About the justice sector
The Ministry of Justice is the lead agency in the justice sector, which includes the New Zealand Police, the Department of Corrections, the Crown Law Office, the Serious Fraud Office and Child Youth and Family (part of the Ministry of Social Development). The sector collaborates to reduce crime and enhance public safety; and to provide access to justice by delivering modern, effective and affordable services.
The justice sector has had success in that the crime rate is currently at its lowest level in 35 years. Reducing the crime rate further is a challenge, but one we’re well-placed to achieve. As criminal justice makes up about 80% of justice sector spending, falling crime, fewer people entering the system, and fewer people in prison means the sector can switch focus from dealing with volume to improving performance. New technology provides the opportunity to improve service delivery and modernise our operating models.
Working as a sector recognises that there is a "pipeline" across the criminal justice system. It extends from the investigation of crime to arrest and prosecutions, through to courts, sentencing, and sentencing management and rehabilitation. It means policies and approaches in one part of the system can have significant effects on others. Joining up our services allows agencies to identify these effects, and implement changes that have the best outcomes for the sector as a whole.
Working as a sector requires a different leadership approach. In 2011, a Justice Sector Leadership Board - comprising of the chief executives of Police, Justice, Corrections, the Serious Fraud Office and Crown Law - was established.
The Board, with the Secretary for Justice as its chair, is responsible for driving performance across the justice system (including achieving the Sector's Better Public Service targets by 2017), coordinating the major change programmes underway and collectively planning to modernise the sector, reduce costs, improve services, and further enhance public safety.
The Board is supported by a Sector Group within the Ministry of Justice.
Established in May 2012, the Justice Sector Fund is a funding pool that allows savings to be transferred between justice sector agencies and across years.
The fund provides flexibility for savings to be redirected into the wider justice sector’s highest priorities, rather than being restricted to reinvestment in the same Vote.
Read the Minister of Justice's press release: Justice Sector Funding Pool for Better Results (Beehive website).