Being kept informed is your right.
If you are a victim of a serious crime you have the legal right to be kept informed and updated about what’s happening to the offender as they move through the justice system. However, you must be registered to receive this information.
The Department of Corrections runs the confidential Victim Notification Register service for victims who would like these updates, which are called notifications.
Once you are formally listed on this register, you will be notified about any significant events involving the offender: their Parole Board hearings, any other offences they commit, temporary prison releases, prison release date, home detention, a possible deportation, or if they die in custody.
The Police are responsible for telling you about this register and how to apply to be on it. Once you are on the register, it’s your responsibility to let the Department of Corrections know if your contact details change.
Your Support Worker can also help you to register. You can call us 24/7 on 0800 842 846 to be connected with a Support Worker. We are here for you.
What are the benefits?
If you’re not on the register, you may also miss out on opportunities to have your say on things like the offender’s parole or parole conditions when they are released.
Many victims also say they feel acknowledged, respected, and supported when they are given notifications. Knowing the facts can increase their sense of safety and help their decision making.
You can choose if you want to go on the register or not
You can register at any time after an offender has been found guilty of a serious crime. It is important to understand that registration is an opt in process and you are not automatically placed on the register because you are a victim of a serious offence. You need to apply to go on the register.
You can choose someone to get the notifications on your behalf
Receiving news about the offender can be stressful. You can ask a trusted person to receive the notifications on your behalf and then they can share them with you, if that’s what you want. At any stage you can ask for the notifications to be sent to you instead, or to someone else you choose. Email email@example.com to request an update to your details.
How to apply to go on the Victim Notification Register
- To stay informed about the person who offended against you or a close member of your family or whānau, you must complete a victim register request form. Ask the police officer in charge of your case or go to the police website www.police.govt.nz – search victim notification register request form.
- Your Victim Support Worker, Court Victim Advisor, or the police officer in charge of your case can help you complete the form. If you’ve chosen someone else to get the notifications on your behalf, then they need to be named on the form and must also sign it. When it’s been completed, the form must be posted or emailed to the police.
- The police are responsible for checking each application. If there is any reason why you cannot be accepted onto the register, the police will explain this to you.
- If the victim is a child or young person aged under 18, their parent or legal guardian can apply to be on the register on their behalf. They can register on it themselves when they turn 18.
If you change your mind
You can ask for notifications to be stopped at any time. You can also ask for them to be started again. It’s your choice. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask them to stop notifications.
Keep your contact details up to date
Please let Corrections know about any changes to your contact details.
Email them at email@example.com to request an update to your details.
or send a letter to:
The Victim Information Manager
Department of Corrections
PO Box 1206
How long can a victim be listed on the register?
A victim’s registration will be formally closed, and all notifications will end, when the offender’s sentence has been completed. Corrections will let you know when this happens.
You can talk to your Victim Support Worker about the Victim Notification Register. Contact them directly or call us 24/7 on 0800 842 846 to be connected with a Support Worker.
Other useful information and websites