Checking your criminal record

If you’re a parent wanting to help out with your child’s sports team or go away on school camp then donft be surprised if the school requests a police check first.
It’s fast becoming standard practice for schools, charities and businesses to have prospective staff and volunteers police checked.
In fact, a news report on in May this year reported police had carried out 520,000 police checks in 2015, up 100,000 since 2012.
So, what are your rights if a police vet is required? The first, and most important thing to know is that you need to give your signed permission first. So, if youfre worried about a past conviction being red-flagged, you can choose not to take the volunteering role any further.
The other thing to be aware of is that there are two types of checks that can be done.
One is a vet or check by the New Zealand Police and the other is a Ministry of Justice criminal record check. The difference is that the criminal record check only covers convictions, while a police vet can also include information on any past contact you’ve had with the police.
Schools, rest-homes and other organisations that work with vulnerable people are most likely to ask for a police vet.
However, in order to give you the opportunity to put your past behind you, you may be eligible for a ‘clean slate’.
For this to happen you must have:
! No convictions for seven years
! Never been to prison
! No convictions for sexual offending
! No outstanding fines or costs ordered by a court
! Never been indefinitely banned from driving
! Never been in held in hospital by the court due to your mental condition.
If you meet all the requirements for a clean slate, then whenever you are asked about your criminal record, for instance on a tenancy or insurance form, then you’re able to say you don’t have one.
However, if you’re applying to be a teacher, rest-home carer, nanny, doctor or nurse then all criminal convictions will be released, regardless of whether you’re eligible for clean slate.
If you want to check your own record, you can download a form from this webpage,, or come into the Citizens Advice Bureau and we can print one for you.

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