Crime - Adults convicted in court by offence, gender, age and sentence type 1989–2020

Stats NZ


Most serious offence: An offender's most serious offence is the one with the most severe sentence. Offence categories are available here:

Imprisonment sentences: include life imprisonment, preventive detention, imprisonment.
Community sentences: include home detention (from 2007), community detention (from 2007), intensive supervision (from 2007), community work, and supervision (from 2007).
Monetary penalties: fines or reparation.
Other: includes obsolete sentences. It also includes orders for committal to a secure facility, order to come up for sentence if called upon, disqualification from driving, alcohol interlock order and zero alcohol licence (from 2012), order for forfeiture (from 2004), instrument forfeiture (from 2010), confiscation of motor vehicle, and Final Protection Order (from 2010).
No sentence recorded: includes court costs and instances where an offender has been convicted and discharged without any penalty being imposed.
The Total category includes all of the above sentence types.

Data calculation/treatment

The Convicted Offenders table contain the number of people aged 18 and over convicted in criminal courts during a calendar year. This data only shows the most serious offence per person per year. Where a person has more than one offence in a year, the data shown (e.g. offence group, outcome, sentence) relates to the most serious offence.
Multiple sentences may be imposed for the same charge. However, for the convicted offenders table, only the most serious sentence for each offender in that year is shown in the tables.
The most serious sentence for each charge is determined by its seriousness ranking. For example, imprisonment sentences are the highest rank, followed by home detention and other community sentences (e.g. community detention, intensive supervision, community work and supervision).

For more information

Limitations of the data

Data from the previous two years should be considered provisional as appeals can influence charge outcomes and sentences. Any comparison between previous versions of the criminal conviction and sentencing tables can show differences caused by these appeal changes.


The criminal conviction and sentencing tables contain information on adult offenders who were required to attend the District or High Court.

Changes to data collection/processing

Until 1 July 2019, the definition of adults included 17-year-olds. The age threshold is currently 18.

Data provided by

Stats NZ

Dataset name

Criminal Conviction and Sentencing Statistics: Adults convicted in court by sentence type 2020 calendar year


How to find the data

Data is displayed at URL provided. To replicate the dataset used here, go to Customise -> Selection and select all variables except for the regions (Court-> Total Regions) and Ethnicity (Total Ethnicity), deselect years until 1988 so the file is small enough to export.
In 'Main offence', deselect one of the two duplicate checkboxes for 'Unlawful entry with intent/burglary, break and enter'.
To download select 'Export' and choose desired download format.

Import & extraction details

File as imported: Criminal Conviction and Sentencing Statistics: Adults convicted in court by sentence type 2020 calendar year

From the dataset Criminal Conviction and Sentencing Statistics: Adults convicted in court by sentence type 2020 calendar year, this data was extracted:

  • Rows: 2-322,783
  • Column: 8
  • Provided: 322,782 data points

Dataset originally released on:

March 16, 2021

About this dataset

Statistics about people whose convictions were finalised in criminal courts during a calendar year.

Method of collection/Data provider

The data were sourced from the courts' operational data systems. The Law Enforcement System (formerly known as the Wanganui Computer and used by justice agencies from the late 1970s until 2005) was used as the source of these data up to 2003. From 2004, the source of these data was the Case Management System (CMS) of the Ministry of Justice. From 29 April 2016, Stats NZ 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 you compare current output with similar results produced before 29 April.