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Rights for all victims
Victims are to receive relevant information about programmes, services and remedies available to assist them, taking into account their specific circumstances.
This information is to be provided by the Government agencies concerned, as soon as practicable. This relates to programmes and/or services provided by Police, Department of Child, Youth and Family Services (CYFS), Department for Courts, Department of Work and Income, District Health Boards, and Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), as appropriate.

The information includes:
  • information about medical treatment
  • information about financial or other assistance provided by the agencies
  • information on any legal protection that may be available to victims or their families, for example, under the Domestic Violence Act 1995 or the
    Harassment Act 1997
  • the assistance of victim advisers (Department for Courts personnel who are at court to provide victims with information and to help them participate in the court process)
  • referral to Victim Support, Rape Crisis and/or Women’s Refuge.
Victims are to receive information from police, the prosecutor, and court staff about the progress of the case that concerns them and about any subsequent proceedings.

This includes information about the case such as:
  • the progress of the investigation of the case
  • the charges laid, or the reasons for not laying charges
  • whether the police are going to deal with the accused/offender by way of diversion or other means.
It includes information about the court proceedings such as:
  • date and place of court appearances, hearings, and any appeals
  • bail conditions imposed on the accused/offender
  • the victim’s role as a witness (including how evidence will be presented)
  • the outcome of proceedings (including the sentence imposed, where applicable).
Probation officers are specifically excluded from the list of officials required to provide information about proceedings.

Information that must be provided to victims may also be given to others as circumstances require, in particular to persons disadvantaged by the offence.

The legislation explicitly recognises that only information that would not jeopardise any ongoing investigation need be provided.

Name suppression
The prosecutor must make all reasonable efforts to ascertain the victim's views, where the accused or offender seeks any order (either for a limited period or permanently) prohibiting the publication of his or her name, or of other identifying details. The victim's views are to be provided to the court.

Submissions to the New Zealand Parole Board on parole, home detention, or final release

If the offender receives a sentence of imprisonment, victims may seek from the New Zealand Parole Board information on when the offender is to be
considered for release on parole or to home detention, and on the offender's statutory release date (when the offender must be released from detention). [Victims who are entitled to register to receive this information, and have done so, will automatically receive notification of these events - see below.]

All victims may make a submission to the New Zealand Parole Board on what they think about the possible release of the offender on parole or to home detention, or about any conditions that they think should be placed on the offender if he or she is released on parole, to home detention, or at his or her statutory release date.

The victim may do this by sending the Board a written statement. In addition, where the Board conducts a hearing in the presence of the offender, the victim may, with the leave of the Board, have an interview with one member of the Board before the hearing. Where the Board intends to see the offender in person during the course of the hearing, the victim may, with the leave of the Board, appear and make oral submissions. The offender is not entitled to be present when the victim appears before the Board to make a submission, unless the victim, offender and Board agree.

If a victim makes a submission, he or she is to be notified of the outcome of any hearing for parole or home detention, and of any release conditions that relate to the victim’s safety, the safety of any member of the victim’s family, or that address the victim's submissions.

These rights are mainly found in sections 50A and 50B of the Parole Act 2002 as inserted by the Victims' Rights Act 2002.

Other rights

Any property belonging to a victim used as evidence in the case has to be returned to the victim as soon as practicable after it is no longer needed.

A victim’s home address will not be divulged to the court without leave of the judicial officer. Leave can only be given if the judicial officer is satisfied that it is relevant to the facts in issue and its evidential value outweighs any prejudice to the victim.

Support persons

Under the Act, if an official is not confident that a victim is capable of understanding information that the official is obliged to give, the information may be given to the victim’s support person.

A support person can be:
  • the victim’s spouse or partner
  • the victim’s parent or legal guardian
  • another close relative
  • a social worker if the victim is a child or young person subject to specified custody, care or guardianship arrangements
  • a welfare guardian, or manager of the victim's property appointed under the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988
  • an attorney appointed by the victim under a power of attorney described in the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988.



Next related article: Forward to Victim Impact StatementsVictim Impact Statements
Prev related article: Back to Principles of the Victims' Rights ActPrinciples of the Victims' Rights Act

Back to The Victims' rights act 2002 Index
 

Victims are to receive relevant information about programmes, services and remedies available to assist them, taking into account their specific circumstances.

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