Police Safety Orders (PSO’s) are issued by the Police to protect victims and their families. This gives them time to make decisions about their ongoing safety, and access support.
During the length of the PSO, the person served the order (the bound person) cannot assault, harass, threaten, stalk or intimidate the protected person, or go near any land or building that they occupy, even if they have a legal or equitable interest in the land or building. The bound person cannot contact the protected person by any means, including through a third party.
Any children living with the protected person is automatically covered by the PSO. Access to any children under a parenting order or agreement is suspended in favour of the person at risk while the PSO is in force.
The Police do not need consent to issue a PSO.
Information for the protected person
- Keep a copy of the PSO on you at all times.
- If you feel unsafe or threatened, or if the bound person breaches the PSO conditions, call 111.
- Before the period of the PSO ends, you can apply for a protection order from the Family Court. You can ask the Police for more information on this, or visit www.justice.govt.nz (search Protection Orders).
- The PSO comes into force when it is served on the bound person. It is active for the whole period specified in the order, even if the bound person breaches the conditions with your consent.
- The Police will refer you to a specialist support agency who will contact you to discuss your ongoing safety and support.
Information for the bound person
- You must comply with the conditions of the PSO.
- If you breach the conditions, the Police can take you into custody and bring you before the court.
- The Court has several options available including:
- extending the current order (if the PSO has not expired)
- issuing a new order (if the PSO has expired)
- Considering whether a temporary protection order should be issued.
- The details of the PSO are retained in police records, however you will not receive a criminal conviction (unless other offences are committed).
- You cannot appeal the issuing of a PSO.
- You must surrender any firearms you may have and your firearms licence is automatically suspended for the duration of the PSO.
If you commit offences when breaching the PSO, charges will be filed in Court, and appropriate bail conditions will be put in place to protect your victim and their family.
Further information and support
If you are a victim of family violence or in a relationship that makes you fearful about your own or anyone else's safety, seek help as soon as possible. You have the right to be safe.
- Women’s Refuge crisis line | 0800 733 843 - 24 hours |
- Family violence information line | 0800 456 450 |
- Shine National Helpline | 0508 744 633 -9am to 11pm |
- Shakti – for women from migrant and refugee communities | 0800 742 584 - 24 hours
- National network of stopping violence | 03 391 0048 |
- Elder Abuse Helpline | 0800 32 668 65 - 24 hours
- Gandhi Nivas | 0800 426 344 |