Child sex offender register created under Bill
A register of child sex offenders will be created under a Bill that has passed its first reading in Parliament.
The aim is to reduce reoffending against child victims by providing information that government agencies can use to monitor offenders.
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley told Parliament child sex abuse was a serious problem in New Zealand that caused long-lasting harm to vulnerable victims.
"In 2014 alone, 451 offenders were convicted of a child sex offence and 307 were sentenced to prison," she said.
"In that year, 294 child sex offenders were released from prison back into the community - the majority of these offenders will have no ongoing contact with justice agencies."
The register won't be open to the public, but where there's a "significant threat" to a child information may be released to a parent, guardian, teacher or caregiver.
All child sex offenders will have to register if they were aged 18 or over when they were convicted and sentenced.
They will have to provide a range of information including any aliases, home and work addresses, email addresses, car registration and passport details.
They must report any change in that information within 72 hours.
The Child Protection (Child Sex Offender Register) Bill passed its first reading unanimously last night.
It has been sent to a select committee for public submissions.