On 29 November 2004 the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004 came into force.

This law has the effect of concealing criminal convictions if certain requirements are met. If the Clean Slate Act applies to you then you will not be required to disclose criminal convictions, for example when applying for a job.

A person will receive a ‘clean slate’ for their criminal conviction(s) seven years after they complete ‘a rehabilitation period’. A rehabilitation period means seven continuous years of no criminal convictions being entered. There are a number of requirements that must be met, for example any fines or reparation imposed with the conviction must be paid before the clean slate takes effect.

Some offences are not covered by the Clean Slate Act. Exempted offences include most sexual offences, for example rape or indecent assault.

The Clean Slate Act does not apply to people who have previously been sentenced to a term of imprisonment or home detention, or who have been indefinitely disqualified for repeat drink driving offences.

If you are convicted of an offence the clean slate will no longer apply and all of your convictions will be visible for a further seven years.

Keep in mind that the Clean Slate provisions only apply in New Zealand. You will still have to declare any criminal convictions when travelling or applying for a visa in other countries.