 would commit an offence under the Crimes Act if he had sex with his girlfriend aged 15, even if she consented. The girlfriend could not be charged.

The situation is different for men - there is no legal age of consent for boys having sex with women over 16. If a boy is 15 and his girlfriend 16, they could legally have a sexual relationship. But it is unlawful for an older man to have sex with a male under 16. The boy himself could not be charged.


Contraceptives

Anyone may legally buy over-the-counter contraceptives from a chemist or supermarket - there is no age restriction. By law, your daughter can also get a prescription from a doctor for an oral contraceptive - the pill - and she does not need your consent. If she is under 16 the doctor must be satisfied it is in the interests of her health to provide them.


Abortion

A female any age has the right to consent or refuse to consent to a lawful abortion. Parents cannot demand their daughter have an abortion, or stop her having one, nor can the father.


Teenage parents

If you daughter has a baby, the father must help to pay for the child. If necessary, Inland Revenue can use the Child Support Act to make him do this. If your daughter is under 16, you are also legally obliged to provide her with food and shelter, and she will not be eligible for a domestic purposes benefit.

If she is over 16, your daughter may qualify for sickness benefit during the late pregnancy and for a while after. The domestic purposes benefit is available for solo parents aged 18 or over, or 16 or 17 if they are married. If your daughter lives away from home she may be eligible for the independent youth benefit. Emergency benefits are also available. It is worth applying early, as eligibility varies widely depending on the situation.

 

from the Consumers' Institute of New Zealand


Added 03-2002:
The age of consent for New Zealand males engaging in homosexual activity is 16 years. The act is not written in a way which says you can screw at 16, gay straight or otherwise.  The old law said Crimes Act 1961

141.1 Indecency between males
Everyone is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years, who being a male.
a. indecently assault any other male; or
b. Does an indecent act with or upon another male; or
c. Induces or permits any other male to do any indecent act with or upon him
Annotations 20/7/93   Section 141 repealed and substituted

141.1 Indecent assault on a man or a boy
Everyone is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years, who being a male,
a. Indecently assaults any man or boy of or over 16 years; or
b. Does anything to any man or boy of or over the age of 16 years with his consent, which but for such consent being obtained by a false and fraudulent representation as to the nature and the qauality of the act.

142. Anal Intercourse
1 every one commits an offence who commits an act of anal intercourse on any person
a. who is under the age of 16 years
b who is severely subnormal
it goes on about animals and kids under 12

142.10
It is no defence under this section that person upon whom the act of anal intercourse consented, or that the person charged believed that the person was over the age of 16 years.

 

 

 

 

 

Update 01-2001

Source:  http://www.actwin.com/eatonohio/gay/world.htm

NEW ZEALAND LAWS: 1. Has no sodomy laws, the age of sexual consent is 16 for all.  
2. Allows foreign partners of its homosexual citizenry to receive residency permits.
3. Has a national gay rights law that bans some anti-gay discrimination , employment, education, access to public places, provision of goods and services, housing and accommodation, partnerships, vocational training bodies, qualifying bodies, and industrial   and professional associations. It also protects those who have HIV or AIDS infection from discrimination.
4. Allows homosexuals in its military.
5. New rules from New Zealand’s Health Funding Authority permit lesbian couples and single women to access state-funded fertility treatments. In the past, such women often had to pay the $900-per-cycle fee themselves due to regional inconsistencies in eligibility criteria.
NOTE: 1. Timothy Barnett (Labour)(Christchurch Central) is an openly gay member of the House of Representatives. Chris Carter (Labour) (Te Atatu) was just elected, November 1999, to the House of Representatives, he is also openly gay.
2. Phil Raffills, city council member in Auckland, is very anti-gay.
3. Graham Capill, Leader of the Christian Heritage Party, is extremely anti-gay.
COURT:1. New Zealand's highest court ruled that a lesbian mom's ex-partnermust pay support for the 3 children they had during their 14 year relationship.

Source: http://www.interpol.int/Public/Children/SexualAbuse/NationalLaws/

III. Other forms of child sex abuse

Section 132 of the " Crimes Act 1961 ", ‘Sexual intercourse with a girl aged under twelve (12)’
" (1) Every one who has sexual intercourse with any girl under the age of twelve (12) years is
liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.

