Wellington, April 10, 2018
It is an important moment for New Zealand’s gay community men.
They can now apply to have historical homosexual convictions wiped.
The application scheme can now be accessed via the Justice website.
This means that men and the families of those who have since passed away who were convicted of specific offences that were decriminalised by the Homosexual Reform Act 1986, can now apply to be treated as if they had never been convicted.
The key element of the application process is showing that conduct that led to the conviction is no longer illegal.
The applicant should supply as much detail and supporting information including, old documentation or newspaper clippings.
However, all applications will be considered.
The Ministry of Justice will work with the courts, the Police and Archives New Zealand to gather information on the official record of the convictions.
The Secretary for Justice must then be satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the conduct would not be an offence under today’s law when making the decision on whether to wipe the conviction or not.
The wiping of these convictions is a significant step forward for men with historical homosexual convictions who have faced ongoing stigma and prejudice.
It is great to see this underway.
Application forms and further information about the application process https://justice.govt.nz/criminal-records/historical-homosexual-convictions/.
Andrew Little is Justice Minister of New Zealand.