Ministry of Justice publishes updated restorative justice framework

The Ministry of Justice has published an updated practice framework for restorative justice providers.

The Restorative Justice Best Practice Framework sets out a common approach that aims to ensure safe, consistent and robust practice. The framework builds on the previous guide published in 2004 and the standards for family violence and sexual offending cases, published in 2013.

The framework outlines seven values:

  • Tika: We do things in the right way
  • Pono: We’re truthful, honest and sincere in our interactions with people
  • Whanaungatanga: We develop relationships and work together
  • Āhurutanga: We provide a place of warmth and safety
  • Manaakitanga: We show respect, generosity and care for others
  • Mana motuhake: We enable people to achieve self-determination
  • Aroha: We feel compassion, caring and empathy for others

The framework also outlines six principles:

  • Participation is voluntary throughout the restorative justice process
  • The victim and the offender are the central participants in the restorative justice process
  • Understanding is key to effective participation
  • Offender accountability is key to the restorative justice process
  • Restorative justice processes are flexible and responsive to the needs of participants
  • Restorative justice processes are safe for participants

The framework then works through five stages of practice explaining how the principles apply at different times in the process.

Community Services Manager Hayley MacKenzie said "... the framework focuses on the use of restorative justice processes pre-sentence, because these are the services contracted by the Ministry of Justice. However, it can be broadly applied to the use of restorative justice at any point in the criminal justice system." 

The framework was developed in consultation with providers and Restorative Practices Aotearoa.

Related resources

The Ministry of Justice has produced several other publications on restorative justice. Earlier this year, the Ministry published the Restorative Justice Victim Satisfaction Survey 2016 findings which includes a comparison between family violence and non-family violence cases.

The use of restorative justice in intimate partner violence is contested. See for example:

Ptacek, Jamed (ed.) (2010) Restorative justice and violence against women, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Busch, R. (2002) "Domestic Violence and Restorative Justice Initiatives: Who Pays if We Get it Wrong" In H Strang and J Braithwaite (eds.) Restorative justice and family violence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

(Both available for loan from the NZFVC library)

For more research and information see the Restorative Justice topic search in the NZFVC library.