IF YOU FIND SOME­THING EX­PEN­SIVE, DO YOU HAVE TO HAND IT IN?

New Zealand Woman’s Weekly - - CONSUMER -

What is the “finders keep­ers” law in New Zealand? Do you have to turn in ev­ery­thing of value that you find?

Yes, that is the law. There is no such thing in New Zealand as “finders keep­ers”. In fact, it gets worse. If you find an item of sig­nif­i­cant value and keep it, you may be charged with theft.

An ex­am­ple of this would be if you found a fairly new cell­phone some­one had left on a seat in a café. If you keep it or sell it to some­one else, you would then be com­mit­ting a crim­i­nal of­fence. Prob­a­bly if this was your first of­fence, you’d get away with a warn­ing.

When you hand goods into the po­lice, they will be held for long enough for po­lice to make en­quiries or for the owner to report the loss. If the goods are not claimed, the po­lice will usu­ally no­tify the finders and in­vite them to take the goods. But if the goods con­tain per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, they will be de­stroyed.

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