A survey of 8000 people's experiences and perceptions of New Zealand's criminal justice system shows trust in authorities drops off when it comes to courts and corrections, especially amongst non-white New Zealanders.
The Ministry of Justice this morning published its Social Wellbeing and Perceptions of the Criminal Justice System report, which draws results from the New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey 2019 released in May.
Sector Deputy Secretary Tim Hampton said most New Zealanders believe the police and groups that support victims were doing a good job, and that they have a high level of trust in them.
However, he added, "this trust decreases when it comes to courts and corrections, which is consistent with previous New Zealand and international studies".
"The report reveals disparities among different groups of people, such as their feelings of safety and their experience of the criminal justice system in general," Mr Hampton said.
"While there is a solid level of trust in the criminal justice system, Pacific peoples and Indian New Zealanders are more concerned about being the victim of a crime than other New Zealand adults."
The report found one in five, or 20 per cent, of Pacific people worry most or all of the time about being a victim. The number is vastly different from just one in 20, or five per cent, of New Zealand Europeans.
However, the difference in actual experience of crime in Pacific and New Zealand Europeans is similar - 31 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.
"Māori and Pacific peoples are less likely to agree that New Zealanders are treated fairly by the police," Mr Hampton said.
"Māori (38 per cent), Chinese (39 per cent) and Pacific (39 per cent) adults are all less likely to feel that their values align with the criminal justice system than other adults."
Mr Hampton said the report highlighted areas of New Zealand's criminal justice system which could be improved, made safer or more effective.
Overall, the survey found six per cent of participants were completely confident that the criminal justice system as a whole was effective, while 47 per cent were fairly effective, 25 per cent were neutral, 18 per cent were not very confident and four per cent were not at all confident.