Justice Policy

Our commitment to ensure a fair, transparent judicial and legal system together with community-based mediation, restoration and rehabilitation, is at the heart of our justice policy.

The best way to keeping families and communities safe is to address the causes of crime and where possible prevent it from happening in the first place.
Prison needs to be the last resort as the evidence shows us that putting people in jail is often an expensive way of creating more crime.
We recognise that victims of crime have every right to be angry and to see offenders punished. This needs to be done in a way that does not create more crime and more victims.
To help keep communities safe we believe there needs to be a greater focus on victims’ rights, restorative justice, crime prevention and rehabilitation.


Key Principles

  • A greater focus on mediation, restorative justice and community-based justice.
  • Crime prevention and the rehabilitation of offenders is as important in sentencing as punishment of crime.
  • Victims, offenders, families and communities are supported in taking an active and meaningful role in restorative justice.

Specific Policy Points

Restorative Justice

  • Increase funding and support for restorative justice in the criminal justice system.
  • Support for restorative justice after sentencing, particularly in prisons.
  • Adequately fund victim support services to pay for victims to attend restorative justice processes.

Compensating Victims

  • Provide counselling and compensation for victims.
  • Support provisions to deduct unpaid restitution and court fines through the IRD or Income Support.

Prisons and Sentencing

  • Increase the options available to judges in criminal cases.
  • A moratorium on all new prison construction except for the purposes of replacement.
  • No private prisons.
  • Increase provision for rehabilitation of prison inmates.
  • Increased access to programmes in prisons focused on education, drug and alcohol rehabilitation and mental health.
  • Ensure sufficient 'family houses' for pregnant women and mothers in prison to ensure good bonding with infants and continuing attachment with young children.

Access to Courts and Justice

  • Publicly funded mediation services for civil proceedings.
  • Legal aid available for community organisations.

Maori Justice

  • Maori tikanga and reo programmes in prisons and youth justice centres.
  • Iwi and hapu collaboration in prison management.
  • Funding to explore Maori justice approaches.

Youth Justice

  • Maintain the current age of criminal responsibility at 14.
  • Increase resources for Family Group Conferences and training for their convenors.

Please see the full policy here