Students Q&A

Students participating in the Mates & Dates programme will find their questions and answers here! Utilising our best research and resources you will find a link which will take you to your answer or further information.

If you have a question – post it using this link then return here in 48 hours for your answer.


Q– What is the age of sexual consent in NZ?

A– The Age of Consent in New Zealand is 16 years old. The age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. Individuals aged 15 or younger in New Zealand are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape or the equivalent local law.
New Zealand statutory rape law is violated when an individual has consensual sexual contact with a person under age 16. The age of consent is raised to age 18 if the offender is in a guardianship role. A defense exists if the offender reasonably taken precautions and believed the victim to be 16 or over.

– What if one or both people are under the age of 16 years old (i.e. if one is 15 years and one is 17 years or both are 15 years for example?)

– New Zealand does not have a close-in-age exemption. Close in age exemptions, commonly known as “Romeo and Juliet laws” in the United States, are put in place to prevent the prosecution of individuals who engage in consensual sexual activity when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both partners are below the age of consent.
Because there is no close-in-age exemption in New Zealand, it is possible for two individuals both under the age of 16 who willingly engage in intercourse to bothbe prosecuted for statutory rape, although this is rare. Similarly, no protections are reserved for sexual relations in which one participant is a 15 year old and the second is a 16 or 17 year old.

(More info here:


Safe to Talk  0800 044 334 – Sexual harm – for you or to help someone else

SPARX –  online e-therapy tool provided by the University of Auckland that helps young people learn skills to deal with feeling down, depressed or stressed

Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email or online chat – or email or free text 5626

What’s Up – 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds). Phone counselling is available Monday to Friday, 12noon–11pm and weekends, 3pm–11pm. Online chat is available from 3pm–10pm 7 days a week, including all public holidays.

Kidsline – 0800 54 37 54 (0800 kidsline) for young people up to 18 years of age. Open 24/7.

OUTLine NZ – 0800 688 5463 (OUTLINE) provides confidential telephone support – sexuality or gender identity helpline