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0800 650 654 24/7 Victims Information Line

Victims' claims compensation

If an offender is injured while they are in prison they may be awarded compensation from the government. This money will be held in the Victims’ Claims Trust account.

If the person who offended against you gets a payment you may be able to make a compensation claim for the pain and suffering the offender caused you.

Contact the Victims’ Special Claims Tribunal on (04) 462 6660 or email tribunals@justice.govt.nz for more information.

Find out if the offender has received compensation

The Secretary of the Victims’ Special Claims Tribunal will notify the offender’s victims that the offender has received compensation (this is called the Notice of Payment) and send them information and forms to make a claim.

The Secretary will also publish a notice in the New Zealand Gazette, on the Ministry of Justice website (external link) , and in the daily newspapers in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. The notice will include the offender’s name, the amount available in the trust account, and the due date by which victims must file their claims.

Claims are not limited to the amount in the trust account.

Claim compensation from the offender

If you want to make a claim for compensation you must complete a claim form and send it to the Victims’ Special Claims Tribunal before the deadline specified in the Notice of Payment.

Forms and guides for the Victims' Special Claims Tribunal are available on the Ministry of Justice's website (external link)

You usually have six months to make your claim and there is no fee for making a claim.

You will need to give the Tribunal information about the injury, harm, loss or damage you suffered because of the offence and attach certified copies of medical reports, valuations, receipts or other documents to support your claim.

You can get help with your claim from a support person or a lawyer. If you need legal assistance you may be entitled to legal aid. Contact Legal Aid Services on 0800 2 LEGAL AID (0800 253 425) or see the legal aid contact details on the Ministry of Justice’s website (external link) .

How does the Tribunal determine a claim?

The Tribunal usually determines claims based on written submissions but sometimes it will have a hearing to hear from the claimant (the victim) and the respondent (the offender).

The Tribunal will give a copy of your claim to the offender so they can respond to it, but your address and contact details will be removed.

The Tribunal will consider any payments you have received because of the offence, like ACC or insurance payments, when determining how much compensation to award you.

More information about victims’ claims compensation

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