A Belgian criminology student is taking a page out of Whanganui's book.
Sarah Polders was curious about the benefits of getting a victim and offender in the same room in a bid for resolution.
It was that curiosity that landed her in a one-month internship with Whanganui's Restorative Justice (RJ) team nearly 20,000km away from her home town.
The 21-year-old, who is now half way through her stay in Whanganui, said she had a meeting with her professor and he recommended New Zealand's restorative justice system.
"In Belgium, we have victim and offender mediation but it's nowhere near as big or as part of the criminal justice system as it is here."
In New Zealand, if an offender of any sort pleads guilty the judge will make a decision on whether there should be a referral to restorative justice.
If both the victim and offender agree, a conference is set up with supporters, an RJ facilitator and in Whanganui two community RJ representatives.
Whanganui RJ facilitator Sue Anderson said the idea of it was to get the offender to understand the harm done to the victim, and a chance for the offender to offer an explanation.
"I'll then write a report based on the outcome, and that might be remorse shown by the offender by a verbal apology, reparation or agreeing to counselling," Ms Anderson said.
The facilitator's report is then given to the judge and taken into account for sentencing.
Ms Polders said her professor spoke very highly of RJ and she thought it would be a good opportunity for her research.
"I had read a lot about it but seeing it in practice is always different. When you sit in the same room you understand."
She said there was one conference in Whanganui that had stuck in her mind.
"It was a girl younger than me who assaulted a police officer. She had written a beautiful letter about her life - we were all in tears, even the police officer.
"The outcome was amazing. I just couldn't believe she was younger than me, she was so mature," Ms Polders said.
Ministry of Justice Data from 2008 to 2013 shows reoffending rates for those who participated in the restorative justice service within 12 months was 15 per cent lower than comparable offenders who did not participate.
Former justice minister Amy Adams said restorative justice is particularly beneficial for young offenders aged 17 to 19.
Young offenders who participate were 17 per cent less likely to reoffend, and committed 30 per cent fewer offences per offender.
"Based on these findings, it's estimated the 1638 restorative justice conferences across all age groups held in the 2013/14 financial year led to 620 fewer offences being committed and 359 fewer offences being prosecuted over the following year," Ms Adams said.
Third year criminology student Ms Polders said she had been conducting a series of interviews with New Zealand victims as part of a study.
"My focus has been on intimate partners' abuse and what impact RJ has had on them."
Ms Polders will be returning to Belgium where she will complete her masters and hopes to join the police force.
She will analyse all her data when she gets back and has promised to send the results to Whanganui RJ.
"I will come back to New Zealand to do more travel - it's so beautiful here and the people are so nice, it's been an amazing experience."