(2) Every one who attempts to have sexual intercourse with any girl under the age of twelve (12)
years is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.

(3) It is no defence to a charge under this section that the girl consented, or that the person
charged believed that she was of or over the age of twelve (12) years.

(4) The girl shall not be charged as a party to an offence committed upon or with her against this
section. "

‘Indecency with a girl aged under twelve (12)’, Section 133 of the " Crimes Act 1961 "
" (1) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten (10) years who-

1.Indecently assaults any girl under the age of twelve (12) years ; or

2.Being a male, does any indecent act with or upon any girl under the age of
twelve (12) years ; or

3.Being a male, induces or permits any girl under the age of twelve (12) years
to do any indecent act with or upon him.

(2) It is no defence to a charge under this section that the girl consented, or that the person
charged believed that she was of or over the age of twelve (12) years.

(3) The girl shall not be charged as a party to an offence committed upon or with her against this
section. "

‘Sexual intercourse or indecency with a girl aged between twelve (12) and sixteen (16)’, Section 134 of the " Crimes Act 1961 "

" (1) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who has or attempts to
have sexual intercourse with any girl of or over the age of twelve (12) years and under the age of
sixteen (16) years, not being his wife.

(2) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who :

1.Indecently assaults any such girl ; or

2.Being a male, does any indecent act with or upon any such girl ; or

3.Being a male, induces or permits any such girl to do any indecent act with
or upon him.

(3) It is a defence to a charge under this section if the person charged proves that the girl
consented and that he is younger than the girl, (...).

(4) It is defence to a charge under this section if the person charged proves that the girl
consented, that he was under the age of twenty-one (21) years at the time of the commission of the
act, and that he had reasonable cause to believe, and did believe, that the girl was of or over the
age of sixteen (16) years : (...).

(5) Except as provided in this section, it is no defence to a charge under this section that the girl
consented, or that the person charged believed that the girl was of or over the age of sixteen (16)
years.

(6) The girl shall not be charged as a party to an offence committed upon or with her against this
section. "

‘Incest’, Section 130 of the " Crimes Act 1961 "
(1) Incest is sexual intercourse between-
a) parent and child ; or
b) brother and sister, whether of the whole blood or of the half blood... ; or
c) grandparent and grandchild-
-where the person charged knows of the relationship between the parties.

(2) Every one of or over the age of sixteen (16) years who commits incest is liable to imprisonment
for a term not exceeding 10 years. "

‘Sexual intercourse with a girl under care or protection’, Section 131 of the " Crimes Act 1961 "
" (1) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who has or attempts to
have sexual intercourse with any girl, not being his wife, who is under the age of (20) years and
who-

a) Being his step-daughter, foster daughter, or ward, is at the time of the
intercourse or attempted intercourse living with him as a member of his family ; or

b) Not being his step-daughter, foster daughter, or ward, and not being a person
living with him as his wife, is at the time of he intercourse or attempted intercourse
living with him as a member of his family and is under his care or protection.

(2) It is no defence to a charge under this section that the girl consented. "

‘Indecent act between a woman and girl’, Section 139 of the " Crimes Act 1961 "
" (1) Every women of or over the age of twenty-one (21) years is liable to imprisonment for a term
not exceeding 7 years who-

1) does any indecent act with or upon any girl under the age of sixteen (16) years ;or
2) induces or permits any girl under the age of sixteen (16) years to do any
indecent act with or upon her.
(2) The girl shall not be charged as a party to an offence committed with or upon her against this section.
(3) It is no defence to a charge under this section that the girl consented. "

‘Indecency with a boy under twelve (12)’, Section 140 of the " Crimes Act 1961 "
" (1) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years who, being a male-
a) Indecently assaults any boy under the age of twelve (12) years ; or
b) Does any indecent act with or upon any boy under the age of twelve (12) years ; or
c) Induces or permits any boy under the age of twelve (12) years to do any indecent act with or upon him.
(2) It is no defence to a charge under this section that the boy consented, or that the person
charged believed that the boy was of or over the age of twelve (12) years.
(3) The boy shall not be charged as a party to an offence committed upon or with him against this
section. "

