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Justice

Labour is working harder and smarter to keep our communities safe, break the cycle of offending and tackle the root causes of crime. We’re building an effective, inclusive and humane justice system to better support victims and their families.

Labour’s plan

Labour is already rolling out our plan to keep our communities safe by breaking the cycle of offending, and improving our court system. That’s why we:

  • Further increased funding for family violence services, including a boost for services by Māori for Māori, support for victims of elder abuse, and rehabilitation programmes for people who use violence and want to change their behaviour
  • Took action to address the backlog of cases across the court system following the COVID-19 lockdown period, with investment from the COVID-19 Recovery Fund

Labour will continue to safely reduce the prison population, through effective crime prevention and rehabilitation strategies, progressive Policing, and improving access to legal services.

Labour will continue to promote positive changes within the court system to improve the experience of victims, including reducing secondary trauma, and improve outcomes.

Labour’s achievements to date

During the COVID crisis

New Zealanders’ safety and wellbeing have been the primary focus throughout our COVID response, and our customs service worked tirelessly to keep goods flowing across the border.

Before the COVID crisis

In the wake of March 15, we got serious about guns quickly, fairly and safely. We banned military-style semi-automatic weapons, increased sentences for firearms crimes, and passed legislation to introduce a firearms register.

More than 2,000 new Police officers have graduated since 2017. Now at over 13,000 employees, we have the largest and most diverse Police workforce in New Zealand history.

We changed the law to ensure everyone affected by family violence can get the help they need in a consistent, appropriate, and timely way; enhanced legal protections in the workplace for people affected by domestic or family violence, providing for domestic violence leave and flexible working arrangements; made the specialist sexual violence courts permanent; and opened a Royal Commission of Inquiry into historic abuse of children in state care and faith-based institutions so victims may finally have justice.

We strengthened the Family Court to give New Zealanders a platform that is safe for participants, sensitive to their needs, and where every party has their voice heard fairly and appropriately.

We made it easier to vote in General Elections. It is now possible to enrol and vote on the same day – even on Election Day – and voting booths can now also be located at supermarkets and malls. And we restored the right to vote for prisoners serving less than three years.

Since we came into Government, we’ve also:

  • Established the Criminal Cases Review Commission, to independently investigate alleged miscarriages of justice
  • Removed abortion from the Crimes Act, rightly treating it as a health issue
  • Secured a public referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis
  • Worked with experts to enable safe re-entry to the Pike River drift, helping families get the closure and justice they were denied for years
  • Imposed heavier penalties on illicit drug manufacturers and suppliers and reclassified synthetic drugs ‘Class A’, while giving Police discretion not to prosecute drug users but to offer addiction treatment instead, to recognise that drug use is a health issue