National wants to see therapy dogs available for children and vulnerable people who find themselves caught up in the justice system.

"It can often be a traumatic experience for victims participating in the courts system," MP Chris Penk said.

"In some cases they are facing someone who committed crimes against them, in other cases it can be parents fighting for custody over children. These can be stressful and emotional situations.

"We should be supporting victims and others who are participating in the court system, often through no fault of their own, by providing trained therapy dogs to make their experience more comfortable and less re-traumatising. Trained therapy dogs make the court experience easier, particularly for children and victims of violent and sexual offending."

Advertisement

Mr Penk cited the role played by Louie, the recently-deceased Tauranga District Court Dog, who he said had been much-loved and appreciated, saying the provision of court therapy dogs, which was part of the party's law and order discussion document, would help put victims at the heart of the justice system.

The NZ Taxpayers' Union was unimpressed, however, spokesman Jordan Williams saying National needed to show more respect for taxpayers' money.

"Victims have a lot to complain about about the justice system, but the lack of 'Kiwi Pooch' isn't one of them," Mr Williams said.

"With such serious issues in the justice system — horrendous trial waiting times, name suppression for the powerful, misleading sentencing laws, the civil jurisdiction dying — this sort of woke dog thinking from the shadow justice spokesperson is deeply concerning.

"Few would be against the idea of allowing support dogs to accompany victims at times of stress, but the idea it is a role of government to fund them must surely be summer exuberance."