Personal safety orders
Updated: 01 July 2019
What's Important To Us
For many children and young people in New Zealand, violence in their families is a common part of their childhood experience. No matter the level or frequency of events, living around violence is likely to have an effect on a child’s psychological and physical wellbeing. Exposure to violence also poses significant threats to a child’s development, the consequences of which can be long lasting. Within the complex dynamic of intra-familial conflict, children and young people need us to pay attention to them. We need to ensure the right supports are in place and that these focus on their strengths, the protective factors around children, increasing safety and enhancing wellbeing.
This following information relates to personal protection orders that can be made under a range of statutes.
Restraining Order - Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
Where the Family Court makes a declaration that a child or young person is in need of care or protection, it may make a restraining order, under section 87 of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989.
A restraining order is made against a named person. It works to prevent that person from:
- residing with the child or young person
- using or threatening violence, or causing or threatening to cause physical harm to the child or young person
- molesting the child or young person, or any person they reside with, by watching or besetting their place of residence, work, or education, or by following or waylaying them in any public place or by contacting them in any way.
Points to note about a restraining order:
- an interim restraining order can also be made at the start of Court proceedings.
- the Court will sometimes amend/customise the wording of the restraining order
- a restraining order can remain in place while the young persons is 17, 18, 19 years
- a restraining order can remain in place even though the other orders have expired or been discharged.
Non-molestation Order - Domestic Protection Act 1982
A non-molestation order prevents a separated partner from stalking and from entering the applicant’s property. However it ceases to apply if the couple began living together again.
Non-Molestation Orders were replaced by Protection Orders with the Domestic Violence Act in 1995. Orders made prior to 1995 may still be in place.
Restraining Order - Harassment Act
These are civil orders made under section 9 of Harassment Act.
Harassment Act Restraining Orders:
- are only for situations where the Domestic Violence Act does not apply. If there is a domestic relationship, a Harassment Act restraining order will not be made
- can be applied for if you are being harassed by someone and fear for your safety
- are granted by the District Court
- prevent the specified person contacting you
- can be used to protect children
- remain in force for not more than one year.
More information can be found at the Community Law website.
Non-contact Order - Victims' Orders Against Violent Offenders Act, 2014
A non-contact order protects victims of serious violent offences. They are an acknowledgement of the negative effects of offending on victims.
- a person can apply for a non-contact order if they were a victim of a violent offence where the offender was sent to prison for more than 2 years.
- prohibits an offender from contacting their victim in any way
- the judge can impose special conditions, depending on each case. Orders may stop an offender from living or working in particular areas, or visiting those areas
- victims can apply to the court for a non-contact order at any time after the offender has been sentenced.
More information can be found at the Ministry of Justice website.