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Gay conviction legislation introduced

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/06/2017

File photo of a man holding a gay pride flag. © Mark Blinch/Reuters File photo of a man holding a gay pride flag. Legislation to allow gay men convicted of homosexual offences to have them expunged from their records has been introduced to parliament.

Justice Minister Amy Adams announced the plan in February, hoping the move would go some of the way toward addressing the "tremendous hurt and stigma" faced by those affected.

It's the first ever expungement scheme for New Zealand and will allow men convicted of specific offences that were decriminalised in 1986 to apply to have the detail wiped from their criminal record.

"If a person's conviction is expunged, the conviction will not appear on a criminal history check for any purpose and they will be entitled to declare they had no such conviction when required to under New Zealand law," Ms Adams said on Wednesday.

Expungement decision will be made on a case-by-case basis by the Secretary of Justice, who will determine whether the conduct the person was charged over would still be illegal today.

It applies to offences relating to sexual conduct between consenting men aged 16 year and over.

Applications can be made by family on behalf of deceased relatives.

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