Our history

Victim Support evolved during the 1980s from the emergence of several small voluntary groups to provide assistance to victims.

Development of early support services for victims in New Zealand stemmed from a simple question: ‘What about the victim?’, and today victims remain at the forefront of our service delivery.

The New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups (commonly known as Victim Support), has evolved and responded to meet the complex and changing needs of victims across the areas of homicide, suicide bereavement, family violence and other crimes and trauma.

Here’s a look at the key milestones and significant achievements of our journey to provide a ‘gateway’ or ‘waharoa’ through which victims can begin their journey to safety, healing and justice.


First Victim Support office opened in Gisborne by former Police Officer Kevin Joblin.

gisborne new zealand

New Zealand Parliament passed the Victims of Offences Act and created a Victims Task Force to develop guidelines and assess existing services and gaps.


Pilot projects established in Porirua and Hamilton to gain a better understanding of victims and victims services in New Zealand.


Joyce Fallon appointed New Zealand’s first full-time Victim Support Coordinator by the Porirua Victim Support Group.


New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups formed and out of this, the emergence national standards and a code of practice.


Inaugural AGM for the New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups held.


Victims Task Force wound up and National Office of New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups established.


First full-time Chief Executive for Victim Support appointed.


First nationally co-ordinated crisis response to support victims and families of the tragic shooting of six people at Raurimu.

0800 VICTIM crisis line launched.


Memorandum of Understanding signed between Victim Support and NZ Police.


Results of referendum on Law and Order lays the platform for victim’s rights in the new millennium.


Victim Incident Information System (VIBIS) goes live at Gisborne Conference.

Victim Notification Register set up.


Restorative justice conferences and Victims Court Advisers scheme introduced.

A group of people in a meeting

Passing of the Victims’ ‘Rights Act 2002 steers Victim Support to a new strategic direction transitioning from crisis intervention to comprehensive support, helping victims from the time of crisis right through the court and parole process to eventual ‘recovery’.


National structure established to grow and strengthen Victim Support’s operational capability to meet the needs of victims throughout New Zealand.

Partnerships with NZ Police, Ministry of Justice, Department of Corrections, Ministry of Social Development and Ministry of Youth Affairs were forged to ensure the ongoing viability and sustainability of our work.


Suicide postvention service in Canterbury/Tasman, Eastern and Greater Auckland provided through contract with Ministry of Health.


Kaiwhakahaere Māori appointed to implement Māori strategy across Aotearoa.

Te Whare Tapa Whā adopted as model for Support Worker training, taking a holistic approach to spiritual, physical, emotional and whānau well-being.


Victim Support’s Contact Service established providing 24/7 support to victims as a first port of call and triage point for non-crime and trauma victims.

Victim Support Contact Service Centre call taker

Extended homicide service established.


VIVA incident management system launched.


Suicide postvention service rolled out nationally.


Ministry of Justice provides funding for a specialist Homicide Support pilot programme in Auckland and Canterbury.

Victim Support is recipient of Mitre 10 Community of the Year Award.


Victim Support launches Victim of Crime Information Line in partnership with Ministry of Justice.

Victim Support Contact Service crosses 100,000 inbound calls in a single year for the first time.


Victim Supports’ specialist family violence capability grows with teams working closely with Police and Women’s Refuge in Cantebury, Waikato, Counties-Manukau and Auckland.

Victim Support celebrates its 30th anniversary drawing together key partners, Local Group Committees, staff and founding members at Parliament.


NZQA approved Level 5 Diploma in Health and Well-being Applied Practice launched, formally recognising high-quality training provided to Support Workers.


New partnership between Victim Support, Oranga Tamariki, and the New Zealand Police launched to support victims through the Family Group Conference (FGC) process for youth offenders.

Never Alone regular giving programme launched.


Victim Support provides support to victims and families of the terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch raising $14 million for their recovery through an emergency appeal.

We are together tributes to victims of Christchurch terror attacks

Victims Voices: The justice needs and experiences of New Zealand serious crime victims, published by Victim Support gives victims a bigger voice in the Government’s justice reforms.


Homicide service rolled out nationally with appointment of a National Homicide Manager and a network of dedicated, specialist Homicide Support Workers.