A key role of the Victims Centre is to increase communication and collaboration across government agencies and non government organisations who work with victims of crime.
Here you will find the latest updates on work that is taking place, changes to processes, new services that are available as well as other useful information. We try to keep this area of the website as up to date as possible, however if you think something should be included here please email the Victims Centre.
13 February 2013
Call for Nominations for the Victims Reference Group (VRG) VRG Application form
It is important that victims’ voices are heard during the planning, implementation and development of policy and in the design and delivery of services for victims. The Victims Reference Group was formed in 2011 to provide information and advice to the Victims Centre on how to:
- better meet the needs of victims
- implement initiatives designed to support victims (such as the Victims Code)
- improve the experience of victims of crime while they are involved in the criminal justice system.
Are you interested in joining?
We want a broad range of perspectives from victims. Members of the group need to:
- have had a crime committed against them – or one of their family or whānau members. (Criminal proceedings must befinished and the appeal period closed.)
- have an understanding of the impact of victimisation
- be willing to contribute their perspectives.
We are particularly keen for Māori, youth, people with disabilities or from ethnic minorities to take part.
A daily allowance will be paid. Travel costs are covered. The group will meet in Wellington approximately six times, finishing 30 June 2014. For further information or to apply using the attached VRG Application form, please email email@example.com. Applications close 28 February 2013.
8 November 2012
Victims of crime in the adult criminal justice system: a stock take of the literature
Following on from the article written in Victims Centre Update issue 6 (July 2012) on the summary findings of the literature review, the Victims Centre is pleased to release the full report.
This report is a literature review that collates, describes and evaluates the evidence base relating to appropriate responses to victims of crime in the adult criminal justice system. The aim of this literature review was to summarise available evidence that can be used to:
- inform the development of the Victims Code and the Victims Centre’s thinking on strategies to further improve victim services
- assist agencies dealing with victims of crime to provide the best support possible
- inform the Ministry’s future work and planning, such as by identifying information gaps about optimal responses to victims of certain crimes and certain subgroups of victims.
The full version of this report is available as a PDF.
1 November 2012
The Victims of Crime Reform Bill is currently awaiting its Second Reading. This Bill amends legislation to implement the Government’s reform package for victims of crime.
The Bill had its first reading in October 2011 before being referred to the Justice and Electoral Committee. The Committee received a wide range of submissions on the Bill, including oral submissions from victims of crime, their families and agencies that work with them. The submissions focussed on ways the Bill can improve the justice process for victims of crime.
11 October 2012
The Justice Minister, Hon Judith Collins announces changes to the Family law courts ... “Recommendations for reform have been widely consulted on and most recommendations from the Expert Reference Group have been taken up. “... a key recommendation from the Reference Group is to implement Family Dispute Resolution (FDR). I am pleased to say that FDR will become the cornerstone of our family justice system." Minister Collins says that “By improving information and supporting parents to resolve their simple issues outside court, everyone will benefit – especially children." Read the full release here
13 September 2012
Justice Minister Judith Collins today announced an extra $1million each year to extend the Victims Centre project until June 2014. The Centre, created within the Ministry of Justice in 2010, helps victims access the resources and support services they need from Government agencies. Read the full release here
7 February, 2012
The Victims Centre has released two documents to support the second stage of its engagement work informing the development of the Victims Code.
The first report 'Proposed structure and content for New Zealand's Victims Code' seeks your views on the proposal to model New Zealand's Victims Code on the Health and Disability Code of Consumers' Rights. The report has been written to facilitate the Victims Centre's conversations with interested parties on the development of the Victims Code. The second document provides a summary of the feedback the Victims Centre received from the engagement events it held between October and December 2011. The Victims Centre wishes to sincerely thank all those who took time out of their busy day to participate in these events.
14 December, 2011
You can now join our mailing list by adding your email address and clicking here
14 December, 2011
The Victims Centre hit the road in November, holding workshops and hui in five regions of New Zealand. The engagement process continues.
