Saturday, August 21, 2010


Having our ancestors picked up by the police is a veritable treasure for us. Sure, I guess, we'd rather they had stayed on the right side of the law but since they didn't, the police collected a lot of information on them.

And if your relative was a victim, that's even better, there is more information in High Court records about them than the criminals. High Court criminal cases are closed to the public for 100yrs. If the case is about you and you prove who you are, then Archives NZ will show you the record. The rest of us have to wait!

But today I'm going to show you the police gazettes. (Click on image to be able to read it.) These are closed for 60 years. In the recent past, there was a bit of controversy about the time these were closed but it's now been clarified to the 60yrs by the Police Commissioner.

These invaluable registers are at National Archives. You will see by the photographs, that the information collected was of a wider interest than just felons.

Each year is indexed at the front of the gazette and you may have to read through many years to find that person if you don't know when he came before the judge.

The information is not on Archway. It's definitely worth the trip to archives just to see if the gazettes contain your people.

Remember paperspast, which details what the public were told about the criminal cases.

Mug shots are fabulous and were added to the later years than I'm showing you today. The Police Museum has a few of these online.

Make it Digital, has the Police Museums' mugshot collection and the police gazettes listed for you to vote for if you like.


  1. I agree! These are fascinating.

    Christchurch city library website has a selection of Canterbury police gazettes online at 1869-1871.


  2. Thanks Sandy, these files are on pdf and can be found using their internal search engine.