The Green Party shares the vision of Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group: “A justice system that treats all people with humanity, dignity, respect and compassion; recognises the mana inherent in all people and communities; and enables the restoration of that mana whenever it has been diminished.”
In Government, we made it easier for victims of sexual and domestic violence to access justice without being re- traumatised, and extended the Youth Court to include 17 year olds. We opposed a new mega-prison being built at Waikeria.
The current justice system makes Aotearoa less safe by failing to ensure equal access to courts, effective rehabilitation and reintegration strategies, and restorative support for victims. We have one of the highest rates of imprisonment in the world, fuelling a cycle of crime and despair which disproportionately harms Māori and people of colour, mental health sufferers, and low-income communities.
Our justice system needs transformative change. We must move away from mass incarceration; ensure we do not militarise the Police; empower by-Māori, for-Māori criminal justice processes; and support legal aid and community law centres. Our justice system must respond to discrimination against marginalised groups, address the underlying causes of offending, and focus on rehabilitating offenders. Fixing the justice system requires better housing, inclusive education, and mental health and addiction treatments.
The Green Party will:
- Oppose further arming of the Police and require regular de-escalation training.
- Reform sentencing, bail and parole laws to enable the gradual replacement of most prisons with community- based rehabilitation.
- Properly fund tikanga-based and restorative justice solutions to criminal cases, including Te Pae Oranga.
- Transfer authority and resources to Māori communities to design and develop responses to the systemic causes of harm.
- Properly fund social support to those who have caused and experienced harm, extend legal aid, better resource community law centres, and make applications for protection and parenting orders free.
- Expand well-performing specialist courts like the Rangatahi and Pasifika Courts for young people throughout Aotearoa, so justice doesn’t depend on where someone lives.
- Expand the Youth Court to cover all young people up to the age of 18, regardless of offence, ban detention of young people with adults in all circumstances and review the use of remand in youth detention facilities.
- Create an independent Victims Commissioner to give a formal voice to victims in the justice system and ensure support services are resourced to provide specialised support for victims of intimate partner violence and sexual violence.