The Ministry of Justice’s work to enhance the justice services used by thousands of New Zealanders everyday are outlined in its 2017/18 Annual Report tabled in Parliament.
The feedback we’ve received from the Ministry’s customers and partners illustrates how it’s delivering people-centred justice services to provide access to justice for all, says Chief Executive Andrew Bridgman.
“The comments we are receiving from our customers are excellent. They reflect very well on everyone in the Ministry, and truly show that our staff are ‘walking a mile in the shoes of the public’.”
For example, the Annual Report notes that 55,000 people received legal aid. The public feedback on the revised legal aid application forms has been very positive. They said: “It’s now easier to apply for aid”, “I think the new form is great!’ and “The irrelevant questions are gone, and it will be much easier for clients to understand and complete correctly and honestly.”
The Criminal Records Unit processes 550,000 criminal record checks a year, primarily to help people get employment, but also for visas for overseas travel.
A CRU customer said: “Thank you for the way your Department has treated me over the past several weeks. I am applying for citizenship in Australia and need a National Police Certificate. Whenever I contacted you either by email or phone, I was treated superbly.”
The Annual Report also shows that Christchurch’s new $300 million justice precinct has gone down well with our partners. After a recent training excise at the precinct, emergency services commented how much easier it was to train with all the justice agencies located together.
Emergency team leader James Thompson said: “We now have a greater understanding of where we each fit and how we operate together. Being in the precinct made it easier to make this happen - the intrinsic value of being in here.”