The New Zealand government has launched what it calls the first steps in fixing a broken justice system.
Justice Minister Andrew Little will host a criminal justice summit, Hāpaitia Te Oranga Tangata, from August 20 to 22. It will be launched by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern from Parliament’s Banquet Hall on 20 August, with the remaining days held at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua.
“This government believes New Zealand should be the best place in the world to live and raise a family. Our justice system must play its part in that,” Little said. “We are determined to confront the challenges with a hope and belief that we can and should do better for whānau and communities today, and for future generations.”
Little also announced the formation of the “Safe and Effective Justice Programme Advisory Group – Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora,” a specialist advisory group that will work alongside justice sector agencies to reform the criminal justice system.
“The advisory group brings together people with practical working experience of the realities of our broken criminal justice system,” Little said.
Former minister Hon Chester Borrows will chair the group. It also includes Ruth Money, Julia Whaipooti, Dr Warren Young, Professor Tony Ward, Professor Tracey McIntosh, Dr Carwyn Jones and Dr Jarrod Gilbert.
“New Zealand needs less offending, less re-offending, and fewer victims of crime. We can’t continue to have one of the highest re-offending rates in the OECD,” Little said.
“Real change means we have to do things differently. The summit provides a start to honest conversations as a country, supported by real evidence. The summit will bring together victims, victims’ advocates, front-line workers with different backgrounds and experience in the criminal justice system, and experts in criminal justice,” he said.
“Hāpaitia Te Oranga Tangata is about having the guts to look honestly at our slide towards an American-style justice system, and fixing things so we can have safer Kiwi communities,” Little said.
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