Home | Browse Topics | Family law | Family violence and elder abuse | How and when a Protection Order ends

Family law

How and when a Protection Order ends


How long do Protection Orders last for?

Family Violence Act 2018, s 107

If you’ve obtained a temporary Protection Order, it will last for three months. If the respondent doesn’t challenge it, or is unsuccessful in challenging it, it becomes final and permanent after three months.

A final Protection Order lasts forever. It will only end if you or the respondent apply to the Family Court to have it cancelled (“discharged”) and the judge decides that the Protection Order is no longer needed to protect you.

What if I don’t want the Protection Order anymore?

Family Violence Act 2018, s 91

If you’ve obtained a Protection Order, either you or the respondent can apply to the Family Court to have the order cancelled (“discharged”).

The judge will only cancel the Protection Order if satisfied that it’s no longer needed for your protection.

If the respondent has applied to have the order cancelled but you don’t agree with this, there’ll be a “defended” hearing, where both sides will get a chance to tell the judge their side of the story. The judge will then decide whether the Protection Order should stay in place or be cancelled.

If someone other than you or your children was specifically named in the order as another protected person, that person can also apply to have the order cancelled as far as it relates to them. If the order was also made against an associate of the respondent (called an “associated respondent”), they can also apply to have the order cancelled as it relates to them.

If an order is discharged against the respondent, the order will no longer apply for the benefit of a specified protected person or against an associated respondent.

Do I need to get the Protection Order cancelled if I want to see the other person?

Family Violence Act 2018, s 170

If you want to choose to see the person you have a Protection Order against, once or twice, or regularly, you don’t need to discharge the Protection Order to do that.

You don’t need to get the Protection Order cancelled (“discharged”):

  • to visit the person in prison
  • to allow the person to have contact with a child of your family
  • just because an agency, like Oranga Tamariki, or a school, wants you to.

You are in control of allowing contact with the respondent for any of these reasons, or any other reason. All you need to do is be clear that you are choosing to allow this specific contact.

Did this answer your question?

Family violence and elder abuse

Where to go for more support

Community Law


Your local Community Law Centre can provide free initial legal advice and information.

Age Concern


Age Concern provides a range of resources on aspects of life for older people including elder abuse.

Phone: (04) 801 9338 or 0800 65 2 105
Email: national.office@ageconcern.org.nz

Elder Abuse Response Service (EARS)

Helpline: 0800 32 668 65

With this confidential 24-hour, free-phone helpline, registered nurses will listen and provide information and support about elder abuse – whether the caller is calling on their own behalf or is concerned about a friend or family member. Callers will then be referred to local elder abuse services to get the help they need.

Family Court


This Family Court webpage provides pamphlets and other information giving an overview of how family violence is dealt with in the courts and how Protection Orders can help keep people safe from family violence. The website also provides information on responding to a Protection Order application.

You can access the pamphlets online, or you can order hard copies by contacting the Family Court on:

Phone: 0800 587 847
Email: publications@justice.govt.nz

Family Court family violence forms

These forms, and a guide for how to complete a Protection Order application, are available at www.justice.govt.nz/family/family-violence/protection-order-forms

Family Court fee waiver forms

These forms are available here:


Independent Police Conduct Authority


Postal Address: PO Box 5025, Wellington 6145

Phone: (04) 499 2050
Phone: 0800 503 728

Email: info@ipca.govt.nz

The IPCA receives and investigates complaints against the police. A complaint form is available online.

“Family violence” (Law Society pamphlet)

Available at: www.lawsociety.org.nz/about-us/about-our-publications/law-awareness-brochures

Access pamphlets online or order hardcopies from the New Zealand Law Society.

Phone: (04) 472 7837
Email: pamphlets@lawsociety.org.nz

Women’s Refuge


Women’s Refuge provides 24-hour support, advocacy and accommodation for women and their children experiencing family violence.

Crisis Line

Phone: 0800 REFUGE (0800 733 843)

Women’s Refuge provides a free phone line for people anywhere in New Zealand. Get information, advice and support about family violence as well as help in a crisis.

Fact sheets

A range of resources and fact sheets are available online.

Phone: (04) 802 5078
Email: info@refuge.org.nz

Family Violence – It’s Not OK


Phone: 0800 456 450

“It’s not OK” is a community-driven behaviour change campaign to reduce family violence in New Zealand. Its goal is to change attitudes and behaviour that tolerate any kind of family violence. The website has resources for families who are experiencing abuse. It’s not OK is an initiative housed within the Ministry of Social Development.

Family violence and disabled people


Family violence and migrant families


Also available as a book

The Community Law Manual

The Manual contains over 1000 pages of easy-to-read legal info and comprehensive answers to common legal questions. From ACC to family law, health & disability, jobs, benefits & flats, Tāonga Māori, immigration and refugee law and much more, the Manual covers just about every area of community and personal life.

Buy The Community Law Manual

Help the manual

We’re a small team that relies on the generosity of all our supporters. You can make a one-off donation or become a supporter by sponsoring the Manual for a community organisation near you. Every contribution helps us to continue updating and improving our legal information, year after year.

Donate Become a Supporter

Find the Answer to your Legal Question

back to top