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Survey finds majority want changes to crime funding

08 July 2020

A Ministry of Justice survey has found that most respondents are unhappy with the current distribution of funds within the criminal justice system.

The Hāpaitia te Oranga Tangata - Justice survey report 2019 found that respondents are in favour of spending more on supporting victims, preventing crime, investing in offender rehabilitation programmes and in investigating crime. A relative majority of respondents are in favour of spending less on managing sentences and adjudicating cases.

Other findings include:

  • A majority of respondents agree that Māori should take the lead on solutions to criminal justice issues for Māori.
  • An overwhelming majority of respondents agree that less serious offences should be dealt with in communities instead of through the formal justice system.
  • Respondents believe that the criminal justice system should mainly focus on preventing crime from happening in the first place.
  • Almost half of the random sample survey respondents believe that crime is equally driven by socio-economic problems and personal choice, while 45% of the online engagement exercise participants think that socio-economic problems are the key driver.

The difference between proportions of the components of relevant demographic groups such as gender, age, ethnicity and location is mostly within five percentage points.

Hāpaitia te Oranga Tangata – Safe and Effective Justice was launched in 2018 to help guide the transformation of the criminal justice system.

In conjunction with the release of this report, the ministry has also released its latest Social Wellbeing and Perceptions of the Criminal Justice System Report [PDF, 1.6 MB]

This has found that most New Zealanders feel safe, and adults who had recent contact with the criminal justice system said their experience was positive.

But it also found that Pacific peoples and Indian New Zealanders are more concerned about being the victim of a crime than other New Zealand adults. Māori and Pacific peoples are less likely to agree that New Zealanders are treated fairly by the Police. And Māori, Chinese and Pacific adults are all less likely to feel that their values align with the criminal justice system than other adults.

That study was generated from data provided by the ministry’s 2019 New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey.

Last updated on the 8th July 2020