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