Restorative Justice Service Review

We’re reviewing the Restorative Justice (RJ) service. The review is an information gathering exercise to understand how the service is currently meeting the needs of participants. This will help us to understand what’s working well and what needs to be improved, which may be used to inform the future model of Ministry of Justice funded RJ in New Zealand.

On this page:

What are we doing?

The Ministry of Justice is completing a review of Restorative Justice (RJ) services to ensure that it meets the needs of people who participate in the service. The review is focused on gathering information from all parties involved with the service.

Why are we reviewing the service?

Restorative Justice (RJ) is an important service that aims to bring victims and offenders together to address harm that has occurred. It is important to ensure that the model continues to be safe and effective for all participants. Completing the review is the first step in helping ensure that the RJ service remains an appropriate and flexible justice service for New Zealanders.

What will the review look like?

We want to hear from the people and organisations involved with RJ to understand their experiences to gain an understanding on how well the current service meets the needs of participants.

We are currently be engaging with key stakeholder groups who are involved with RJ to gain insights and understand the strengths and weaknesses of the current model. 

These stakeholder groups include:

  • Court staff
  • Judiciary
  • Service providers
  • Participants
  • Police
  • Lawyers
  • Māori providers* and participants

People who have used the RJ service are in the best position to tell us how things are working. Therefore, the review has a special focus on hearing their first-hand, lived experience.

The voices of stakeholder groups and people who have attended the RJ service will form the basis of a final recommendations report. The endorsed recommendations report will be sent to all parties who contributed, as well as made publicly available.

*As classified by the Inland Revenue Department(external link).

How will we be engaging?

We are applying a mixed-method approach to our engagement.


In 2021, Colmar Brunton(external link) conducted interviews with participants across the country about their experience of the RJ service.

All other stakeholder groups

We have two phases of engagement for the other stakeholder groups.

Phase one: we are meeting with people from each stakeholder group to hear their experience and thoughts about the RJ service. These engagements include interviews and/or small focus groups.

Phase two: involves publishing a survey, so that we can hear from a wider range of perspectives and test some of the information gathered during phase one.

When is it happening?

Due to COVID-19 Alert Level changes, we had to reschedule some of our engagements to late 2021 and the first half of 2022.

As we finish up with our engagements, we will be focusing on analysing the information collected.

Due to the delays, the final recommendations report is now likely to be published in late 2022.

We'll continue to update this webpage as the review progresses.

If you have any questions, you can email the project team at

Key dates for the review

June 2021 – November 2021 Engagement with RJ providers
August 2021 - December 2021 Participant interviews
December 2021 Stakeholder survey published
October 2021 - February 2022 Engagement with kaupapa Māori providers
February - April 2022 Engagement with judiciary
April - May 2022 Engagement with Court staff
April - June 2022 Engagement with Police
June - October 2022 Data analysis
Late 2022 Report and recommendations published

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