Hearing victims/survivors of crime

  • Hon Andrew Little

A new survey is allowing victims/survivors of crime to be heard, in their own words, about how our broken criminal justice system can be fixed, says Justice Minister Andrew Little.

The survey has been developed by the Chief Victims Advisor to the Government, Dr Kim McGregor, and her steering group of victim advocates and academics. The findings of the survey will inform Dr McGregor’s advice to the Government and the Hāpaitia te Oranga Tangata – Safe and Effective Justice programme.

“Fixing the criminal justice system means putting victims and survivors at the heart of change. We must have fewer victims of crime, who are better supported.

“We know that many victims feel let down by the current system, and that they find it difficult to navigate their way to justice and restoration. That’s not good enough. We are working hard to learn from the lessons of the past.

“I have asked Dr McGregor to lead this programme of work, and specifically to conduct this survey, so we can fix the system and ensure victims achieve justice without feeling re-victimised by the process,” Andrew Little said.

The Chief Victims Advisor, who will provide victim-centric recommendations, is an independent ministerial advisor appointed by, and accountable to, the Minister of Justice. Dr McGregor’s role is to focus on identifying themes and areas for improvement for victims in the justice sector.

“The survey is an opportunity for victims of crime to tell us their views on the criminal justice system, what works and what doesn’t, and how they believe it can be improved,” says Dr McGregor.

“It is one strand of a wider range of initiatives underway to hear and respond to the voices of survivors in our communities. As well as the survey, I have hosted two pre-Summit forums and I hosted a panel on victims’ issues at the Criminal Justice Summit.

“Next steps include workshops and face-to-face meetings with victims around the country as I continue to gather information about gaps in the system and ideas for reform, so I can prepare my recommendations.”

The survey, which is available in English and Te Reo Māori, runs until Friday 1 March and can be found at https://www.safeandeffectivejustice.govt.nz/news/latest-news/victims-survey/