Source: (2002) In, Nicholas Bala, et. al., eds. Juvenile Justice Systems: An International Comparison of Problems and Solutions. Pp. 189-219.

Gabrielle Maxwell and Allison Morris observe that there have been dramatic political and economic changes in New Zealand in recent years. There has been a move toward a more market-oriented economy, with a smaller government and a reduced debt. At the same time, the country has adopted innovative approaches to juvenile justice, especially through the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989. This legislation encourages resolution of youth crime problems outside of the formal court system. For example, it provides for family group conferences that are restorative in purpose and that reflect some aspects of Maori traditions with respect to conflict resolution. With this framework in view, Maxwell and Morris describe juvenile crime and justice in New Zealand through examination of the following matters: a demographic profile of the country; trends in offending behavior by juveniles; and the foundations and operations of the juvenile justice system in New Zealand.