Criminal Justice Advisory Group to visit West Coast
The Government’s Safe and Effective Justice Programme Advisory Group ¬– Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora – will visit Westport, Greymouth and Hokitika next week as part of its nationwide consultation to gather information on the criminal justice system.
This is the ninth of 12 visits being held across New Zealand before Christmas to hear from people who have experienced the criminal justice system, as victims of crime or those who have committed crimes, and the groups who work in or with it every day.
The Advisory Group will hold public drop-in sessions in each centre, where everyone is welcome to present their views on the criminal justice system.
In Westport, the drop-in session will be on Tuesday 27 November at Buller District Library, 87-89 Palmerston Street, from 11am-12 noon.
In Greymouth, the drop-in session will be on Wednesday 28 November at Grey District Library, 18 Albert Mall, from 11.30-1pm.
The Group will also hold roundtable discussions in these centres with groups and others who work in and with the system.
[Note to Editors: To protect the confidentiality of submitters who would feel uncomfortable sharing their stories publicly, these sessions will NOT be open to the news media. The Advisory Group will hold separate media briefings during the visit – see note below].
The Group has been appointed to support the Hāpitia te Oranga Tangata Safe and Effective Justice Programme, which the Government has established to create a more effective criminal justice system, and a safer New Zealand.
The Group, which is independent of the Government, has been tasked with finding out what people want from the criminal justice system, and to canvas a range of ideas about how it can be improved.
It is made up of former Minister for Courts Chester Borrows, who is the Chair, and nine others who have experience working in or alongside the justice system.
Members who will attend the three meetings are Dr Warren Young, Julia Whaipooti, and Ruth Money.
Other members of the Group are Dr Carwyn Jones, Dr Jarrod Gilbert, Quentin Hix, Professor Tracey McIntosh, Shila Nair, and Professor Tony Ward.
Mr Borrows says the Group’s work is about informing the Government’s drive to keep all New Zealand communities safer by enhancing the criminal justice system.
“This is a chance to make a big difference to our criminal justice system, and we’re all looking forward to hearing what New Zealanders want and expect from it.
“We’ve had a great response and lots of ideas presented to us in meetings we’ve held in other centres, and we’re excited about engaging independently on the West Coast with key stakeholders and those with lived-experience to form strategic recommendations for the Government.
“We want to hear from as many people as possible and, though we won’t be able to meet with them all, we encourage anyone who wants to have their say to submit their ideas to us on the Safe and Effective Justice website.
“We will consider all feedback, in whatever form, to help inform our findings to the Minister.”
The Group is planning to make further visits across the country early next year.
Members of the public are also encouraged to submit their experiences and ideas to the Group at: https://www.safeandeffectivejustice.govt.nz/
Or contact them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org