(Blogmensgo, gay blog of February 11, 2017) The minister of justice of New Zealand, Amy Adams, apologized in the name of the government to all gays convicted for their homosexuality before 1986. She promised that all entries in peoples’ criminal records would be deleted if they are not punishable according to today’s standards. Similarly to England, those entries will not be deleted automatically but upon individual request. This measure applies to about one thousand gay men.
In July 2016, the parliament had received a petition demanding an official pardon for all convictions made before 1986 concerning homosexual acts in New Zealand. Here is the video with minister of justice Amy Adams’ official announcement and apology.
The government plans to introduce a bill to this effect during the course of 2017. Most likely, any persons convicted for homosexual acts will have the right to ask for deletion of such entries in their criminal records beginning in 2018.
The new law will only apply to homosexual acts between consensual persons 16 years and older. The entries in question will be deleted retroactively and definitely, leaving no trace of such convictions at all.
Deletion of these entries may be asked by the persons concerned themselves or, after a person’s death, by surviving family members.
Since 1986, homosexuality has no longer been punishable. However, previous convictions were not deleted retroactively. This means that such entries can be seen by anyone who has the right to access criminal records, such as employers, the police, embassies etc.
Retroactive deletion of entries in criminal records will be a judicial premiere for New Zealand because there has never been a law of this kind with retroactive effect.