21 November, 2011
Eligibility criteria has been extended for the sexual violence court attendance grant. Victims of sexual violence may not always be able to access an unpaid support person, for example a family member or friend, when they give evidence in Court. A non-government organisation providing a support person to a victim in these circumstances can now claim up to $300 per day. All enquiries should be directed to Victim Support, who administer the grant.
21 June, 2011
From 1 July 2011 victims of serious crime and sexual violence will be able to apply for additional support and services. July 1 also marks the establishment of the new Victims Centre within the Ministry of Justice.
The new initiatives build on the eight entitlements (see previous news 29 June, 2010 below) and services already paid for by the $50 offender levy imposed on all convicted offenders from 1 July 2010. These new initiatives will be administered by Victim Support.
New initiatives from 1st July 2011
Additional support for families of victims affected by death as a result of a criminal act.
Financial assistance is now available for families whose loved ones have been killed through a criminal act that is not homicide (such as dangerous driving causing death, or careless use of a firearm). This includes up to 30 trauma counselling sessions, and discretionary grant of up to $3,000.
Additional financial support for economically disadvantaged victims of serious crime
A means-tested emergency grant of up to $2,000 for economically disadvantaged victims of a serious crime who require special assistance (such as emergency accommodation, new security locks, trauma counselling, and relocation costs) but have no income to provide for their needs.
Court attendance allowance for victims of sexual violence
From the 1st July a court attendance allowance of $100 a day will be available for both victims of sexual violence and their unpaid support person.
Financial assistance for victims attending justice related hearings.
From 1st of July financial assistance of up to $1,000 will be available for victims to assistance with expenses to attend justice- related meetings (such as restorative justice meetings, coronial hearings, and meetings with court-based victims advisers).
The centre provides an oversight of victims’ rights, services, and resources across government agencies. It will provide information to people working directly with victims of crime and help government and community agencies to better co-ordinate their services.
“One of the centre’s first tasks will be to develop a Victims Code which will clearly define the standard of service that victims can expect to receive from government agencies,” Mr Power said.
29 June, 2010
A range of initiatives come into effect on July 1, 2010 providing greater support for victims of crime and more protection for victims of domestic violence.
Police safety orders for victims of domestic violence
From 1 July 2010, Police will be able to issue on the spot safety orders for the protection of domestic violence victims. Police will issue these orders in domestic violence situations where there are no grounds to make an arrest, and where Police believe there is a likelihood of further violence occurring. The police safety orders will remove the alleged violent person from the home for up to five days.
Court issued protection orders
Protection for victims of domestic violence will be further extended as criminal courts will be able to issue protection orders on behalf of victims when sentencing domestic violence offenders.
Court support service for victims of sexual violence
This new service will provide victims of sexual violence with individualised case management and support from an experienced and trained court advisor, who understands the dynamics of sexual violence. By July 2012, there will be eighteen sexual violence court victim advisors operating across the country, the first six in the Northern region from 1 July 2010.
Call Victims Crime Information Line on 0800 650 654 for further information on court support.
Enhanced homicide support service
The homicide support service currently provided by Victim Support will receive funding for four regional homicide support workers. The service provides practical and emotional support to families of homicide victims from the point when a homicide is discovered, through the court process and beyond.
Information resources for victims of crime
A DVD and three new pamphlets offer easy to understand information about the criminal and youth justice system and the support that is available for victims of crime.
The DVD gives an overview of the criminal justice system and how people affected by crime can get support. It features victims of crime talking about their own experiences of the system along with people who work in the justice system. There are also specific chapters for victims of sexual violence, victims of domestic violence, people affected by homicide and victims of crime by a young person.
The three pamphlets provide:
* an overview of the criminal justice system and how to get support.
* specific information for people affected by homicide.
* specific information for victims of sexual violence.
Implementation of the Offender Levy
A $50 levy will be imposed on all convicted offenders from 1 July 2010. The revenue from the offender levy will be used to fund a range of new services for victims of serious crime, including the sexual violence court support service, the enhanced homicide support service and the information resources for victims. A package of increased assistance and grants delivered by Victim Support is also funded through the offender levy and has been progressively rolled out since November 2009. Find out more about the Offender Levy.