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More diversity for smarter justice reforms

Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced he’s added more diversity and filled the two remaining places on the expert advisory group focussing on the criminal justice reform programmes.

“I’m looking forward to launching the Criminal Justice Summit tonight alongside the Prime Minister at Parliament’s Banquet Hall. New Zealand needs less offending, less re-offending, and a national conversation about fixing the broken justice system.

“I’m happy to announce I’ve added more diversity to the specialist advisory group, the Safe and Effective Justice Programme Advisory Group – Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora, to work alongside Justice Sector agencies on a prudent and realistic scope for effective criminal justice reform.

“It’s critical that we get this right and having a good mix of experienced experts who also bring valuable cultural context show’s that this Government is smart on crime.

“Shila Nair and Quentin Hix add value by bringing Indian and Maori expertise and experiences as the newest members of Uepū Hāpai i te Ora - The Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group.

“Ms Nair is a counsellor with Auckland based not-for profit group Shakti where she’s worked for more than 16 years in family violence. She started her career as a volunteer, then moved to managing crisis services, and then became Shakti’s National Coordinator. For the last 10 years Ms Nair has been practicing as a counsellor conducting individual and group therapy.

“Mr Hix is Director of Quentin Hix legal, a Timaru based firm. Mr Hix is a lawyer with 25 years’ experience in a broad range of legal areas, from commercial, property and relationships. He’s now focussing on criminal law. He also holds significant positions on a number or organisations including director of Ngāi Tahu Holdings Limited.

“The newest members of The Group will support the public engagement and wider criminal justice reform programme, Hāpaitia Te Oranga Tangata, the Safe and Effective Justice Programme.

“Safe and effective justice is fundamentally about keeping New Zealanders safer, through earlier interventions, better responses and greater support to reduce reoffending.

“Ms Nair and Mr Hix will join the group at the Criminal Justice Summit tomorrow where they will take part in discussions providing multiple perspectives from people affected by the system, interest groups and academics.

“The Advisory Group will play an important role in continuing the conversation beyond the summit and creating opportunities for meaningful engagement with people right across the country,” says Mr Little.

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