Almost a thousand Hawke's Bay people had convictions concealed under the Clean Slate Act last year.

Ministry of Justice data shows 971 people had 2493 convictions concealed under the act between January and November.

The Clean Slate Act was designed to allow people with less serious convictions to put their past behind them if they had been conviction-free for at least seven years, had not been sentenced to imprisonment and met other criteria.

Commonly concealed convictions in Hawke's Bay were dangerous or negligent acts, traffic offences and drug offences, according to the Ministry.


The Clean Slate Act applies to employment and any other situation where an individual is asked about their criminal record.

OneStaff recruitment Hawke's Bay area manager Megan Nicholson said the Clean Slate Act was a good thing because people had to meet criteria to have their convictions concealed.

She said those who had just minor convictions and had stayed out of trouble for seven years deserved another chance.

There was a limited pool of workers in the area so it was important to let people learn from their mistakes and prove themselves.

OneStaff checked its workers' criminal records and disclosed everything to clients. Some clients would take workers with a criminal record, said Ms Nicholson.

Ministry figures showed 7176 Hawke's Bay people had their convictions concealed since the act was introduced in 2004.

Nationwide, 29,973 people were eligible to have 76,775 convictions concealed under the act between January and November last year.

Ministry of Justice general manager of district courts Tony Fisher said a person meeting the criteria to have their convictions concealed did not have to apply for a clean slate.

The scheme was applied by the Ministry when an application was made for a copy of their criminal record.

The Ministry's Criminal Records Unit processed about 450,000 requests every year.

Since the Act was introduced in 2004, 220,598 people had been eligible to have convictions concealed. There was no central register of the people meeting the criteria at any one time.

A person would lose eligibility to have their convictions concealed if convicted of a further offence, and their record would show previously concealed convictions as well as their most recent convictions.