Collaboration with Other Agencies

To achieve the best results from its activities, the Department works closely with the core justice sector agencies - the Ministry of Justice (justice sector policy and courts), New Zealand Police (operational decisions affecting the management of offenders) and Child, Youth and Family (youth justice). Close collaboration is also maintained with the Ministry of Social Development (employment and industry-accredited training initiatives for prisonsers) and the Ministry of Health (forensic mental health and intellectual disabilities).

The Department also has in place a number of agreements with other government departments and agencies to assist with achieving its goals of protecting the public and reducing re-offending. The Department is also represented on a large number of local, regional and national intersectoral committees, established to contribute towards achievement of key government goals. These inter-agency agreements and intersectoral committees are discussed further in the Sustainable Development Report in Part 3.

During the 2004/05 financial year, the Department addressed a number of priorities, in collaboration with other agencies, as follows:

  • improving information-sharing arrangements with external agencies within the context of the implementation of the Corrections Act 2004 and Corrections Regulations 2005
  • working with the Ministry of Health to develop options for the delivery of primary health care services for prisoners
  • continuing, in its third year, the pilot Reducing Youth Offending Programme with Child, Youth and Family
  • contributing to the development of a second national mental health plan
  • departmental contributions to the Budget Input Steering Committee
  • participation in the State Services Commission-led ministerial review of targeted policies and programmes
  • joint initiative work with the Ministry of Social Development to introduce Work and Income staff to prisons to help offenders make a smooth transition from prisoner to employee.

State Services Development Goals

The Department does not work in isolation. It is one of many government departments, and one of several agencies in the justice sector, as highlighted above. In March 2005, the State Services Commission announced six development goals, intended to apply to all government agencies:

  • Employer of choice - ensure the state services is an employer of choice, attractive to high achievers with a commitment to service
  • Excellent state servants - develop a strong culture of constant learning in the pursuit of excellence
  • Networked state services - use technology to transform the provision of services for New Zealanders
  • Coordinated state agencies - ensure the total contribution of government agencies is greater than the sum of its parts
  • Accessible state services - enhance access, responsiveness and effectiveness, and improve New Zealanders' experience of state services
  • Trusted state services - strengthen trust in the state services, and reinforce the spirit of service.

The Department's work needs to be aligned with these development goals in the future. In terms of 'coordinated state agencies', the  Department's closest links within the public service are with other agencies in the justice sector. What happens in the justice sector as a whole has a significant impact on the Department, and close collaboration in a whole-of-government manner will assist each agency to become more effective.

Justice Sector

The justice sector comprises the core agencies of the Ministry of Justice, Department of Corrections, New Zealand Police, the Crown Law Office, Serious Fraud Office, and Child, Youth and Family.

The sector works collaboratively with the Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Te Puni Kokiri. It also has links with a number of Crown agencies including the Legal Services Agency, Human Rights Commission, Office of the Privacy  Commissioner, Office of the Ombudsmen, Police Complaints Authority, Law Commission, New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups, Electoral Commission and elements of the New Zealand Public Trust.

The success of the justice sector is dependent on all agencies coordinating their activities to ensure that individual issues are addressed in the most effective manner, as illustrated below.

Table 14: The Justice Sector
Table 14

Justice Sector End Outcomes

The core agencies of the justice sector have developed two sector end outcomes to guide the work of the sector:

  • safer communities
  • a fairer, more credible and effective justice system.

These end outcomes reflect the importance of crime reduction priorities and ensuring the justice system continues to meet the needs of society.

Justice Sector Intermediate Outcomes

Following the development of the justice sector end outcomes of safer communities and a fairer, more credible and more effective justice system, the core sector agencies developed two sets of more specific intermediate outcomes. Each of the core agencies is responsible for adopting, refining and progressing those intermediate outcomes that relate directly to their strategic direction.

End Outcome
Safer communities
(being communities in which there is reduced crime and in which safety and wellbeing is enhanced through partnerships)

This outcome focuses on the key government goal of building safe communities, and is aligned with the priorities of the Government's Crime Reduction Strategy. Community safety influences the way people engage in social, productive or creative enterprises or activities. People are assured when there are core safety functions, less crime and a visible police service that meets communities' expectations to lead safe lives. Safety is also enhanced when communities are supported in their desire to be safe through locally based government agencies and organisations.

The characteristics of safer communities require:

  • the reduction of crime
  • enhanced road safety
  • maintenance of order and preservation of the peace
  • assistance for members of the public when they call for police services
  • minimisation of threats to national security
  • safe and secure management of offenders by way of compliance with sentences and orders
  • assurance that those who have offended are rehabilitated and reintegrated effectively back into society
  • crime prevention and safety intervention partnerships, through supporting local authorities, communities and non-government organisations to achieve common community safety and crime prevention goals
  • partnerships with Maori to improve outcomes for Maori, particularly the reduction of offending by, and victimisation of, Maori
  • the achievement of wellbeing and improved life outcomes for children, young persons and their families where criminal activity or family relationship issues are factors.

Intermediate Outcomes

Reduced youth offending
Reduced offending by Maori
Reduced violence
Reduced family violence
Reduced burglary
Reduced organised crime
Reduced serious traffic offending
Reduced theft of and from cars

End Outcome
A fairer, more credible and more effective justice system
(being a system in which people's interactions are underpinned by the rule of law and justice services are more equitable, credible and accessible)
This outcome focuses on the key government goal of reducing inequalities by better coordination of strategies across sectors. New Zealand's justice system comprises constitutional arrangements and legal frameworks, civil and criminal structures, police investigations, judicial processes and dispute resolution, and offender management.

The characteristics of a fair and effective justice system require:

  • laws, regulations, policies and practices that provide certainty for people in their relationships with each other and with the government and its agencies
  • an appropriate balance between the powers of the State and individual rights and freedoms, including the right to question the actions of public agencies
  • equitable, easily accessible and credible justice services that are understood by the people using them
  • timely processes and fair results
  • the confidence of the public
  • courts that protect the rights and freedoms of natural persons and are independent (constitutional integrity)
  • the right to due process (that is, the right to be represented in court by a lawyer, have evidence heard in an open court, have cases proved beyond reasonable doubt, appeal against a conviction, etc)
  • disputes between individuals, groups and/or companies dealt with by the rule of law (business contracts, wills, tax, land and other property, cases where negligence has caused another's loss, and family matters)
  • robust appointment processes for judges and a well-supported judiciary
  • accountability for criminal offences through sentences that are seen to be appropriate and fair
  • protection for the vulnerable
  • the rights of victims to be protected and their interests properly taken account of
  • fair treatment of offenders
  • unimpeachable integrity from individuals and agencies within the system
  • historical Treaty claims being resolved in a fair, durable and timely manner
  • a parliamentary electoral system, which is managed in a way that maintains the confidence of citizens, political parties and Parliament.

Intermediate Outcomes

Improved access to and delivery of court services, and Child, Youth and Family services
Improved public confidence in the Police, judiciary and other justice institutions
Improved relationships between the Crown and Maori
Improved laws governing family relationships and other private dealings