What is an NZ Criminal Record check?
A Criminal Record (also known as a criminal conviction history, or CCH) is the history of your criminal and traffic convictions in New Zealand, held on the computer systems of the Ministry of Justice.
The results of a Criminal Record check look like this.
If you have criminal convictions, they will not appear on your record if you meet the eligibility criteria of Section 7 of the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004.
Is this the right kind of check for me?
A Criminal Record check is the most common type of check, and in most cases, the only type of check that anyone can legally request of you.
You may also hear a Criminal Record check referred to as:
- Criminal History Check
- Criminal Check
- Police Check
- Police Record
See the FAQ below for some other types of check that you may hear about.
Frequently Asked Questions
What results do I receive?The result of your check, which we email to you, is an official letter from the Ministry of Justice, that looks like this.
This example shows a result where there are no convictions (subject to the Clean Slate act 2004).
If you do have convictions then the letter will have additional pages that outline your conviction history and will look like this.
How long does it take?Our web site shows you a calculation of when you can expect your result, based on the priority you select.
This estimated date is calculated by taking into account weekends, NZ public holidays and Ministry of Justice non-working days, and the time of day that you submit your request.
This is only an estimate - you may receive your result sooner if the Ministry of Justice beat their stated delivery targets, or later if there are problems verifying your ID documents or delays at the MoJ in dealing with your request.
If you have a hard deadline, don't cut things fine. Choose a priority that has an estimate well before your deadline.
Who is CheckPlease and who performs the check?CheckPlease is an NZ-based and owned company that provides an online platform for ordering NZ Criminal Record checks.
The Ministry of Justice provides an electronic gateway (the CCH system) that trusted third parties such as CheckPlease can use to make requests online on your behalf.
Once we have received your request, we verify your ID documents, e.g. name, expiry date and signature, returning the request to you if there are any problems. It's common, for example, for people to fail to include a copy of the expiry date.
Once all your information is complete, we package the request and send it to the Ministry of Justice.
MoJ then perform the check and return the results, which we email directly to you.
Is this the right type of check for me?Most likely yes. In most cases a Criminal Record check is the only type of check that anyone (e.g. an employer) can legally request of you.
However there are two other types of check that you may hear about - the Full Criminal Record check and a Police Vetting check (see below). Neither us, nor any other supplier, can provide you with either of these checks.
What is a Full Criminal Record check?Note: CheckPlease can not help you obtain your Full Criminal Record. You can only obtain it directly from the Ministry of Justice.
Normally, if you’re eligible for a clean slate, your record will automatically be concealed under the Clean Slate scheme. However sometimes you might need to give your full record, including convictions that would normally be concealed automatically under the Clean Slate scheme.
It is unusual to be asked for your full record. In fact for most jobs, it is against the law for an employer to ask for, or make you reveal, your full record.
However you might need your full record when you are:
- applying for specific jobs (such as police, prison or probation roles)
- involved in court cases or tribunal hearings
- travelling to certain countries – check with the embassy or consulate of the country you want to travel to.
What is a Police Vetting check?Note: CheckPlease can not help you obtain a Police Vetting check. Individuals cannot order police vetting checks themselves.
A Police Vetting check is more in depth than a Criminal Record check, and is only applicable to potential and current employees, volunteers and vocational trainees to Approved Agencies that provide care to children and vulnerable members of society.
It is provided by the New Zealand Police Vetting Service and provides not just criminal history checks but also any other relevant information on any contact you’ve had with the police.
Will I receive the original result?The Ministry of Justice do not use the phrase "original result", and the result provided by the Ministry of Justice is always computer generated and not signed by hand.
However some people may require a paper copy of the result, sent directly from the Ministry of Justice (rather than the electronic copy that we send you).
If this is the case, then make sure that when you order your check, you tick the box to request a copy of the result directly from the Ministry of Justice by post (i.e. a paper copy).
When you request a paper copy like this, you will receive your electronic result first, and then the printed copy some days (or weeks if you are overseas) later, as the Ministry of Justice will send it via standard post.
There is no option to receive a paper copy faster than this, however if you print the electronic result, double sided, on a colour printer, then you will have an identical paper version of the paper copy that will eventually arrive from the MoJ by post.