History of victims' rights in New Zealand

New Zealand Governments have included victim-related provisions in various Acts. Most are now contained in the Victims’ Rights Act 2002, but there are also provisions in the Sentencing Act 2002, the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989 and the Evidence Act 2006.

Governments have also funded government agencies to respond to victims’ justice needs. Most of this money is spent by NZ Police, the Ministry of Justice and the Department of Corrections. The Ministry of Social Development and ACC also get funding for victim welfare.

The 1980s was an important decade for the law relating to victims of crime. New Zealand co-sponsored the United Nations Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power, which then encouraged lawmakers at home to implement these principles.

Victims in New Zealand got their own piece of legislation in 1987, and the current Victims’ Rights Act was enacted in 2002. The last amendment to this Act in 2014 required the Ministry of Justice to publish a separate Victims Code of Rights.

Victims Code of Rights

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