Children and young people in court

The Ministry of Justice provides data to Stats NZ about children (aged 10-13 years) and young people (aged 14-16 years, and includes 17-year olds from 1 July 2019) charged in court for official release on the Stats NZ website. In March, we release the calendar year tables (year ending 31 December). In September, we release the financial year tables (year ending 30 June).

Charges for 17-year olds, filed from 1 July onwards, are treated and counted as ‘child and young person’ charges, and are not included in the adult statistics; they are included in these ‘child and young person’ statistics. Charges filed prior to this date are ‘adult’ charges and are therefore not included in these statistics. The changes to the youth justice system include — 17-year olds are now included and minor traffic offending (that can’t receive a prison sentence) that had been dealt with in the District Court is now dealt with in the Youth Court. 17-year olds charged with an offence will first appear in the Youth Court. If the offence is a serious offence specified in Schedule 1A Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 they will then automatically be transferred to the District or High Court.

Go straight to the tables on Stats NZ's website(external link)

Read the summary for the year ending June 2020 statistics on children and young people in court  [PDF, 307 KB]

Read the infographic summary for the year ending June 2020 statistics on children and young people in court [PDF, 106 KB]

Ministry of Justice youth data is presented in two tables on the NZ.Stat tool provided by Stats NZ:

  • Children and young people charged in court - most serious offence - counts of children and young people who appeared in the Youth, District or High Court during a year. For each year, counts of the outcome of their most serious prosecution are available.
  • Children and young people given an order in court - most serious offence - counts of children and young people given orders or sentences in the Youth, District or High Court during a year. For each year, counts of the most serious order or sentence given are available.

Each of these tables contains information on the age, gender, and ethnicity of the children and young people, and the offence type prosecuted. These tables go back as far as the 1992/1993 financial year.

Convicted young people are included in these statistics

Children and young people who are convicted of an offence in the District or High Court are included in the statistics on children and young people in court, as well as those whose charges are proved in the Youth Court. Including these convicted children and young people in the statistics provides a clearer picture of what is happening for all youth offenders, rather than just those who appear in the Youth Court.

Numbers are randomly-rounded

All numbers in the statistics on children and young people in court are rounded to the nearest multiple of three, with the exception of zeroes, which remain as zeroes. The Youth Court is closed to the public, so any details that may identify an individual young person cannot be reported.

See the Justice statistics data tables for more detailed information on specific offence types and charge outcomes.

This page was last updated: