Where to go for more support
Your local Community Law Centre can provide free initial legal advice and information.
Ministry of Justice
The Ministry of Justice website has a range of pamphlets and other information on the criminal court system. You can access this information online, or you can order hardcopies of the pamphlets from:
Phone: 0800 587 847
The New Zealand Drug Foundation has a large amount of information about different drugs and their effects, and about criminal offences and penalties. They also provide drug checking services.
KnowYourStuffNZ provides free information, advice, and drug checking services using a range of testing methods at events around New Zealand.
The New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme
The Needle Exchange Programme provides and collects needles for safe disposal, advice on harm reduction, and is licensed to provide drug checking services.
The Level provides free guides for people who use drugs. Click on “I’m looking for drug checking” on their website for a calendar of non-festival drug checking clinics in Aotearoa.
Ministry of Health
The Ministry of Health has information about the legal use of cannabis products for medical reasons, and which particular products have been approved. Look under “Our work / Regulation / Medicines control / Prescribing cannabis-based products”.
Ministry of Primary Industries
The MPI website has information about recreational fishing rules and customary gathering rights.
The MPI also runs an automated information line that you can text to find out about minimum sizes and daily catch limits for particular species. Just text the name of the species in your message – just “paua” for example (it doesn’t work if you spell it “pāua”) – and send it to 9889.
How to find the cases we’ve cited in this chapter
This chapter cites a number of New Zealand court decisions as legal authority for the law as we’ve stated it. If you need to look up these cases, you can look at the references for each section and search for them either online or in a law library.
When we give the case citation, we give just the unique case reference – for example, “ NZHC 15”. We haven’t included the case name (which is usually in a format like “Police v Douglas” or “R v Myers”).
You’ll be able to read most of these cases on the government website Judicial Decisions Online, at forms.justice.govt.nz/jdo/Search.jsp. The case will be on that site if the citation we’ve given includes either “NZHC” (for High Court), or “NZCA” (for Court of Appeal), or “NZSC” (for Supreme Court). You’ll need to search for the case on that site by inserting the citation (for example, “ NZSC 135”) in the “Neutral Citation” search field.
Cases that have “NZLR” in the citation (for “New Zealand Law Reports”) usually won’t be available online, but they are available in hard copy in some larger city public libraries, published in orange-brown volumes. For the occasional case that we’ve cited from other report series (like CRNZ, for “Criminal Reports of New Zealand”), you’d need to go to a specialist law library at a university or local Law.