There are many different providers of restorative justice in New Zealand. Each group provides services to a particular court or courts. The Restorative Justice Trust (TRJT) offers restorative justice services to the Thames, Western Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions.
TRJT is a Registered Charity and was established as the Tauranga Moana Restorative Justice Trust in 2004. The Trust is governed by a voluntary Board made up of people with a strong range of skills and different perspectives. We try to ensure that the Board contains people with experience supporting victims and offenders as well as dedicated seats for Tangata Whenua.
Our kaupapa – Who we are – Our values
Restorative Justice meetings can be a transformative process for individuals and organisations that participate in them. Our work is guided by the principles of a safe and inclusive environment to enable open, honest, courageous and respectful conversations.
- To provide a safe and inclusive space for victims of a harm event; to give them the confidence to speak openly and honestly
- To recognise the individual needs of those that are in the meeting; to respect their needs and what is important to them
- To give the participants an opportunity to meet the person that has caused harm; in a managed and supportive environment
- To convene a meeting that will be facilitated by trained professionals; well structured and managed in a neutral meeting place
- The facilitators will encourage support people for participants to be in attendance
How does it work?
Restorative Justice meetings are run by our trained facilitators.
They come from a variety of professional backgrounds and have all undergone extensive training in restorative justice facilitation. They are also required to attend monthly training and supervision to ensure that their skills are kept up to date.
Last but not least, we employ a Manager and an Operations Team to ensure that TRJT runs smoothly and that cases are dealt with promptly and to agreed timeframes.
All members of TRJT are independent of the court processes and seek only to provide an opportunity for victims and offenders to meet in a safe, managed environment, to talk about what happened, and what can happen to put things right.
What is a Restorative Justice process?
- Trained facilitators meet with each participant seperately
- The facilitators will arrange to meet in a safe place to talk about the harm
- They will explain it is voluntary and everything discussed is confidential
- Together with the facilitator you will explore what happened and the effects it had for you.
- The victim talks about the impacts of the harm
- The facilitator’s then explore how the victim would like to move forward; eg. to request reparation, an apology, recommend actions that support positive behaviour, therapeutic activities like anger management or drug and alcohol programmes etc
- If the facilitator decides a meeting with all participants is suitable they will explain how a conference can be convened
(Support people are recommended, and in Family Violence cases they are a mandatory requirement (eg. Family Violence cases see MOJ FV standards 2018)
NB. Having support people is like a second set of ears to a restorative conversation. They can be helpful to have present to debrief what was discussed following a meeting. A facilitator will assist you to decide on how to approach a meeting.