Keeping informed – the Victim Notification Register (VNR)

Being kept informed is your right
If you are a victim of a serious crime, you can ask to be kept informed about what’s happening to the offender as they move through the justice system. To receive this information you must apply to be listed on the Victim Notification Register.

The Department of Corrections runs the confidential Victim Notification Register service. There are laws about who can get information about an offender and what information is made available. The information shared with you is called a notification.

The police are responsible for telling you about this Register, asking if you’d like to apply to be on it, explaining how to apply, and providing you with any assistance that might be needed. They are also responsible for checking each application is authentic and that the applicant is eligible to apply. They also check that the required Victim Request Form has been filled in correctly.

When your application is accepted, the victim information manager will write to you, or to your chosen representative, to confirm you are on the Register.

Once you are listed on the Register, you will be told about any significant events involving the offender, including their Parole Board hearings, temporary prison releases, home detention, hospital detention, prison release date, or a possible deportation.

Only designated staff authorised by the Department of Corrections or the New Zealand Parole Board can confidentially access victim information on the Register.

What are the benefits?
Many victims say they feel acknowledged, respected, and supported when they are given notifications. It provides opportunities to have your say on things like the offender’s parole or parole conditions when they are released. Also, knowing the facts about what’s happening to an offender can help increase your, and your family and whānau’s, sense of safety. By being registered, your home location will be considered when an offender proposes a residential address to live at after their release. Concerns will immediately be raised if that address is too close to you.

You can choose if you want to go on the Register or not
You can apply to go on the Register at any time after a person has been charged with a serious offence. It is important to understand that registration is an opt in process, which means victims of serious crimes are not automatically placed on the Register. You must apply to go on it.

You can choose someone to get the notifications for you
Receiving news about the offender can be very stressful. You can ask a trusted person to receive the notifications on your behalf. They can then share the information with you, if that’s what you want. They must agree in writing to be your representative. There is a place for their details and signature on the Victim Request Form that must be filled in.

At any stage you can ask for the notifications to be sent to you instead, or you can choose someone else to represent you, if they agree. You must send your requests for any changes to the victim information manager. Their contact details are at the end of this document.

How to apply to go on the Victim Notification Register

  • You will need to fill in the Victim Request Form. The police will provide you with this form or you can access it here on the police website.
  • The police, your Victim Support Worker, or your court victim advisor can help you complete the form. (You can call Victim Support 24/7 on 0800 842 846 to be connected with a Support Worker.)
  • 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 Victim Request Form must be given, posted, or emailed to the police.
  • The police check each application and also check the applicant is eligible to be on the Register. If there is any reason why you cannot be accepted onto the Register, the police will explain this to you.
     
  • If a victim is a child or young person under the age of 17, their parent or legal guardian can apply to be on the Register on their behalf. They can apply to go on the Register themselves once they turn 17 years old.
     
  • Once an application is approved, police send it to the Department of Corrections as soon as the offender is in custody (including remanded in custody).

If you change your mind
If you have been accepted onto the Register, you can ask for notifications to be stopped at any time. You can also ask for them to be started again. It’s always your choice, but all requests must be made in writing.

To make your written request:

Email: victim.notification@corrections.govt.nz or

Post:
Victim Information
Department of Corrections
PO Box 1206
WELLINGTON 6140

How long can a victim be listed on the Register?
A victim’s registration will be formally closed, and all notifications will finish, when the offender’s sentence has been completed. The Department of Corrections will let you know when this happens.

Always keep your contact details up to date on the Register
Let the victim information manager know whenever your contact details change, including your phone, address, or email details. This means notifications can continue to reach you, or your chosen representative. You can update your details by phone, email, or post.

Phone: 04 460 3240 or 04 460 3064

Email: victim.notification@corrections.govt.nz or

Post:
Victim Information
Department of Corrections
PO Box 1206
WELLINGTON 6140

For further detailed information about the Register

  • Visit Victim notification register - Department of Corrections' website
    (
    This page includes information about how to make a complaint if you feel you haven't been provided with information you should have or your safety has been compromised in any way.)
     
  • Or you can call Victim Support 24/7 on 0800 842 846 to be connected with a Support Worker who can answer any questions you may have.

Other useful websites and information

Downloads

Victim Notification Register
Your rights as a victim