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Source: New Zealand Government

  • Successful ‘circuit breaker’ pilot targeting repeat child offenders to be expanded to Hamilton, Christchurch and Auckland City
  • Funding to maintain Police to population ratio achieved after 1800 extra Police officers added
  • Creation of NZ’s first comprehensive digital Firearms Registry
  • Modernising frontline police processes to free up time for officers

Budget 2023 continues our investment in numerous programmes to continue keeping communities safe, including a successful youth offender programme, more support for police, focusing resources on victims of crime and improving access to justice.

Expansion of fast track pilot

The Government is expanding its early intervention programme targeting recidivist child offenders to Hamilton, Christchurch and Auckland City after it has been proved to be highly successful in preventing further crime.

“With a strong focus on a core group of repeat serious and persistent offenders aged 10-13, the initial rollout of the intervention in Counties Manukau and Waitākere has been incredibly successful alongside the Kotahi te Whakaaro programme,” Kelvin Davis said.

“Only 28 percent of those referred from the fast track, or ‘circuit breaker’, pilot through to the multi-agency teams have been referred again, showing the impact quick support can have.

“The approach ensures once a child is identified or apprehended by Police for offending behaviour, information is shared with Oranga Tamariki within 24 hours, a referral is completed, and an agreed plan developed by community providers within 48 hours.

“Youth crime has decreased significantly over the past decade, showing the Government’s approach to getting youth offenders out of the justice system and back into school, training and work is the best way to prevent future crime,” Kelvin Davis said.

This initiative forms part of the significant pieces of work the Government has rolled out on law and order.

More support for police to keep New Zealanders safe

Over the next year, there will be further investment across many areas to keep New Zealanders safe, including funding made available for the establishment of New Zealand’s first comprehensive digital Firearms Registry.

“The registry will be world leading, build better intelligence on firearms possession and facilitate better engagement with law-abiding registered firearms owners. It will also allow Police to continue to remove unlawful firearms from the hands of criminals,” Ginny Andersen said.

The nationwide rollout of the Tactical Response Model – better training, equipment and capability for officers facing dangerous and high-risk situations – has been provided with funding of $41 million for the 2023/24 year.

“Police will be safer, better trained, and will have improved intelligence capabilities as a result of this investment,” Ginny Andersen said.

“We will soon reach our goal of 1800 additional frontline officers, but it’s important we don’t go backwards. $50.8 million has been initially allocated for population-based funding increases to ensure the record gains we’ve made with 1800 extra police over five and half years are not lost.

“This funding will ensure we maintain the current ratio of at least 1 officer to every 480 New Zealanders, a huge improvement of 1 officer to every 544 New Zealanders when we came into Government in 2017.

“Funding has been provided for the delivery of ReFrame, a programme to transform and modernise the way Police work and the technology frontline officers use, reducing administration time and freeing up officers to focus on core policing – preventing crime and keeping people safe.

“ReFrame will overhaul Police’s operating approach by increasing investment into back-office specialist support to the front line, to get better outcomes for victims and to ease the load for on the ground officers.

“The new approach will modernise how Police operate, allowing officers to use technology to better manage the evidence and the information they collect.

“We want to give Police the tools and processes which allow them to work smarter, so they can focus on effective investigations, make better and fairer decisions for both victims and offenders and give victims the support they need,” Ginny Andersen said

Certainty of funding for the justice sector

“Last year we changed our approach to how we funded justice sector agencies. By giving them certainty of funding over a three-year period, we provided them with the resources to plan ahead and the tools required to achieve meaningful and enduring change,” Kiri Allan said.

“Rather than bidding each year for funding, this new approach has enabled the agencies to focus on the long term work needed to transform the way the justice system works and continue to break the cycles of crime.

“We’re also building the foundations for a victim-centric justice system that delivers significantly better results for everyone involved.

“In order to continue to improve access to justice, we’ve also made 93,000 additional people eligible for legal aid and increased debt repayment thresholds by 16.5 percent, to relieve financial pressure for around 16,000 low income New Zealanders every year,” Kiri Allan said.

Additional measures funded in the 2023/24 year:

  • $7.2 million for ongoing development of Victims Operating Model
  • $39.8 million to improve access to legal aid and reduce debt for low-income New Zealanders
  • $8.2 million to speed up delays in the coronial system to better support bereaved families and whānau
  • $26.9 million to prevent harm in communities from organised crime through Police’s Resilience to Organised Crime in Communities programme and Transnational Organised Crime Strategy