Search Tips

How to find judgments and other information

The website utilises a Solr search engine allowing full text search of all judgments and non-judgment content. 

Simply enter a word or phrase into the search box to search across all of the content on this website.

To narrow your search and find only relevant content - filters and aids for searching are provided.

Quick access to judgments

At the top of every page is a link to lists of judgments of High Public Interest and All Judgments.

Lists start with the most recently published judgments at the top.

Accessing other types of information (not judgments)

This website has judgments and a large variety of other information including information about the District Court, Annual Reports, information for the media and information about Civil, Criminal, Youth and Family matters.

How to use Search

You will find search boxes on the Home Page, All Judgments page and High Public Interest page, and by clicking on the Search Icon Picture of the search icon. in the right side corner of the menu bar. You can find a search icon at the top of every page.

Simply enter a word or phrase into the search box to search across all of the content, including summaries, judgments and all pages on this website.

To narrow your search and find what you are looking for only — filters and aids for searching are provided.

Searching for a judgment

  • To begin your search enter a keyword or phrase into the main search box. NOTE:  If you are using a filter but do not want to use a search term simply enter an astrix * or a space . Leaving the search box empty will return no results.

Picture of the main search bar without filters.

  • To search for a judgment, choose a filter type from the Filter Search dropdown list to search by a court or judgment type,

For example choose All Judgments to search all judgments on this database, Criminal to search only criminal judgments etc.

Picture showing options when you click on filter search - above the search bar.


  • If you know the year, month, or day that the judgment was published - filter by date.
    To filter by a month a year must be entered; a month and year must be choosen to filter by a day.
    So if you wish to search all judgments published in 2016, simply choose 2016 from the year dropdown.
  • If you do not know the date, simply leave the date filters at any year, any month, any day.

NOTE: If you wish to search without a keyword - ie for all judgments published in June 2016 choose the year "2016" and the month "June" from the dropdown, enter * (or a space) in the search box and click on search.

Search by MNC number

Judgments from matters heard in the District Court are each given a Medium Neutral Citation (MNC) — this includes the year that the matter was heard, a court identifier, a unique number and the names of the parties to the case. The court identifiers for the District Court judgments include:

NZDC — New Zealand District Court, includes criminal and civil matters.

NZFC — New Zealand Family Court.

NZYC — New Zealand Youth Court.

For example criminal judgments appear in the following format on this database:  Davis v Bradley [2016] NZDC 1589. 

NOTE: To search by MNC number do not include the square brackets:

For example to search for [2016] NZDC 1589 enter 2016 NZDC 1589.

To search by the date that the judgment was made

The date filter return results for the date on which the judgment was published.

To search for the date that the judgment was delivered or heard you will need to search across all of the judgment content:

  • to find a judgment if you know the date that the judgment was made (or heard) — Choose a filter to limit the results to the preferred judgment category (ie All Judgments, High Public Interest, Criminal, Civil, Family or Youth) and enter as much of the date as is known. Ie to search for judgments heard and/or delivered on 14 February 2017 enter "14 February 2017", for all of February 2017 enter "February 2017".
    • Note that if you include  2017as a filter from the dropdown, the results will only return judgments containing the text  14 February 2017 — that were published in 2017. To include all judgments containing the date do NOT use the date filter.
    • Note also that the search results will contain all judgments containing the specified date. This may include judgments heard on the same day or where a judgment refers to an event on the same date.

Keywords and/or phrases

Lists of keywords and phrases related to Civil, Criminal, Youth and Family matters and that have been commonly used within judgments published on this database are found on the Civil, Criminal, Youth and Family pages:

Using operators 

A search can be made of a single word or "a phrase". The search will return a list of all documents that contain the word or the phrase anywhere within the text of document. Note that the search will be made on the exact word or phrase that you have typed in, so if the word or phrase is spelled differently in the document it will not show up in the search results.

Special characters such as [ ] {} ( ) + - && || !   ^ " ~ * ? : \ 

of Single words and phrases can be joined together for more complex searches using operators. 

When searching for a single word ie Judge

Searching for other types of information

To search for other information and content on this website, that is not a judgment:

  • To begin your search enter a keyword or phrase into the main search box.

Picture of the main search bar without filters.

  •  from the Filter Search dropdown list choose Information only|not judgments:
Image of Filter Search dropdown. Choose Inforamtion only not judgments.

Clicking on Filter search will give options for searching. Choose Information only|not judgments.

The results returned will not contain judgments.