Legal Notes:  Information is intended as a guide for genuine naturists.

There is no New Zealand statute which states that being naked is illegal.

The relevant law of interest to naturists is the Summary Offences Act, Section 27


Summary Offences Act

Section 27 reads as follows:

"27. Indecent exposure -

(1)  Every person is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or a fine not exceeding $1,000 who, in or within view of any public place, intentionally and obscenely exposes any part of his or her genitals.

(2) It is a defence in a prosecution under this section if the defendant proves that he or she had reasonable grounds for believing that he or she would not be observed."

The key to this section lies in the conjunction in the phrase:  "intentionally and obscenely".

In order for a prosecution to be successful, the Police would need to prove that a person's exposure was not only intentional but also obscene.

The Police realise that a prosecution against bona fide nudists would not succeed under section 27, because the circumstance of "obscenely" would be missing.  Hence their reliance instead on section 3 "disorderly behaviour" or section 4 "offensive behaviour".

We need to remember that every clause is a separate and individual law.

Code of Conduct

Please be courteous and considerate, and take care to avoid any action that
could be considered offensive.

Respect the personal space of others and the privacy of those who wish to be
alone.

Ask permission before taking photographs. 

Keep to marked tracks and do not disturb plants or wildlife.

Observe fire and fishing restrictions and other regulations, and do your bit to keep our beaches clean - take a rubbish bag with you, and carry out more than you take in.

See also:
Protect it or Lose It

Legal Opinion on the North Shore City Council Bylaw

Law Notes extract from police magazine Ten-one

Submission to Kapiti Coast District Council