Chief Victims Advisor

The New Zealand Government has made a commitment to improve supports and services for those who have been victimised and, through no fault of their own, have to engage with the criminal justice system. I believe improving supports and systems for victims are vital to strengthen the trust and confidence we as a nation have in our justice system. Improving systems and services for victims also has the potential to benefit New Zealand as a whole by helping to create safer communities for all. When victims can speak out and experience justice, everyone benefits.

One of my main priorities as Chief Victims Advisor is to promote common understandings of what it means to provide support to victims of crime in line with the rights and principles in the Victims Code and Victims’ Rights Act 2002. Some key areas of focus for my office are providing advice about: exploring innovative approaches to better support victims of crime; conducting research to better understand where the gaps are in the system for victims, and how we fill these; facilitating better outcomes for Māori victims; exploring improvements to court support and services; and exploring alternative options for justice.

The use of the term ‘victim’ is often controversial. I am aware that some may prefer the term ‘survivor’, ‘people who have been victimised’ or not to be labelled at all. I have continued to use the term ‘victim’ for the sake of consistency with legislation and other agencies in the justice system. The term ‘victim’ is not meant as a value judgment on those who have experienced crime, or to exclude those who do not identify with that particular term.

Victims at the heart of the justice system

Governments have responsibilities to victims

Victims have rights in New Zealand

Different victims have different needs