Review announced of the Restorative Justice service

The Ministry of Justice will be completing a review of the Restorative Justice (RJ) service, to ensure that the Restorative Justice service remains an appropriate and flexible justice mechanism for New Zealanders.

Restorative Justice is a community-based response to crime that aims to hold offenders to account for their offending, and as far as possible, repair the harm they have caused to the victim and the community.

This service gives the offender a chance to take responsibility for their offending and apologise to the victim, as well as provides an informal space to start a conversation regarding the prevention of reoffending and how to right the harm already caused.  

This is the first phase of a possible multi-year project. This phase will focus on information gathering. This will help us to understand what’s working well and what needs to be improved and may be used to inform the future model of Ministry of Justice funded Restorative Justice in New Zealand. 

We want to hear from the people and organisations involved with RJ to understand their experiences to gain an understanding on how well the current service meets the needs of participants.

We will be engaging with key Stakeholder Groups who are involved with RJ to gain insights and understand the strengths and weaknesses of the current model.  

These stakeholder groups include:

  • Court staff
  • Judiciary
  • Service providers
  • Participants
  • Police
  • Lawyers
  • Māori providers and participants

People who have used the RJ service are in the best position to tell us how things are working. Therefore, the review has a special focus on hearing their first-hand, lived experience.

The voices of RJ users will form the basis of the final recommendations submitted to Senior Ministry leadership for endorsement. The recommendations following the review will inform the next ‘service re-design’ phase and help us to future-proof the service. The endorsed recommendations report will be sent to all parties who contributed, as well as made publicly available.

Due to ongoing changes in COVID-19 Alert Levels and associated travel restrictions, the review team has made some adjustments to project timeframes. The review is now taking place until mid-2022.

Find out more about the review on our website at:

Restorative Justice Service Review

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