Home | Browse Topics | Community life | Harassment and bullying | Threatening violence or damage

Community life

Going to the police: When the criminal law can help with harassment

Threatening violence or damage

Threatening to kill or injure you

Crimes Act 1961, s 306

It’s a criminal offence for someone to threaten to kill you or threaten to seriously injure you (cause you “grievous bodily harm”), or to send you a letter, text, email or other written material containing this kind of threat. The person can be jailed for up to seven years for this.

Intimidating you through threatening injury or property damage

Summary Offences Act 1981, s 21

It’s a criminal offence for someone to threaten to injure you or damage your property, if they intended to frighten or intimidate you or knew that these were the kind of threats likely to frighten or intimidate any reasonable person.

For this a person can be jailed for up to three months or fined up to $2,000.

Did this answer your question?

Harassment and bullying

Where to go for more support

Community Law

www.communitylaw.org.nz

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

Victims Information

www.victimsinfo.govt.nz

Phone: 0800 650 654
Email: victimsinfo@justice.govt.nz

This is the website of the government’s “Victims Centre”. The site provides links to a range of services available to help victims deal with the practical and emotional effects of the crime, at each stage of the criminal and youth justice process.

Human Rights Commission

www.hrc.co.nz

Phone: 0800 496 877
Email: infoline@hrc.co.nz

The Human Rights Commission website has information about your rights if you’re sexually or racially harassed:

“Sexual harassment” guide

Racial harassment

Harassment and bullying in the workplace

www.worksafe.govt.nz/topic-and-industry/bullying-prevention-toolbox

The Worksafe New Zealand website has information and guidance about workplace bullying:

YouthLaw Aotearoa

www.youthlaw.co.nz

Phone: 0800 UTHLAW (0800 884 529)
Email: nzyouthlaw@gmail.com

YouthLaw provides free legal advice for young people throughout New Zealand. Their website provides great information for young people about the law around harassment and bullying.

Ministry of Justice

Applying for a Harmful Digital Communications Order

This has information about applying to a District Court judge for a “take down” order or other type of action when you’ve suffered serious emotional distress because of cyberbullying:
www.justice.govt.nz/courts/civil/harmful-digital-communications/applying-for-a-harmful-digital-communications-order/

NetSafe

Help with online bullying, abuse and harassment

www.netsafe.org.nz

Go to this website for free and confidential help if you’ve been bullied, abused or harassed online. NetSafe has been appointed by the government to be a free information service and complaints agency under the Harmful Digital Communications Act.

NZ Police

www.police.govt.nz/about-site/other-sites/no-bully-website

This police webpage lists a number of phone counselling services and websites that can help.

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. It’s for people living in Aotearoa New Zealand (and their advocates) to help themselves.

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