Scope, approach, and context of this review
Our consultation process – 2014/15
1.56Because of time constraints it has not been possible, in the drafting of this Report, to undertake an extensive consultation process with individual victims. We have, however, been able to draw on submissions that were made by individual victims, we have consulted with support groups who work with victims, and we have had access to research and literature that draws on views and experiences gathered directly from victims.
1.57We have also had access to the submissions made on the Issues Paper for this review, which was published in 2012. This Report does not progress all of the proposals made in the Issues Paper, but we refer to submissions made on the Issues Paper wherever they are relevant to the proposals put forth in this Report.
1.58In the writing of this Report we consulted with a number of individuals, organisations, and government agencies, including (but not limited to):
- victim support organisations including the National Collective of Rape Crisis and the collective sector group known as TOAH-NNEST (Te Ohaakii a Hine – National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together);
- the Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Justice, Ministry for Women, Police and ACC;
- lawyers from the Public Defence Service, representatives of the Criminal Bar Association, individual prosecutors and Crown Law;
- a number of judges of the District Courts who have experience conducting sexual violence trials and judges of specialist courts including the Alcohol and Other Drugs Treatment Court, the Family Violence Court, the Rangatahi Court and the Youth Court; and
- academics and experts in the legal and sexual violence sectors.
1.59We note in particular the assistance received from Elisabeth McDonald and Yvette Tinsley, and from the book published as a result of research completed by them and Jeremy Finn in 2011, titled From “Real Rape” to Real Justice: Prosecuting Rape in New Zealand.
1.60Finally, in this review, we have also been assisted by a small reference group of experts in criminal law and sexual violence who provided us with their views on some of the courts recommendations, drawing from their own experience in the area.
Consultation with Māori and minority groups
1.61Current data and research indicate that Māori experience sexual violence to a substantially greater degree than other groups within New Zealand. However, in a report commissioned by Te Puni Kōkiri in 2009, it was noted that most policy material is focused on family violence or whānau violence. Little material looks specifically to issues of sexual violence for Māori and the report stated that in the growing body of literature on sexual violence generally, very few authors have engaged directly with Māori. The commissioned report, Te Puāwaitanga o te Kākano, applied a research methodology sourced in kaupapa Māori and sought to actively engage with government and with Māori representatives in the sector.
1.62Time prevented us from undertaking a research project based on kaupapa Māori or to consult directly with affected Māori whānau and communities. We have instead relied on the findings in Te Puāwaitanga o te Kākano and on our consultation with a small number of sector representatives (such as Ngā Kaitiaki Mauri at TOAH-NNEST) to consider how law reform could be framed in a way that enables Māori communities to respond to sexual violence in a way that is consistent with tikanga practices and with te ao Māori. We also discussed the review with the Māori Liaison Committee established to advise the Commission on projects that concern Māori.
1.63Minority ethnic communities may also conceptualise and respond to sexual violence in differing ways, and victims from those communities may be uniquely affected. We have spoken to some representatives from the sector, which are focused specifically on minority groups, such as the Inner City Women’s Group and Sahaayta Counselling and Social Support. Where possible, we have also drawn on written literature.