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Building a fairer and safer New Zealand

Three parts
Justice Policy
Chief Electoral Office
Office of Treaty Settlements
Participation with other justice agencies

New Zealand citizens have rights that enable us to live freely and safely and to participate in the processes of democracy. For this to work, there has to be a fair system of justice that both promotes and protects rights. There also needs to be a way to make right any wrongs that have been done.

Our laws and justice system have been created over many decades to ensure that this is the case, and they are continually improved and changed to meet needs shaped by changing social attitudes, new technologies, and international agreements.

The Ministry of Justice plays a key role in contributing to the government’s aim of a fairer and safer New Zealand. It does this by providing advice to government on how its actions will help reduce crime, build safer communities, support victims and create respect for rights and the rule of law.

Three parts

The Ministry of Justice has three distinct roles. It has a substantial policy advice function and two core operational responsibilities.

Justice Policy

In providing advice to government, the Ministry works with a wide range of other agencies and groups. The kind of policy advice it provides is quite varied and covers topics such as family violence, youth offending, sentencing and parole, property rights, guardianship, human rights and questions of access to justice.

Chief Electoral Office

One of the most important ways New Zealanders have their say in how our country is run is through the three-yearly general election. The Chief Electoral Office within the Ministry is responsible for encouraging eligible voters to enrol, ensuring that the electoral rolls are complete and accurate, that election campaigns are conducted properly, voting is easy, understandable and free from error or corruption, and that accurate results are available quickly.

Office of Treaty Settlements

Reporting to the Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, the Office of Treaty Settlements provides advice on policy and negotiations. This covers generic Treaty issues to do with settling claims, as well as specific claims. It also works with claimant groups as well as the government to ensure that settlements are properly mandated by the claimant groups, and are fair and enduring. The Office also carries out historical research, and negotiates with Māori on behalf of the Crown.

Participation with other justice agencies

The Ministry also has two other key roles. It funds agencies such as the Legal Services Board, Law Commission and Human Rights Commission and is responsible for monitoring their performance. The Ministry also takes a lead role within the justice sector for the purposes of co-ordinating policy, information strategy and the criminal justice technology system.

Justice Policy
Chief Electoral Office
Office of Treaty Settlements
  • Provides advice to government on criminal justice and public law policy and the legal framework.
  • Co-ordinates and funds community crime reduction programmes.
  • Manages the Justice legislative programme.
  • Manages judicial and statutory appointments.
  • Implements Justice Information Strategy.
  • Plans and conducts parliamentary general elections, by-elections and referenda.
  • Administers the law relating to elections.
  • Provides advice to the government on Treaty of Waitangi claims.
  • Acts as the negotiator on the Crown’s behalf for claim settlements.

Find out more!

There is more information on the Ministry of Justice websites at:
Ministry of Justice
Chief Electoral Office
Office of Treaty Settlements




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