Police Prosecution Service (PPS)

Through our Police Communications Centres, Police receive approximately 3.5 million calls a year (through both the emergency (111) and non-emergency (105) lines). Of these 3.5 million calls, 750,000 result in a call for service, where Police Officers are dispatched to an event.

These calls for service, traffic stops, community patrols and ongoing investigations all contribute to the 190,000-200,000 criminal charges, which are resolved by prosecution. The majority of which are resolved before reaching trial stage.

PPS resolve criminal charges on behalf of the Commissioner of Police and provide a voice for the victim in the courtroom.

Before a criminal charge is filed, Police consider whether a charge is necessary and/or whether an alternative resolution may be appropriate. Whether a resolution is offered pre- (before a charge is filed) or post- (after a charge is filed) charge, a case must meet evidential requirements. For a case to progress to court, Police must decide whether there is evidential sufficiency and if it is in the public interest to prosecute.

PPS’s key responsibilities are to:

  • Conduct proceedings for all category 1-3 criminal and traffic prosecutions commenced by Police, from first appearance to disposal, including Case Review and Trial as required (except where the proceeding becomes a Crown Prosecution, e.g. jury trials)
  • administer the Police Adult Diversion Scheme
  • provide advice about charging decisions
  • administer Police’s bail portfolio

Where are we heading?

Where, to date, the success of PPS has been largely measured by successful court outcomes and case disposal, PPS is continuing on the trajectory, in partnership with the rest of the criminal justice community, to make a significant contribution to a better, safer Aotearoa-New Zealand, by acknowledging our obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and contributing to preventative, therapeutic and restorative outcomes/resolutions within the post-charge arena.

Meaningful behaviour change in people who offend, leads to less recidivism, less harm, less victimisation and less intergenerational harm – ultimately, safer communities. We seek to restore the mana of victims and, where possible, defendants, boosting the waiora of individuals, whānau, hapū, iwi, and all New Zealanders.

Who are our people?

PPS is the largest prosecuting agency in Aotearoa-New Zealand. We employ around 320 staff (two-thirds of which are prosecutors) spread between a National Office in Wellington, 18 districts and 41 offices throughout New Zealand, and servicing around 60 district courts.

Each office comprises prosecutors and prosecution support officers (PSOs) who report to a district prosecutions manager (DPM).