People will get angry again. The McVicars are counting on it.
The Sensible Sentencing Trust recently turned 20, a customary email landing in the inbox of every media organisation in NZ the only act of public fanfare to note it.
Garth McVicar, the Hawke's Bay farmer who founded the SST, is proud it's still going, but he has some regrets too.
At its peak, the organisation was a frequent point of reference in NZ's water cooler talk. Garth's sharp, biting quotes seemingly seeped into every form of media.
But Garth courted plenty of controversy over the years, including in 2013 when he made a personal submission on the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill saying that legalising gay marriage could increase crime.
One of his final public missteps before stepping down from SST was applauding police for shooting dead a mentally ill man.
The fall to relative obscurity has been significant. The general public appetite for the organisation is now well down, Garth says.
But he and his daughter Jess, who co-leads SST now with former NZ First MP Darroch Ball following Garth's retirement in 2018, remain steadfast in their beliefs.
On February 16, 2001, Garth and Jess were among the New Zealanders who gathered outside almost every courthouse around the country.
They were supporting Mark Middleton, who was on trial for publicly threatening to kill the man who murdered his teenage stepdaughter Karla Cardno.
"People had just had enough," Jess McVicar said.
Garth said the family began to realise how much public sentiment there was for victims' rights and justice reform.
"If there was ever going to be an opportunity to try to change the law, that this might be the catalyst for it, the momentum was building," he said.
So what to do with that momentum?
Garth invited all the protest co-ordinators to his Te Haroto farm to discuss what would come next.
The Sensible Sentencing Trust name was born, with their key messages being around life sentences being for life and making victims' rights paramount.
But a shift from "throw away the key" mentalities in the public service and among the general public has meant the SST has not aged well.
Garth says that's temporary - crime will escalate again, and people will get upset.
"SST had an enormous impact for a lot of years, and I genuinely thought that when I left the organisation would fade away," he said.
"It's probably time for SST to just back off a little bit on the policy front, and ultimately the need will come and people will get angry again like they were when we started 20 years ago."
That would mean a bigger focus on the victim support and advocacy arm of the organisation, which comes under the Sensible Sentencing Group Trust name.
Jess said their critics don't see that other side of SST, that they aren't just lobbying Parliament.
"We're still looked at as rhetoric, we're these crazy people who don't know what we're talking about, and everything that SST introduced is apparently why our prison muster is so high," she said.
It's clear that not many in the public service want to touch them in 2021.
The NZ Law Society, Law Commission and prisoner rehabilitation service PARS all declined to comment on this story.
SST reached out to Kris Faafoi when he became Minister of Justice last year.
"I said congratulations ... we'd really love to work positively with you on some things," Jess said.
"We understand that we're not going to agree on some stuff, but what we're trying to do is find some common ground, where we can make some positive changes."
McVicar said the minister never responded, and took himself off SST's press release list.
The McVicars both think their ideology is just too far from the current Government's for them to want to engage with them, even though they have the same end goals.
"We believe in personal accountability and responsibility," Garth said.
He acknowledged that criminals are to some degree a product of societal circumstances, but thinks the personal accountability factor has been totally removed.
Jess said it is possible to address the situation from both sides.
"We do understand that mental health issues and the alcohol issues and the drug issues would be a driver, if you've grown up with that then that's all you know. We understand that, but don't remove that accountability."
Garth said if he could go back in time, he would have chosen to engage with the media in a way that allowed him to give longer and more nuanced answers to their questions.
Instead, he feels, he was used as a rent-a-quote who would always give a journalist what they wanted to hear.
"I might be on the back of the farm on a motorbike mustering, and I get a call from a reporter saying can you comment on this, and I'll give a reasonably brief comment, bullet points, and sometimes they get misconstrued," he said.
"If I had my time again, I'd probably want to be able to put myself in a position where I had time to think, or even say send me the questions and I'll email you a response."
Jess added that they have always looked to learn, correct and build on mistakes made in the past.
Garth said it has been hard to step away from the SST, because his passion and interest in the issues are still there.
He has thrown himself into farm work and hobbies since retiring, including flying his gyrocopter.
"The reason I chose flying rather than something else is you have to focus. If you're not focusing when you're flying, you're gonna die," Garth said.
As much as he tries to stay away from everything SST now, every time Jess rings him to talk about something else they always end up discussing the trust.
"Mum's like 'stop it!'" Jess laughed.