Indicator 49: Laws against abuse

Indicator 49: Existence of national legislation to combat elder abuse
Indicator is fully reported? Yes – legislation is publicly available.
Type of indicator Instrumental indicator Instrumental indicator
Our findings

A plain-English description of the legislation to protect older people from abuse is set out in the Community Law Manual at

We recommend that readers go to that website to read the information.

The relevant legislation includes:

  • Crimes Act 1961;[1]
  • Domestic Violence Act 1995;[2]
  • Health and Disability Commissioner Act 1994[3] and  Health and Disability Commissioner (Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights) Regulations 1996;[4] and
  • Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988.[5]
Elder abuse is defined in our report for Madrid indicator 50 and that broad definition can include fraud and deception-related offences. In our page about Madrid indicator 45, we report that the NZ Police identified that older people are at risk from these sorts of offences. Therefore, the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993,[6] the Fair Trading Act 1986,[7] the Weights and Measures Act 1987,[8] and the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007[9] might also be used to combat abuse of the elderly.
How entities use the data The legislation can be amended if improvements are considered necessary to increase the protection for older people. For example, changes to the Crimes Act that were introduced in 2012 mean that certain people are legally responsible for protecting a vulnerable adult from injury.
Entity responsible for this indicator

Health and Disability Commissioner.

Ministry of Health.

Ministry of Justice.










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