Families of victims of serious crimes - including drunk driving deaths and accidental shootings - are set to get more Government-funded assistance.

These families are ineligible for the same support murder victims' families receive.

Justice Minister Simon Power, who announced the move today, said there was a lack of support for the about 100 families of victims killed each year as the result of a criminal act that did not lead to homicide charges.

From July 1 families of victims of serious crimes leading to death will have access to up to 30 trauma counselling sessions and a $3000 grant to help lessen the impact of their family member's death.

Mr Power said the additional services were able to be funded because a levy on offenders introduced in July last year was being collected faster than expected.

The scheme is expected to raise $13.6 million over the first four years, with the proceeds going towards helping victims of crime.

Today's announcement has been welcomed by victim advocates. Victim Support said the support was "a great response to the needs of victims of serious crime".

The Sensible Sentencing Trust said the financial assistance was very welcome "but it is the fact that the offenders themselves are funding it that seems to be resonating with the victims".

Spokesman Garth McVicar said the offender levy was criticised when it was introduced but it had turned out to be very successful.

"Most sensible thinking people would welcome the fact that it is the criminals themselves who are funding it," he said.

"This is a big turn around from the days when there was very little assistance for victims and even that was funded by the taxpayer."

Labour's victims' rights spokeswoman Carmel Sepuloni said her party welcomed any increase in support for victims but the Government was "just tinkering around the edges" and its overall record was dismal.

"Under National we have seen a damning review of the ACC clinical pathways and a questionable culture evolving among senior ACC officials," she said.

"Legal aid entitlements have been changed, reducing support for victims who are recovering from serious crime."

The support is in addition to the support already available, including ACC and reparations.

Mr Power said the extra support would rectify the lack of specific entitlements for families of victims killed in a criminal act, where there may be insufficient evidence to lay homicide charges.

Other measures include an expanded travel allowance, a means tested emergency grant for victims of serious crimes, and a daily court attendance grant for victims of sexual violence.

The up to $1000 travel allowance will allow victims of serious crime to attend the likes of restorative justice conferences and victim advice meetings. It is in addition to the up to $3000 victims receive to attend trials and $1500 to attend court proceedings.

The $2000 emergency grant for economically disadvantaged victims will fund the likes of emergency accommodation, trauma counselling, changing security locks and relocation costs.

The $100 a day grant for victims of sexual violence will allow them and an unpaid support person to attend the duration of a trial. Currently, they are only paid for their time testifying at trial.

Victim Support chief executive Tony Paine said victims of serious crime faced significant financial burdens in addition to the emotional and physical impact.

"This package of new grants complements the existing grants available through Victim Support and will ensure more victims get assistance to cope with the some of the financial costs of crime," he said.

Recognising the needs of loved ones killed by acts such as drunk driving was particularly welcome.

"This was an anomaly, with grants already available for families of people killed in a homicide but not in incidents where lesser charge is laid, although a life has been taken nevertheless.

"We're delighted to see the minister has moved to address this."

Financial assistance could never turn back the clock, but sent a message that victims did not have to face the burden alone.

The Candor Trust, which supports victims of road deaths, said it was delighted the Government had acknowledged the "serious oversight" of support for road victims.

But trust spokeswoman Rachael Ford added that the $3000 discretionary grant was "tokenistic", and called for it to be raised to a maximum of $40,000.

- NZPA