Government confirms it's scrapping taxpayer funding for cultural sentencing reports

  • Updated
  • 07/02/2024

The Government has announced it's going to be scrapping taxpayer funding for section 27 cultural reports.

Section 27 reports are designed for judges to consider during sentencing, taking into consideration an offedner's cultural background. 

The Government said a "cottage industry" has been created by funding the reports - spending $25 million on them since 2017.

"These reports have also led to further discounts at sentencing," Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith said. "The Government has wider concerns around massive reductions to sentences and will be introducing legislation to cap discounts at 40 percent."

Adding to that announcement at the Prime Minister's post-Cabinet press conference on Wednesday, Christopher Luxon also announced the Government would be scrapping Labour's 30 percent prison reduction target.

"All New Zealanders would like to see fewer people in prison but only if there is a drop in serious offending," Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell said in a subsequent statement titled 'Government law and order crackdown begins.'

"This Government is determined to put public safety back at the heart of the criminal justice system.

"That means ensuring there are real consequences for crime, keeping serious violent offenders from creating more victims," Mitchell said.