Te Tangi o te Manawanui, which means “the heart that says ‘no more’ in order to protect our taonga: future generations”, sets out Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor’s recommendations for how to improve the criminal justice system for victims.
“Many victims say their overall experiences in the justice system are negative, and some victims are recommending that others who are victimised shouldn’t report the crime because their treatment is so poor. I believe this amounts to a growing crisis of confidence in our justice system from a victim’s perspective.
“This should make everyone stand up and take notice. We must listen to victims of crime, especially within the justice reform programme,” said Dr McGregor.
“I see the Hāpaitia programme as a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to improve justice for victims. Currently victims do not have their own representation nor sufficient information, voice, support or advocacy to ensure their rights are implemented.
“Now is the time to create meaningful and lasting change to ensure victims experience a fairer justice system,” she added.
Dr McGregor makes four key recommendations in the report for both immediate and more transformative change:
- Improve procedural justice for victims by upholding victims’ rights, improving access to support and information, and ensuring their safety throughout the system
- Develop an integrated, pro-active and tailored support system focused on restoring victims’ wellbeing
- Develop a variety of alternative justice processes by partnering with Māori, and restorative and therapeutic justice specialists
- Establish a Te Tiriti-based, independent mechanism to enforce victims’ rights and monitor the criminal justice system from a victim’s perspective. Read the full report