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 will 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.

Participants

For participants, we will be working with Colmar Brunton(external link) who will be conducting interviews. They will talk to 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 will be meeting with people from each stakeholder group to hear their experience and thoughts about the RJ service. These engagements will include interviews and/or small focus groups.

Phase two: we will be surveying each group, 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?

Engagement is currently under way!

Due to COVID-19 Alert Level changes, we have had to reschedule some of our engagements to later this year and in the first half of 2022. Where we can, we've begun interviewing stakeholder groups.

Interviews with Restorative Justice (RJ) providers and Kaupapa Māori organisations have started, with the review team conducting some interviews in person and some online.

The interviews are providing a lot of insight into the service and how it's working to meet the needs of participants. We're looking forward to engaging with the other stakeholder groups to hear their thoughts.

Due to the delays, the final recommendations report is now likely to be published mid-2022.

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

If you have any questions, you can email the project team at RjServiceReview@justice.govt.nz.

Key dates for the review

Due to ongoing changes in COVID-19 Alert Levels and associated travel restrictions, the review team has made some adjustments to project timeframes.

June 2021 – November 2021 Engagement with RJ providers
October 2021 - December 2021 Engagement with kaupapa Māori providers
August 2021 - October 2021 Participant interviews
Late 2021 Stakeholder survey published
March 2022 Engagement begins with court staff and judiciary
July 2022 Report and recommendations published

Note, for the key dates above, we're still in the process of confirming engagement for some stakeholder groups such as lawyers and Police.