Reparation information for victims

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Find out about the reparation process, from when the judge orders it to when you get payments. You can learn what may be causing small payments and what you can do if you are unhappy with your reparation.

The reparation process

If a judge orders someone to pay reparation to you, you will be sent a Reparation Notice that tells you:

  • how much the offender has been ordered to pay
  • how long the offender has to pay – usually they have 28 days to pay or start paying
  • any instructions the judge may have included about how payments are to be made.

The court collects payments and we send them on to you. If you receive any payments directly from the offender, contact us

Find out more about receiving your reparation 

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If you have insurance cover

If you have insurance that covers the damage the reparation is for, you should talk to your insurance company about the reparation.

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How the court can get offenders to pay

Collecting reparation is a priority for the court. If the offender does not pay, the court can enforce reparation in the same way as a fine. This can include:

  • taking money from their wages or benefit
  • taking their property and selling it
  • arresting them.

Find out more about enforcement 

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If you’re getting small payments or no payments

There a few things that may be affecting your payments:

Your details may be out of date

If you have changed address or bank account please contact us.

Several people could be receiving reparation from the same offender

The oldest reparation is usually paid first. If more than one person is included in a reparation order, the payments are shared between the parties. 

The offender may have a low income

If the offender is on a low income you may receive small payments over time. The court cannot make an order that would make their deductions more than 40% of their income.

The offender may be in prison

If the offender is in prison we will still try to collect the reparation. If we cannot get payment while the offender is in prison, more enforcement action will be taken when they are released.

The offender cannot be found

If you know where the offender is, please contact us

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The court can only pay you after getting the offender’s payments

This is because the court does not receive funding for advance reparation payments, and New Zealand law does not allow them.

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Changes to reparation

Sometimes changes are made to reparation after the order has been made, for example if:

  • the sentence is appealed
  • the offender cannot pay
  • the terms for payment change
  • the reparation gets replaced by another type of sentence.

Changes to reparation can only be made by a judge. We’ll send you a letter if there are any changes to your reparation.

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If you feel the reparation ordered isn’t enough

You can take the offender to court for any extra amount you think is owed. A lawyer or your local Community Law Centre can help you.

Go to the Community Law website (external link)

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