The Green Party will achieve a just and civil society through improving access to justice, supporting restorative and tikanga Māori-led justice, supporting victims, focusing our efforts towards supporting and rehabilitating people who come into the justice system, and providing early social interventions that help them avoid violence, conflict and abuse.
The law benefits everyone equitably and supports all New Zealanders to live their best lives safely.
Values and Principles
Decisions relating to the justice system must uphold the following values and principles:
- Honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi: Tikanga Māori should be recognised as the first laws of Aotearoa New Zealand, and tikanga-based practice should be prioritised for dispute resolution.
- Ecological Wisdom: Justice is not limited to the legal system, and holistic approaches that prevent and address the abuse and destruction of the natural world and the inequities associated with it are also needed.
- Social Responsibility: Everyone is entitled to justice, to a fair hearing, and to be treated with respect in the justice system. Everyone should be given a reasonable chance to atone for past wrongs and to reintegrate into society. The focus of our justice system should support all victims, be based on tikanga Māori and restorative justice.
- Appropriate Decision-Making: The rule of law and judicial independence are fundamental values that should be protected; justice should follow transparent and fair processes, and the right to justice must be equitably protected in all its forms.
- Non-Violence: Criminal cases should be resolved compassionately in ways that preserve the interests of the public, victims, and the accused. Restorative justice, reducing reoffending, rehabilitation, and support for victims should be prioritised over punitive or aggressive approaches.
- International Obligations: International public law obligations should be fairly and openly honoured; and the State must not undermine international peace.
The Green Party’s strategic goals include:
“As a Party we strive to create a more connected, compassionate and equal Aotearoa, free from structural biases that discriminate against groups and individuals.“
Actions in this policy that will help achieve this include:
- Ensure that everyone before the justice system, at any stage of the process, regardless of gender, race, origin or financial status, is treated equally, accorded due process, and without any limitation on their right to justice. (1.5)
- Enable Māori groups, community organisations, and community class actions to be eligible for legal aid funding and enact legislation to facilitate group action. (1.14)
- Promote the use of restorative justice both in the justice system and the community, and restore and resource a more community-led approach. (2.13)
- Address institutional racism and eliminate discrimination in the justice system. (2.19).
- Take a preventative approach to addressing the over-representation of Māori and Pasifika young people in the youth justice system, including by addressing child poverty. (2.28)
- Promptly investigate and, if found, stop any abuse of the rule of law happening in Aotearoa New Zealand, regardless of the influence or importance of the perpetrators. (6.6)
Our aim is to improve a whole-of-system response to crime. The legal system alone cannot eliminate this problem and a preventative approach is needed (see also our Health, Drug Law Reform, Education, Household Livelihoods, Housing and Sustainable Communities, and Global Affairs policies). See also our Women’s, Kaupapa Māori, Tagata Moana, Rainbow, Disability and Youth Policies.