The state of criminal justice discourse in New Zealand
Popular punitiveness is by now a well-documented phenomenon in many countries. New Zealand is no exception. The following statement from Judith Collins, the current Police and Corrections Minister, sums up the state of the play:
‘I believe the pendulum of justice has swung too far in favour of criminals … This Government is focusing on putting the victim in the centre of judicial proceedings. I have zero tolerance towards pandering to criminals.’
There’s a gem in each soundbite-cum-sentence. If we already know that certain people are guilty criminals, then surely the criminal trial process is an expensive and unnecessary luxury. But perhaps we should keep it so we can ‘[put] the victim at the centre of judicial proceedings’, whatever that might mean. As for the new tough-on-pandering-to-criminals approach, the criminal pandering lobby has yet to comment.