Victims' Rights Act 2002

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Ministry of Justice

Version as at 21 December 2022

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Victims’ Rights Act 2002

Public Act
2002 No 39
Date of assent
17 October 2002
see section 2

The Parliamentary Counsel Office has made editorial and format changes to this version using the powers under subpart 2 of Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019.

Note 4 at the end of this version provides a list of the amendments included in it.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Justice.


3Purpose of Act
5Directions about members of immediate family
5ATransitional, savings, and related provisions
6Act binds the Crown
8Access to services
9Restorative justice meetings to resolve issues relating to offence
10Enforceability of principles
11Information about programmes, remedies, and services
12Information about proceedings
13Limits on duties to give information under sections 11 and 12
14Information may be given to victim’s support person
15Victim’s rights under Privacy Act 2020
16Restriction on disclosing victim’s contact details in evidence or information provided to court
16ACriminal proceedings to which section 16 does not apply
16BVictim’s views on application for order prohibiting permanently publication of name of accused or offender
17AAVictim impact statement defined
17AABStatements by others disadvantaged by offence
17ABPurpose of victim impact statements
17Information to be ascertained from victim
18Procedure before ascertaining information from victim
19Form and verification of information ascertained
21AAVictim impact statement may be used for purpose of sentence indication
21Victim impact statement to be submitted to judicial officer
21AVictim impact statement may be used for purpose of sentence indication [Repealed]
22Victim impact statement may be read to court
22AVictim impact statement may be presented to court in some other manner
22BWeight to be given to victim impact statement
22CJudicial officer not to take into account withheld part
23Offender not to be given statement to keep
24Return of statements at end of proceedings
25Judicial officer may withhold part of statement from offender to protect victim’s physical safety or security
26Judicial officer not to take into account withheld part [Repealed]
27Directions or conditions on other disclosure or other distribution of statements
28ASections 28B to 28D apply only to individual victims, or all victims, who are sexual case complainants
28BVictim’s preferences on ways of giving evidence
28BAVictim’s preferences on presenting victim impact statement
28CAvailability of appropriate facilities when attending court
28DCourt may be cleared when victim impact statement read or otherwise presented to court
29Specified offence defined
29ACommissioner of Police to determine whether offence affecting victim is specified offence
30Victim’s views about release on bail of accused or offender
30AVictims of persons or offenders subject to mental health or intellectual disability care must be notified of person’s or offender’s designation
31Police to give victims of specified offences information about right to ask for notice and to appoint representative
32Police to give Secretary information about victims of specified offences
32ASecretary to give victim information about right to appoint representative and to request notices
32BApplication of sections 34 to 38 and 47
33Address of victim or victim’s representative to be forwarded in certain cases
33ANotification of change of address of victim or representative
33BNotification of withdrawal of request to be given notice
33CSecretary must request victim’s address for notice under Prisoners’ and Victims’ Claims Act 2005
34Notice of release on bail of accused or offender
35Notice of release or escape from prison detention, or of death, of offender
35ANotice of cessation of, or absconding from, or death during, home detention of offender
35BNotice of offender on temporary release escaping from lawful custody
36Notice of convictions and sentences for breaching release or detention conditions
36ANotice of decisions on recall orders
37Notice of discharge, leave of absence, or escape or death of accused or offender who is compulsorily detained in hospital or facility
38Exception to section 37 once certain offenders no longer liable to detention for sentence imposed for offence
39Notice of proposal to cancel or suspend liability for deportation
40Representatives for notice
41Effect of appointment of representative
42Victim’s support person may be or appoint representative
43Method of appointment of representative
44Termination of appointment
45When notices take effect
46Ways in which notice required may be given
47Victim may participate in process for offender’s release from prison
48Victim may make submission on consideration of cancellation or suspension of liability for deportation, or offender’s appeal against deportation
50Other ways in which rights may be enforced
50AInformation about complaints to be included in annual report
51Return of property held as evidence
51BSecretary to prepare code
51CCode to be approved by Minister
51DPublication of code
51EAmendment to code
52Director-General of Health may delegate duties
54Victims of Offences Act 1987 repealed