Simon Power has been busy since he wrapped his hands around the justice portfolio. Soon after he became a Cabinet minister I interviewed him about the cult of victimology.

Usually snappily dressed in butcher-striped suits, on this day, however, his pink shirt looked suspiciously as if it had been white when it was newly unwrapped.

I guessed the Minister of Justice - husband and father of a young child - was doing his own washing and too preoccupied to sort the whites from the coloureds.

But Power has had much weightier issues on his mind, like sorting and increasing the rights for victims of crime.

In particular, he's had the Ministry of Justice prepare proposals to improve government agencies' responses to victims of crime and "enhance victims' rights and role in the criminal justice processes".

He's had his ministry circulate a consultation document, written in politically correct bureaucratese, to "stakeholders and interested parties", calling for submissions.

Fat lot of good any rational submissions will do which try to point out the criminal justice system is there for a civil society.

This is just that mad lot from Sensible Sentencing, who have the gall to try to call themselves a charity, having their hysterical influence on the National Government and its support party Act.

Who, for instance, does the ministry think it is kidding when it starts out by stating "a greater focus on victims will assist in reducing the cost and impact of crime on individuals and society in general"?

Then further on we find the ministry proposes to establish, among other initiatives, a "Victims of Crime Complaints Officer, and require criminal justice agencies to report to Parliament each year about their responsibilities to victims".

This officer would tell Parliament how many complaints were received, which agency received the complaints, what they were, whether they were sorted out, and how, ad nauseum.

You can see where this new bureaucracy is going.

Set up a complaints department and the moaners will form a disorderly queue.

Just like Family First - instead of turning off the television and going to bed, Bob McCoskrie waits up to see nude rugby on the late news and complains to the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

There are alarming proposals in this document, affecting the independence of justice. For instance, it recommends prosecutors be required to meet or contact victims before the first court hearing and discuss with them the "need to amend charges".

This seriously overlooks the independent role of the Crown Solicitor to decide what charges are appropriate, based on the material placed before him or her by the police.

If the victim can influence the independence of that role, then why shouldn't the accused also have a say in what charges are laid? I bet the victims wouldn't like that.

Another example of sloppy thinking is allowing widening of victim impact statements in court. At present, victims complain of censorship by judges. They want more freedom to say what the crime, and the criminal, has done to them and their family.

This is obviously a cathartic process for victims. They feel strongly vengeful and get satisfaction from delivering their message to the offender, letting him or her know the crime will continue to affect innocent people all their lives.

I can understand that. Many people going about their lives, then dumped into the maelstrom of the criminal justice system, would feel similarly vindictive. But is there any good reason the public should be party to this most personal moment?

Reading aloud victim impact statements has developed into a media circus with public displays of raw emotion beamed into the nations' living rooms at 6pm for all to gawk at.

Why not give victims freedom to say whatever they like but in the privacy of judges' chambers? Would all victims still take advantage of this right if they couldn't grandstand their outrage? I wonder.

But we shouldn't be surprised at all this upsetting of the scales of justice.

National's "Laura Norder" election policy document of 2008 shamelessly put "victims first". Whether that will lower the crime rate, and lighten the minister's load, remains to be seen.