‘Indecency with a boy aged between twelve (12) and sixteen (16)’, Section 140A of the " Crimes Act 1961 "
" (1) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who, being a male-
a) Indecently assaults any boy of or over the age of twelve (12) years and under the
age of sixteen (16) years ; or
b) Does any indecent act with or upon any such boy : or
c) Induces or permits any such boy to do any indecent act with or upon him.
(2) It is a defence to a charge under this section if the person charged proves that the boy
consented and that he is younger than the boy :

Provided that proof of the said facts shall not be a defence if it is proved that such consent was
obtained by a false and fraudulent representation as to the nature and quality of the act.

(3) It is a defence to a charge under this section if the person charged proves that the boy
consented, that he was under the age of twenty-one (21) years at the time of the commission of the
act, and that he had reasonable cause to believe, and did believe, that the boy was of or over the
age of sixteen (16) years :

Provided that proof of the said facts shall not be a defence if it is proved that the consent was
obtained by a false and fraudulent representation as to the nature and quality of the act.

(4) Except as provided in this section, it is no defence to a charge under this section that the boy
consented, or that the person charged believed that the boy was of or over the age of sixteen (16)
years.

(5) The boy shall not be charged as a party to an offence committed upon or with him against this
section.

(6) No one shall be prosecuted for any offence against this section, except under paragraph (a) of
subsection (1) thereof, unless the prosecution is commenced within 12 months from the time the
offence was committed. "

‘Indecent assault on a man or boy’, Section 141 of the " Crimes Act 1961 "
" Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who, being a male-
a) Indecently assaults any man or boy of or over the age of sixteen (16) years ; or
b) Does anything to any man or boy of or over the age of sixteen (16) years, with
his consent, which but for such consent would have been an indecent assault, such
consent being obtained by a false and fraudulent representation as to the nature
and quality of the act. "

‘Anal intercourse’, Section 142 of the " Crimes Act 1961 "
" (1) Every one commits an offence who commits an act of anal intercourse on any person-
a) Who is under the age of sixteen (16) years ;or
b) Who is severely subnormal, and the person committing the act knows or has
good reason to believe that the person upon whom the act is committed is severely
subnormal.
(2) (...)
(3) Every one who commits an offence against this section is liable to imprisonment-
a) In any case where the person upon whom the act was committed was, at the time
of the commission of the act, under the age of twelve (12) years, for a term not
exceeding 14 years ; or
b) In any other case, for a term not exceeding 7 years.
(4) An offence against this section is complete upon penetration.
(5) The person upon whom the act of anal intercourse is committed shall not be charged with
being a party to the offence.
(6) Subject to subsection (9) of this section, it is a defence to a charge under subsection (1) (a) of
this section if the person charged proves that the person upon whom the act of anal intercourse
was committed consented and that he is younger than that person :

Provided that proof of the said facts shall not be a defence if it is proved that such consent was
obtained by a false and fraudulent representation as to the nature and quality of the act.

(7) Subject to subsection (9) of this section, it its a defence to a charge under subsection (1) (a) of
this section if the person charged proves that the person upon whom the act of anal intercourse
was committed consented, that the person charged was under the age of twenty-one (21) years at
the time of the commission of the act, and that he had reasonable cause to believe, and did
believe, that the person upon whom the act was committed was of or over the age of sixteen (16)
years ;

Provided that proof of the said facts shall not be a defence if it is proved that the consent was
obtained by a false and fraudulent representation as to the nature and quality of the act.

(8) (...)

(9) The provisions of subsections (6), (7), and (8) of this section shall not apply where the person
upon whom the act of anal intercourse was committed was under the age of twelve (12) years at
the time of the commission of the act.

