First results available from new annual crime survey

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The Ministry of Justice has published the first results from the New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey (NZCVS) 2018.

This was the first year for the new survey which will be run annually. It replaces the New Zealand Crime and Safety Survey (NZCASS) which was run every three to four years.

The NZCVS survey has various modules. The core module has a series of questions which will be repeated every year. There is also a 'revolving' module which will change each year, focusing on specific aspects of victimisation or types of crime. In 2018, the revolving module focused on family violence.

The report, NZ Crime and Victims Survey: Topline report: March – September 2018 (Cycle 1), summarises high level or 'topline' findings. These include:

  • The extent and nature of crime and victimisation in New Zealand
  • The extent and nature of crime that is reported or unreported to Police
  • Information about victims of crime.

More than 8000 New Zealanders over 15 years of age were asked questions about crime they had experienced. Some findings include:

  • Women (21%) were more likely than men (10%) to have experienced one or more incidents of partner violence in their lifetime
  • Women (34%) were more likely than men (12%) to have experienced one or more incidents of sexual violence in their lifetime
  • Māori (37%) were more likely to be victims of crime compared to the national average (29%)
  • Less than a quarter (23%) of all crime was reported to the Police over the last 12 months.

Under violent interpersonal offences, the NZCVS asks about physical offences, sexual offences, threats and damage offences. The methodology report states “Some coercive & controlling behaviours are collected as part of the NZCVS however, these are collected differently from offences.” (p.90)

The Ministry of Justice notes that due to differences between the NZCVS and NZCASS, results cannot reliably be compared.

The main NZCVS report with additional findings will be published in the first quarter of 2019. A series of specialist reports will then be published, including a report specifically on family violence. The Ministry also intends to make anonymised data available for researchers to analyse.

Uses of survey results will include:

  • Informing Hāpaitia to Oranga Tangata: The Safe and Effective Justice Programme
  • Providing information for the Stats NZ’s living standards dashboard and to Treasury’s wellbeing network
  • Potentially linking consented anonymised records with IDI data allowing wider analysis.

The survey has been funded for three consecutive years at $3 million in total for all the surveys.

Also available are:

More information

For background information, see our previous news story Ministry of Justice launches new annual crime survey.

For questions about the purpose, results and use of the survey, contact the Ministry of Justice at

For other sources of family violence data/statistics, see the Clearinghouse family violence statistics page.

Selected media

Police figures show fewer victims of crime reported during 2018 but an increase in sexual assault, Stuff, 14.02.2019

Survey reveals volume and nature of crimes committed in New Zealand last year, Radio NZ, 20.12.2018