With just one week to go until the Government's 2019 Budget, promises have already been made. There's been an extra $58 million into the forestry sector, $2.2m of provincial growth fund money for youth and young adult initiatives in Kawerau, $200m on housing long-term homeless people in New Zealand and more. On Thursday the Government will announce just how much money they'll put into each sector and for what. In Rotorua the crime and justice sector is hoping for a slice of the pie. They tell Kelly Makiha what they hope the budget will bring.
A new courthouse for Rotorua, better prisoner rehabilitation, more funding for victims and funds to stop criminals from Australia coming back to New Zealand under the radar.
That's just a few wishes for an improved justice system, according to locals.
Rotorua Crown solicitor Amanda Gordon said she would like to see the Government's Budget spend more on prisoner rehabilitation and improving Rotorua's courthouse.
She said for example last week she had a sentencing for a man who committed indecent assault offences against his daughter. The offences were at the lower end of the scale and he was jailed for two years.
"There will be no prison rehabilitation courses for him because he is going to be in prison for a short term. He is not going to be eligible for the 18-month extensive course in prison that they offer because he will be out after 12 months.
"There are so many people who fall through the cracks because of the type of sentence they get. A lot of these people want rehabilitation but they can't get it."
She said rehabilitation for prisoners was essential for them to deal with their triggers to offending and implications.
She said more money urgently needed to be allocated for a new courthouse in Rotorua.
She said the Ministry of Justice was looking to spend several million dollars upgrading the current building but she believed it would not be enough.
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"It will only be a short term solution because it won't be a court that meets everyone's needs. They aren't prepared to put more money towards a new one."
Sexual abuse victims' advocate Louise Nicholas from Rotorua said her wishes had already been granted by the Government announcing at the weekend it would spend $320 million over four years on initiatives aimed at preventing family and sexual violence.
She said it would make a big difference to support services and they felt the Government had really listened to their pleas this time.
"This has been a long time coming. I remember Paula Bennett (National) announcing $47m funding for sexual violence prevention but we still had crisis services falling over.
"So well done them (Labour/New Zealand First coalition), but at the end of the day the proof will be in the pudding."
Sensible Sentencing Trust Rotorua spokesman Peter Bentley said more money should be directed towards the prevention of crime, by funding welfare and education at a level that families could learn how families should behave.
He said there should be more support for victims.
"They should be given more mana and see justice being done."
He would also like to see more effort to stop criminals coming to New Zealand from Australia without ongoing monitoring.