New Zealand Law Society - Publicly searchable homicide database pinpoints family violence

Publicly searchable homicide database pinpoints family violence

This article is over 3 years old. More recent information on this subject may exist.

New Zealand consistently outranks other developed countries in rates of family violence while overall our homicide rate of 1.6 per 100,000 is below OECD average of 3.6 per 100,000.

According to the recently released Homicide Report half of female victims 18 or older are killed by a partner or ex-partner. Alcohol is a factor in 31 percent of homicides overall and in 65 percent of homicides where the killer and victim are friends. Homicide is 10 times more likely to occur in neighbourhoods with high levels of social deprivation.

The report is the work of a team of Stuff journalists and is the first publicly searchable database of New Zealand homicides. It contains data from 1068 people killed from January 2004 to March 31, 2019. Four hundred of those cases involve family violence.

The report includes an analysis which addresses the question why do New Zealander kill one another? The report provides some answers. The analysis includes groupings of homicide with similar characteristics (such as types of guns used most often in gun homicidal shootings) in an attempt to reveal an underlying cause or problem.

The searchable database uses data from 800 coronial findings, court documents, police files and news stories from Stuff’s archives.  

Each case is categorised according to the age, gender, cause of death, date of death, location and killer relationship of the victim. It also links to related Stuff articles.