Misuse of Drugs Act – Section 18: Search and Seizure

18.Search and seizure—

(1)Where a search warrant is issued under section 198 of the Summary Proceedings Act 1957 in respect of an offence which has been or is suspected to have been committed against this Act or which is believed to be intended to be so committed, any constable executing the warrant or any of his assistants may search any person found in or on the building, aircraft, ship, hovercraft, carriage, vehicle, premises, or place which may be entered and searched under the authority of the warrant.

(2)Where any member of the Police has reasonable ground for believing that there is in or on any building, aircraft, ship, hovercraft, carriage, vehicle, premises, or place any controlled drug specified or described in Schedule 1 or in Part 1 of Schedule 2 or in Part 1 of Schedule 3 to this Act [or any precursor substance specified or described in Part 3 of Schedule 4] and that an offence against this Act has been or is suspected of having been committed in respect of that drug [or precursor substance], he, and any assistants who accompany him, may enter and search the building, aircraft, ship, hovercraft, carriage, vehicle, premises, or place and any person found therein or thereon as if authorised to do so by a search warrant issued under section 198 of the Summary Proceedings Act 1957 and by subsection (1) of this section.

(3)Where any member of the Police has reasonable ground for believing that any person is in possession of any controlled drug specified or described in Schedule 1 or in Part 1 of Schedule 2 or in Part 1 of Schedule 3 to this Act [or any precursor substance specified or described in Part 3 of Schedule 4] and that an offence against this Act has been or is suspected of having been committed in respect of that drug [or precursor substance], he may search and detain that person for the purpose of search and may take possession of any controlled drug [or precursor substance] found. Nothing in this subsection shall limit the provisions of subsections (1) and (2) of this section or authorise any member of the Police to enter and search any building, aircraft, ship, hovercraft, carriage, vehicle, premises, or place otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of those subsections.

[(3A)If it is necessary for a member of the Police to stop a vehicle for the purpose of exercising the power conferred by subsection (3) to search a person who is in the vehicle, sections 314B to 314D of the Crimes Act 1961 apply with any necessary modifications as if references in those sections to a statutory search power are references to subsection (3).]

(4)Every member of the Police exercising the power of entry and search conferred by subsection (2) of this section or the power conferred by subsection (3) of this section shall identify himself to every person searched, and also to any person in or on the building, aircraft, ship, hovercraft, carriage, vehicle, premises, or place who questions his right to enter and search the same, and shall also tell those persons that the search is being made pursuant to the authority of that subsection. He shall also, if not in uniform and if so required, produce evidence that he is a member of the Police.

(5)Any officer of Customs, or any officer of the [Ministry of Health], [or any Medical Officer of Health], or any member of the Police, with such assistants as he thinks necessary, may seize and destroy any prohibited plant except where it is being cultivated either in accordance with the conditions of a licence granted under this Act or in accordance with regulations made under this Act, and may also seize and destroy the seed of any prohibited plant except where that seed is in the possession of any person who is either authorised under this Act to cultivate the plant or who is permitted by regulations made under this Act to have the seed in his possession.

(6)Where any member of the Police exercises the power of entry and search conferred by subsection (2) of this section or the power conferred by subsection (3) of this section, he shall, within 3 days after the day on which he exercises the power, furnish to the Commissioner of Police a written report on the exercise of the power and the circumstances in which it came to be exercised.

Note: This excerpt is provided for advisory purposes only – some amendments may have been made subsequent to this. See www.legislation.govt.nz for the most up-to-date version of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Law Commission report on Search and Seizure powers is here.