Victim engagement in New Zealand: Initiating a public conversation between government and the wider victim community

Dr Kim Mcgregor1

1Ministry Of Justice, Wellington, New Zealand

In 2018, New Zealand’s Government announced a commitment to reform the criminal justice system and launched a public conversation on how New Zealanders want to see the criminal justice system transformed. As part of the Hāpaitia te Oranga Tangata – Safe and Effective Justice reform programme the Chief Victims Advisor has held a series of victim engagements around New Zealand, including:

  • hosting a 2-day Strengthening the Criminal Justice System for Victims workshop attended by over 160 people including victims, victim advocates, academics, judges, lawyers and government officials
  • hosting an online victims survey to hear from people who have experienced a crime or know someone who has, and from people who work to support victims/survivors
  • a series of direct victim engagements to hear from those most adversely affected by the criminal justice system.

This presentation will focus on how this engagement process has presented a unique opportunity for the wider victim community to communicate directly with government about their justice needs.  This has enabled Dr McGregor to present their priorities for reform of the criminal justice system directly to government.


Biography:

Dr Kim McGregor is the inaugural Chief Victims Advisor to Government in New Zealand, and was appointed to this role in November 2015. Her role was established as part of a wider suite of government initiatives aimed at addressing family violence and providing support for all people who experience crime. The appointment also sought to improve victim participation in, and engagement with, the criminal justice system.

Alongside her role as Chief Victims Advisor, Dr McGregor is also the Director of her own company, ‘Tiaki Consultants’, which offers specialist sexual violence prevention services including consultation, counselling, research and training.

Dr Kim McGregor is the inaugural Chief Victims Advisor to Government in New Zealand. Her role was established as part of a wider suite of government initiatives aimed at improving support for all victims of crime. The appointment also sought to improve victim participation in, and engagement with, the criminal justice system.

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