Search tips

How to find judgments and other information

This website utilises a Solr search engine, which allows 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, use the filters and aids 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.

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 don't want to use a search term, simply enter an asterix * 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 drop-down list to search by a court or judgment type.

    For example, choose All Judgments to search all judgments on this database, or 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.
    • To filter by a day, a month and year must be entered.

So if you wish to search all judgments published in 2016, simply choose 2016 from the year drop-down.

  • If you don't know the date, simply leave the date filters at any year, any month, any day.
  • If you want to search without a keyword (for example, 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
    • click 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, don't 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 where you know the date the judgment was made (or heard):

  • Choose a filter to limit the results to the preferred judgment category (i.e., All Judgments, High Public Interest, Criminal, Civil, Family or Youth).
  • Enter as much of the date as is known.

For example, to search for judgments heard and/or delivered on 14 February 2017, enter "14 February 2017". For all of February 2017, enter "February 2017".


  • If you include  2017 as a filter from the drop-down, the results will only return judgments containing the text '14 February 2017' that were actually published in 2017. To include all judgments containing the date, don't use the date filter.
  • The search results will contain all judgments containing the specified date. This may include judgments heard on the same day, and judgments that refer to an event on the same date.

Using keywords and/or phrases

Lists of keywords and phrases related to Civil, Criminal, Youth, and Family matters 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
  • 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 include: [ ] {} ( ) + - && || !   ^ " ~ * ? : \ 

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

Searching for other types of information

To search for 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 drop-down list, choose Information only|not judgments:

Image of Filter Search dropdown. Choose Inforamtion only not judgments.

The results returned will not contain judgments.