Reprint as at 1 August 2020

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Summary Offences Act 1981

Public Act
1981 No 113
Date of assent
23 October 1981
see section 1(2)

Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Justice.


1Short Title and commencement
3Disorderly behaviour
4Offensive behaviour or language
5Disorderly behaviour on private premises
5ADisorderly assembly
6Associating with convicted thieves
6AAssociating with violent offenders
6BAssociating with serious drug offenders
6CProof of habitual association
7Fighting in public place
8Publishing document or thing explaining manufacture of explosives, etc
9Common assault
10Assault on Police, prison, or traffic officer
10AIll-treatment or wilful neglect of child [Repealed]
10BLeaving child without reasonable supervision and care
11Wilful damage
11AGraffiti vandalism, tagging, defacing, etc
11BPossession of graffiti implements
12Acts endangering safety
13Things endangering safety
13APossession of knives
13BPossession of high-power laser pointers
14Possession of burglary tools
14ASale of spraycans to people under 18 prohibited
14BAccess to spraycans in shops to be restricted
15Seeking donations by false pretence
16Acting as medium with intent to deceive
17Publishing false notice of birth, marriage, civil union, or death
18Imitation of court documents
19Imitation of official documents
20False claim of qualifications
20AUnauthorised disclosure of certain official information
22Obstructing public way
23Resisting Police, prison, or traffic officer
24False allegation or report to Police
25Advertising reward for stolen property
26Soliciting [Repealed]
27Indecent exposure
28Being found in public place preparing to commit offence
29Being found on property, etc, without reasonable excuse
30Peeping or peering into dwellinghouse
31Trespass on a ship
32Excreting in public place
34Throwing stones
35Setting off or throwing fireworks
36Lighting fires
37Disturbing meetings
38Drinking in public place
38AInfringement offences
38BCommission of infringement offence
38CInfringement notices
38DPayment of infringement fees
41Charge alleging imitation of court documents
42Charge alleging false claim of qualifications
43No jury trial for offence of assault [Repealed]
44Defendant may be convicted of lesser charge of disorderly behaviour
44ASeizure and forfeiture of burglary instruments
45Seizure and forfeiture of alcohol
45AAttachment order default
46Military Decorations and Distinctive Badges Act 1918 amended
47Machinery Act 1950 amended [Repealed]
48New sections inserted in Crimes Act 1961
49Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Act 1966 amended
50Children and Young Persons Act 1974 amended [Repealed]
51Amendments and repeals
Reprint notes

An Act to reform and restate the law relating to summary offences, and to replace the Police Offences Act 1927 and its amendments