Name suppression means that a person’s name and any details that may identify them cannot be published (section 200 Criminal Procedure Act 2011).
Name suppression is available in the following situations:
- for victims and defendants (the person being charged) in specific sexual cases - to protect the victim (rather than the defendant)
- for children under 17 who are complainants or witnesses in criminal proceedings
- as provided in any statute – for example, section 438 of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 restricts publication of any proceedings of the Youth Court except with the permission of the court
- for defendants and any other people connected to proceedings (for example, witnesses, victims), at the discretion of the court, subject to certain considerations.
The court may make an order for name suppression only if it is satisfied that publishing the defendant’s name would be likely to:
- cause extreme hardship to the person being charged or people connected with them (for example, their family)
- cast suspicion on another person that may cause them undue hardship (note that the fact that a person is well known does not automatically mean that publication of their name will result in extreme hardship)
- cause undue hardship to the victim(s)
- create a real risk of prejudicing a fair trial
- endanger any person’s safety
- lead to the identification of another person who has name suppression
- prejudice the maintenance of the law or the security or defence of New Zealand.
In some instances automatic name suppression is applied to protect the victim. This relates to specific sexual offences where the person is accused or convicted of offences under section 130 (Incest) and 131 (Sexual conduct with dependent family member) of the Crimes Act 1961.
The outcome of a prosecution - whether a person is convicted or not:
- proved outcomes (where a person is found to be, or pleads, guilty) include 'convicted' and 'other proved' (Youth Court proved (s283 order), Discharge without conviction and Adult diversion/Youth Court discharge)
- not proved outcomes include the person being found not guilty and where the charge is withdrawn or dismissed.
- other charge outcomes include being found not guilty by reason of insanity or unfit to stand trial.
This dataset includes charges with automatic name suppression.
Includes charges with:
- both interim and final name suppression
- interim suppression only
- final suppression only.
Charges where name suppression is applied for people other than the person charged, are not included. Charges for children and young people finalised in the Youth Court are also not included in any breakdowns, as the Youth Court is closed to the public therefore suppression is implied.
Changes to data collection/processing
From 29 April 2016, the Ministry of Justice sources courts data from the new Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW), rather than the justice sector data warehouse (ISIS) used over recent years. Changes in data processing may cause small differences if compared current output with similar results produced before 29 April 2016.
Note that the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 changed the threshold for people being able to obtain name suppression. Now, people need to prove that publishing their name would cause them 'extreme hardship', rather than 'undue hardship'. Additionally, a specific provision was included to make it clear that being well known is not an automatic reason to obtain name suppression.