Justice Minister Andrew Little joined more than 600 people who walked through the doors of Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua to start a public conversation about reducing offending, reducing re-offending, and having fewer victims of crime who are better supported.
“I’m heartened by the diverse range of people that have made the effort to be part of a forum that is focused on creating a more efficient criminal justice system,” says Mr Little.
“To create a fair and just system we need input from a wide range of New Zealanders and its pleasing to have the views of victims, NGOs, academics and the public represented.
“This is possibly the first-time people who have offended have been in the same room as people who have been harmed and working alongside public sector officials and leaders to create new solutions together.
“Many of the people here today will know what it’s like to be one of the statistics that we keep on talking about. I hope that from today that the stories and people’s voices are heard beyond the numbers to create tangible solutions for some of our toughest challenges.
“The ideas that are generated from workshops and discussions over the next two days will inform the wider reform programme Hāpaitia te Oranga Tangata, Safe and Effective Justice.
“This summit is the start of the conversation, with a series of regional meetings to be held to help gauge the widest possible range of people and opinions,” says Mr Little.