(10) Except as provided in this section, it is no defence to a charge under this section that the
person upon whom the act of anal intercourse was committed consented, or that the person
charged believed that the person was of or over the age of sixteen (16) years. "

V. Child pornography
New Zealand has specific legislation prohibiting child pornography. The " Films , Videos, and Publications
Classification Act of 1993 ", Section 3 (1) ; (2)(a) and (3) (a-iv), (b) states

" (1) For the purposes of this Act, a publication is objectionable if it describes, depicts, expresses,
or otherwise deals with matters such as sex, horror, crime, cruelty, or violence in such a manner
that the availability of the publication is likely to be injurious to the public good. "

" (2) A publication shall be deemed to be objectionable for the purposes of this Act if the
publication promotes, supports or tends to promote or support (a) the exploitation of children, or
young persons, or both, for sexual purposes. "

" (3) In determining ...whether or not any publication is objectionable... particular weight shall
be given to the extent and degree to which, and the manner in which the publication
a) describes, depicts, or otherwise deals with :
iv) sexual conduct with or by children, or young persons, or both ;
b) exploits the nudity of children, or young persons, or both. "

Legal definition of ‘child’ and ‘young person’, " Children, Young Persons and their Families Act 1989 "
* ‘Child’ means a boy or girl under the age of fourteen (14) years ;
* ‘Young person’ means a boy or girl of or over the age of fourteen (14) years but under seventeen
(17) years ; This does not include any person who has been married.
For the purposes of the Customs Child Pornography Project, ‘child pornography’ is material
relating to persons younger than seventeen (17) years of age.

Legal definition of ‘publication’, " Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993 "
* ‘Publication’ means-
a) Any film, book, sound recording, picture, newspaper, photograph, photographic
negative, photographic plate, or photographic slide ;
b) Any print or writing ;
c) Any paper or other thing-
(i) That has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, any word, statement, sign or representation ; or
(ii) On which is recorded or stored any information that, by use of any computer or other electronic device, is capable of being reproduced or shown as any word, statement, sign, or representation.

‘Offences in relation to importation of prohibited goods’, Section 209 of the " Customs & Excise Act 1996 "
" (1) Every person commits an offence who-
a) Imports into New Zealand or unships or lands in New Zealand goods the
importation of which is prohibited under section 54 of this Act ; or
c) Is knowingly concerned in any importation, exportation, transportation,
shipment, unshipment, or landing of goods to which paragraph (a) or (b) of this
subsection applies ; or
d) Without lawful justification or excuse, removes from a Customs controlled area
imported goods the importation of which is prohibited under section 54 of this
Act ; or...

(2) Every person who commits an offence against any of paragraphs c), e) or g) of subsection (1)
of this section is liable on conviction-

a) In the case of an individual, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months
or to a fine not exceeding $10,000 ; or
b) In the case of a body corporate, to a fine not exceeding $50,000 ; or
c) In either case, to a fine of an amount not exceeding 3 times the value of the
goods to which the offence relates.
(3) Every person who commits an offence against paragraphs a), b), d), or f) of subsection (1) of
this section is liable on conviction-
a) In the case of an individual to a fine not exceeding $5,000 ; or
b) In the case of a body corporate to a fine not exceeding $10,000,
(4) It is not a defence in a prosecution for an offence referred to in subsection (3) of this section
that the defendant had no knowledge or no reasonable cause to believe that the goods in respect
of which the offence was committed were prohibited imports or prohibited exports, as the case
may be. "

‘Prohibited imports’, Section 54 of the " Customs & Excise Act 1996 "
" (1) It is unlawful to import into New Zealand-
a) Any of the goods specified in the first schedule to this act... "
‘Prohibited imports’, Section 54 (1) First Schedule, of the " Customs & Excise Act 1996 "
" Prohibited imports are ‘all publications within the meaning of the " Films, Videos and
Publications Classification Act 1993 " that are objectionable within the meaning of that Act in
the hands of all persons and for all purposes ; and all other indecent or obscene articles’ "
See supra, Section 3 of the " Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993.

‘Possession or custody of uncustomed goods or prohibited imports’, Section 212 of the " Customs & Excise Act
1996 "
" (1) Every person commits an offence who knowingly and without lawful justification has in his or
her possession or custody goods that the person knows are uncustomed goods or prohibited
imports.

