Victims of crime missed out on support they were entitled to because Justice Minister Kris Faafoi failed to sign off the criteria for a $3 million victim support fund for more than five months after the fund was announced, National’s Justice spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.
“Earlier this month it was revealed that zero victims were supported by the fund announced in Budget 2021, despite applications being open since July 2021.
“Labour was content to let Victim Support take the blame for this lack of delivery, but it turns out Minister Faafoi didn’t bother to sign off the eligibility criteria until November 2021 – more than five months after the fund was announced and four months after applications opened.
“Rather than letting Victim Support take the rap, Minister Faafoi should have fessed up that his incompetence is the real reason why victims are missing out on support the Government promised them.
“Governments spend months finalising the Budget every year so he would have known well in advance that this fund would be open for applications from July. What is his excuse for doing nothing for over five months to ensure victims could access the support?
“Even worse, the Police Minister has conceded agencies who are meant to advise victims of support they are entitled to were not provided information about the fund until February 2022.
“Labour is all spin but no delivery when it comes to putting victims at the heart of the criminal justice system.”