If an offender appears before a court for sentencing, the offender may request the court to hear any person or persons called by the offender to speak on—
the personal, family, whanau, community, and cultural background of the offender:
the way in which that background may have related to the commission of the offence:
any processes that have been tried to resolve, or that are available to resolve, issues relating to the offence, involving the offender and his or her family, whanau, or community and the victim or victims of the offence:
how support from the family, whanau, or community may be available to help prevent further offending by the offender:
how the offender’s background, or family, whanau, or community support may be relevant in respect of possible sentences.
The court must hear a person or persons called by the offender under this section on any of the matters specified in subsection (1) unless the court is satisfied that there is some special reason that makes this unnecessary or inappropriate.
If the court declines to hear a person called by the offender under this section, the court must give reasons for doing so.
Without limiting any other powers of a court to adjourn, the court may adjourn the proceedings to enable arrangements to be made to hear a person or persons under this section.
If an offender does not make a request under this section, the court may suggest to the offender that it may be of assistance to the court to hear a person or persons called by the offender on any of the matters specified in subsection (1).
Compare: 1985 No 120 s 16