(2) Every person who commits an offence against this section is liable on conviction-
a) In the case of an individual, to a fine not exceeding $10,000 ; or
b) In the case of a body corporate, to a fine not exceeding $50,000 ; or
c) in either case, to a fine of an amount both exceeding 3 times the value of the goods to which the offence relates. "

VI. Extraterritorial legislation
‘Sexual conduct with children outside New Zealand’, Section 144A of the " Crimes Amendment Act 1995 "
" (1) Every one commits an offence who, being a New Zealand citizen or a person ordinarily resident
in New Zealand, does, outside New Zealand, any act to or in relation to any child under the age of
sixteen (16) years if that act would, if done in New Zealand, constitute an offence against any of the
following provisions of this Act :
a) Section 132(1), ‘Sexual intercourse with a girl under twelve (12)’ ;
b) Section 132(2) , ‘Attempted sexual intercourse with a girl under twelve (12)’ ;
c) Section 133, ‘Indecency with a girl under twelve (12)’ ;
d) Section 134(1), ‘Sexual intercourse with a girl between twelve (12) and sixteen (16)’ ;
e) Section 134(2), ‘Indecency with a girl between twelve (12) and sixteen (16)’ ;
f) Section 139, ‘Indecent act between a girl and a woman’ ;
g) Section 140, ‘Indecency with a boy under twelve (12)’ ;
h) Section 140A, ‘Indecency with a boy between twelve (12) and sixteen (16)’ ;
i) Section 142, ‘Anal intercourse’ ;

(2) Every one who commits an offence against this section in respect of any provision specified in
subsection (1) of this section is liable to the same penalty to which he or she would have been
liable had he or she been convicted of an offence against that provision.

(3) (...) "

‘Organising or promoting child sex tours’, Section 144C of the " Crimes Amendment Act 1995 "
" (1) Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who-
a) Makes or organises any travel arrangements for or on behalf of any other
person with the intention of facilitating the commission by that other person of an
offence against section 144A of this Act, whether or not such an offence is actually
committed by that other person ; or

b) Transports any other person to a place outside New Zealand with the intention
of facilitating the commission by that other person of an offence against section
144A of this Act, whether or not such an offence is actually committed by that other
person ; or

c) Prints or publishes any information that is intended to promote conduct that
would constitute an offence against section 144A of this Act, or to assist any other
person to engage in such conduct.

(2) For the purposes of this section-
a) The making or organising of travel arrangements includes, but is not limited to-
(i) the purchase or reservation of tickets for travel to a country
outside New Zealand ;
(ii) the purchase or reservation of accommodation in a country
outside New Zealand ;
b) The publication of information means publication of information by any means,
whether by written, electronic, or other form of communication ; and includes the
distribution of information. "

 

 

 

In New Zealand, the Crimes Amendment Act which came into force in Aprll 1995 makes it an offence for a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident to engage in conduct outside of New Zealand with a child under the age of 16 if such conduct would be an offence in New Zealand. (source)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

New Zealand Executive Government News Release Archive



21 August 1996

Minister of Justice, Hon D.A.M. Graham

Pamphlet draws travellers' attention to new sex law

The Minister of Justice, Hon D.A.M. Graham, today welcomed the publication of a pamphlet
designed to inform the public that it is an offence under New Zealand law for New Zealanders to
have sex with children while overseas.

The pamphlet titled Sex with a Child is Illegal will be displayed prominently at Customs areas at
Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch international airports.

Mr Graham says that by making the pamphlets available to all departing passengers, it is hoped that
they will contribute to the new law's deterrent effect.

The amendments to the Crimes Act creating the extra-territorial offence define a child as a boy or
girl under the age of 16. It is an offence under NZ law for:

NZ citizens and residents to have sex with a child in another country
Anyone in NZ to help people travel overseas to have sex with children, or for anyone in NZ
to promote child sex tours
Anyone to import, distribute or possess child pornography in NZ

The penalties in NZ for sex offences against children in any country are 7 to 14 years maximum
imprisonment for sexual offending and 7 years maximum imprisonment for organising or promoting
sexual offending.

Government and non-governmental organisations worked together to produce the pamphlet.
ECPAT (End Child Prostitution), as part of its overall work in NZ raising awareness about child
prostitution and its link to tourism, produced it with advice and assistance from the Ministry of
Justice and the Customs and Police Departments. The tourist organisation TAANZ also
contributed.

Mr Graham said the release of the pamphlet was timely with a world congress against commercial
sexual exploitation of children to be held in Stockholm next week.

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