The Clean Slate Act

The Clean Slate Act and Criminal Convictions

This legislation is designed to allow individuals with less serious convictions who have been conviction free for at least seven years and who meet all other relevant criteria to put their past behind them. It will enable eligible individuals to conceal convictions in most circumstances. There are some exceptions when individuals’ convictions will continue to be disclosed.

The Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004 is an automatic scheme – therefore, it is not necessary to apply for a ‘clean slate’. If you meet all the criteria for concealing previous convictions you are eligible to have your convictions concealed by the Ministry. Your convictions will be entitled to be concealed as long as you continue to meet all the criteria. View the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004 on the New Zealand Legislation website.

What are the criteria for concealing my criminal record?

An individual must meet all of the criteria in section 7 of the Act before all of their convictions can be concealed. The general criteria for obtaining the benefits of the ‘clean slate’ scheme are set out below. The Act should be consulted for full information. The individual must have:

  • no convictions within the last 7 years;
  • never been sentenced to a custodial sentence (e.g. imprisonment, corrective training, borstal);
  • never been ordered by a Court during a criminal case to be detained in a hospital due to his/her mental condition, instead of being sentenced;
  • not been convicted of a “specified offence” (e.g. sexual offending against children and young people or the mentally impaired)(see interpretation section for a full list);
  • paid in full any fine, reparation or costs ordered by the Court in a criminal case;
  • never been indefinitely disqualified from driving under section 65 Land Transport Act 1998 or earlier equivalent provision.

How will I know if I meet the criteria?

The Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004 is an automatic scheme – therefore, it is not be necessary to apply for a ‘clean slate’. Individuals can request a copy of their criminal record from the Criminal Records Unit of the Ministry of Justice. If an individual is eligible under the scheme his/her convictions will be concealed. If the individual’s convictions continue to be on their criminal record they do not meet the eligibility criteria.