You are here: Home About the Ministry What we do

What we do

Services we offer

The Ministry provides a range of services on behalf of the government and supports the:

  • Minister of Justice and Associate Minister of Justice
  • Minister for Courts
  • Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations
  • Minister Responsible for the Law Commission
  • Attorney-General

Constitutional arrangements

The Ministry has a pivotal role in supporting both the executive and judicial arms of government. The maintenance of the separation of powers and the independence of each of the three branches of government is fundamental to New Zealand's constitutional arrangements.

Within the New Zealand public sector, the Ministry has a unique role as an agency working for the executive while, at the same time, working to support the independent judiciary to administer the courts system.

Supporting judicial decision making

A key role for the Ministry is supporting the work of the judiciary. We ensure the judiciary is provided with adequate levels of administrative, technological and human resources support, and funding for judicial training and development.

The Ministry seeks judicial input into its operations through joint Ministry-judicial governance and management committees and councils, for example, on improvements to court processes and service design.

In delivering services, we recognise the importance of the constitutional independence of judicial decision making, and work with the judiciary to ensure this independence is preserved and maintained.

Policy advice

The Ministry provides policy advice to Ministers across its three Votes – Justice, Courts and Treaty Settlements. Briefings and advice are provided to Ministers and Cabinet that contribute to the development of the Government's policies and the reform and development of legislation. Support and advice is also provided to parliamentary select committees, in particular, Justice and Electoral, Law and Order, and Māori Affairs.

The Ministry facilitates input from the public to the justice system by managing consultation during the reform and development of justice-related legislation, and communicates to the public, on behalf of the Government, the intent and implementation requirements of new legislation.

The Ministry of Justice administers 166 Acts of Parliament solely, or jointly with other agencies.

Operational services

The Ministry provides administration, case management and support services to the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court, District Court, special jurisdictions, and a range of tribunals and authorities in 103 locations around New Zealand.

We deliver registry services, claims administration, research services, hearings management, judicial support and report-writing services to the Waitangi Tribunal. The Ministry negotiates for the settlement of historical claims arising from the Treaty of Waitangi, and manages land for use in settlements.

We resolve court-imposed monetary penalties and infringement fines, enforce and complete civil judgment orders and serve court documents.

In addition to providing advice about criminal justice and crime reduction, the Ministry works directly with a range of non-governmental organisations in crime prevention and other activities, such as partnerships with local authorities and iwi, and provides funding directly to support local initiatives.

The Ministry is also responsible for the administration of parliamentary elections, by-elections and referenda.

Corporate Services

The Ministry's sector leadership responsibilities and corporate services are provided by the Corporate Services Group.

The corporate functions provided by the group include human resources, information technology, knowledge information services, property management services, court security, risk and business assurance, project management, communications, finance, planning and reporting, and facilities and office management.

Sector Leadership

The Sector Strategy business unit takes the lead role in the relationship with the justice sector. Its role includes responsibility for the sector outcomes framework, coordination of sector-wide initiatives, management of the sector Budget process, coordination of the Justice Sector Information Strategy, and evaluation of initiatives and monitoring of the performance of Crown entities and other organisations that are funded through Vote Justice.