Age of Consent in New Zealand
What is the New Zealand Age of Consent?
The Age of Consent in New Zealand is 16 years old. The age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. Individuals aged 15 or younger in New Zealand are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape or the equivalent local law.
New Zealand statutory rape law is violated when an individual has consensual sexual contact with a person under age 16. The age of consent is raised to age 18 if the offender is in a guardianship role. A defense exists if the offender reasonably taken precautions and believed the victim to be 16 or over.
New Zealand does not have a close-in-age exemption. Close in age exemptions, commonly known as "Romeo and Juliet laws" in the United States, are put in place to prevent the prosecution of individuals who engage in consensual sexual activity when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both partners are below the age of consent.
Because there is no close-in-age exemption in New Zealand, it is possible for two individuals both under the age of 16 who willingly engage in intercourse to both be prosecuted for statutory rape, although this is rare. Similarly, no protections are reserved for sexual relations in which one participant is a 15 year old and the second is a 16 or 17 year old.
Age of Consent across the world
The Age of Consent ranges from as low as 11 to as high as 20 years old across the world. Click any country for details, or view countries with the highest & lowest ages of consent.
Age of Consent Map:
< 13 years old
14 years old
15 years old
17 years old
18 years old
> 19 years old