Restorative justice community meeting planned

NICCI MCDOUGALL
Last updated 05:00 18/03/2014
Southland Times photo
ROBYN EDIE/Fairfax NZ

Ministry of Justice visiting Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust, Invercargill, on Friday. Pictured, from left, Tracey Wright-Tawha-Ceo of Nga Kete, Roslyn Hefford-senior Advisor Ministry of Justice, Karen Goffe-communication services manager at Nga Kete and Natasha Peek-Restoritive Justice co-ordinator.

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An Invercargill social services organisation will hold a community meeting to talk about restorative justice, which brings an offender and victim face to face.

The initiative follows a visit from a Ministry of Justice senior adviser on Friday.

Restorative justice conferences focus on the harm done to the victim and holds offenders to account. They also engage the community in the resolution of conflict.

The main goal of restorative justice was to provide opportunities for victims and offenders to be involved in finding ways to hold the offender accountable for their offending and, as far as possible, repair the harm caused to the victim and community.

It is a voluntary process and will take place only if both the victim and the offender agree to it.

Offenders must admit responsibility for the offence before they enter the restorative justice process.

Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust facilitates the conferences in Southland.

Chief executive Tracey Wright-Tawha said the Ministry of Justice visit was an opportunity to look at how restorative justice was going in the region and innovative ways to profile it in the community.

The organisation planned to hold a community meeting and give an overview of how it is going and how it works.

It was important Southlanders knew about the service because it offered the victim a safe, supportive environment to hear from the offender and seek reparation for the criminal act the offender had taken responsibility for.

It was also an opportunity for the offender to apologise, Ms Wright-Tawha said. 

 

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