Youth Court Statistics

The Youth Court deals with offending by young people aged 14–16 years and may deal with younger children, aged 12–13 years, in certain serious circumstances.

From July 2019 the youth justice age will extend to 17 years except for the most serious offences.

About 20–30% of children apprehended by Police come to the Youth Court. The rest are managed by Police Youth Aid and the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki. With a few exceptions, the Youth Court can hear and determine all charges against young people.

Youth Court statistics are recorded by number of cases rather than young people because each case may involve several charges or young people.

At a national level, comparing the 2017/2018 fiscal year to 2016/2017, there has been a:

  • 18% decrease in new business to 3,653 cases
  • 16% decrease in disposals to 3,703 cases
  • 12% decrease in active cases to 918 cases

It should be noted that the Youth Court is a specialist division of the District Court. Its processes, practices and statutory principles are markedly different to those of District Court cases involving adult defendants. The Youth Court process does not follow the standard criminal process of appearance, conviction and sentence. Cases are often not disposed of quickly, and higher clearance rates are not always seen as an optimum outcome.

Statistics by Court Location

The following table shows the number of cases by location. A case is counted as new business when it first comes into the system, when charges are filed. It is counted as a disposal only when all charges within the case reach a final outcome. Since July 2013, transfers between courts have been included in the count. Therefore, the “Cases In” category covers both new business and transfers in to a court from another court, while “Cases Out” includes disposals and transfers out.

Definitions:

  • "Cases In" is the sum of cases filed and at a court level, it also includes transfers from other parts of the country.
  • It excludes cases reactivated in the court due to the execution or withdrawal of a warrant to arrest. 
  • "Cases Out" is the sum of:
    • cases where final outcomes are established on all charges;
    • cases where all the charges are joined into another case; and
    • at court level, they also include transfers to other parts of the country.
  • It excludes cases put on hold due to the issuing of a warrant to arrest the young person. 
  • Active cases are those which are in the Youth Court process and/or are awaiting a final outcome and are not on hold due to the issuing of a warrant to arrest the young person.

 

Court Location 

Cases In

Cases Out

Totals

Totals

Active cases as at 31/12/16

New Business

Transfers In

Disposals

Transfers Out

Cases In

Cases Out

Alexandra 8 7 9 3 15 12 3
Ashburton 8 1 21 3 9 24  0
Auckland 242 62 201 108 304 309 62
Blenheim 21 3 15 4 24 19 12
Chatham Islands 0 0 0 0 0 0  0
Christchurch 326 44 305 48 370 353 116
Dannevirke 6 3 8 1 9 9 1
Dargaville 6 1 8 2 7 10 1
Dunedin 59 10 55 18 69 73 13
Gisborne 118 25 113 21 143 134 37
Gore 33 11 38 10 44 48 2
Greymouth 16 1 15 6 17 21 2
Hamilton 268 61 237 88 329 325 61
Hastings 114 29 116 28 143 144 24
Hawera 30 16 33 10 46 43 9
Huntly 23 20 35 9 43 44 7
Hutt Valley 90 20 89 21 110 110 18
Invercargill 60 20 50 29 80 79 18
Kaikohe 48 18 47 14 66 61 20
Kaikoura 0 0 1 0 0 1  0
Kaitaia 42 22 46 21 64 67 11
Levin 47 13 46 14 60 60 6
Manukau 639 174 692 173 813 865 131
Marton 1 0 1 0 1 1  0
Masterton 42 2 38 7 44 45 14
Morrinsville 24 10 31 9 34 40 3
Napier 24 3 29 1 27 30 7
Nelson 77 8 88 16 85 104 16
New Plymouth 64 11 67 14 75 81 10
North Shore 82 10 72 28 92 100 16
Oamaru 13 6 11 5 19 16 7
Opotiki 0 0 2 0 0 2  0
Palmerston North 133 23 107 42 156 149 27
Papakura 63 51 81 27 114 108 22
Porirua 67 21 76 20 88 96 12
Pukekohe 39 19 48 20 58 68 4
Queenstown 7 0 6 1 7 7  0
Rotorua 149 26 146 34 175 180 37
Ruatoria 0 0 1 0 0 1  0
Taihape 0 1 0 1 1 1
Taumarunui 9 1 5 1 10 6 5
Taupo 27 10 29 10 37 39 7
Tauranga 102 17 101 22 119 123 28
Te Awamutu 4 3 4 2 7 6 2
Te Kuiti 7 1 4 2 8 6 2
Thames 8 3 7 4 11 11 2
Timaru 25 6 32 6 31 38 7
Tokoroa 27 10 29 6 37 35 10
Waihi 4 6 6 4 10 10 2
Waipukurau 2 0 2 0 2 2  0
Wairoa 10 0 15 4 10 19 2
Waitakere 218 66 254 49 284 303 51
Wanganui 59 21 75 13 80 88 15
Wellington 26 10 24 14 36 38 5
Westport 1 0 0 0 1 0 1
Whakatane 42 14 41 6 56 47 19
Whangarei 93 34 91 29 127 120 31
               
National Total 3,653   3,703       918

Youth statistics  for the 2018 fiscal year (ending 30 June 2018) as a spreadsheet: