Practical information
Victim Notification Register

Victim Notification Register

If you or anyone else is in immediate danger, call emergency services on 111.

  • If you’re in danger but it’s not safe to talk, call 111, stay silent, and follow the instructions to connect to police.
  • If you’re calling from a mobile, stay silent and listen for the 'press 55' prompt for help.
  • If you’re calling from a landline, stay silent and follow the operator’s instructions to press any button for help.
  • If you have hearing or speech difficulties, register for the New Zealand Police 111 TXT service so you can text Police, Fire or Ambulance in an emergency.
  • If English is not your primary language, Victim Support can use Connecting Now to connect with an interpreter over the phone. Call us on 0800 842 846 and let us know which language you need. Victim Support can also try and match you with a Support Worker who speaks your primary language.
  • To make a quick exit from this page click on the Quick Exit button on the top right. Go to the Hide my visit page to learn how to hide evidence of your visit to this site.

You may qualify for financial assistance under the Victim Assistance Scheme (VAS) which helps victims of serious crime by contributing to costs related to the crime, the justice process and recovery.

For more information you can contact your Support Worker, call us directly on 0800 842 846 or visit our Financial assistance page.

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The justice system can be complicated and unfamiliar but knowing what to expect can help. We can help you understand and engage with the justice system, answer any questions you have, and be there for you if you want someone to listen.

We can support you with:

  • Rights and information. We’ll help you understand your rights, provide information, and support you to make informed choices.
  • Justice system. We’ll explain the justice system and help you navigate each step, including supporting you at key moments during court, parole hearings, coronial inquests and family group or restorative justice conferences. We can help you prepare a Victim Impact Statement or apply to be on the Victim Notification Register.
  • Linking with other agencies and support. We’ll help you liaise with police, courts and other government agencies.

You can call us or visit our How we can help page to find out more about who we are, how we can help you and how to access our support.

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If you or others have been injured, see a doctor, go to a hospital emergency department or call an ambulance on 111 regardless of whether you decide to report the incident or not.

A professional medical assessment can help your recovery and ensure physical safety.

Depending on the incident, consider having the doctor prepare a medical report that can be shared with police, if you are comfortable doing that.

After what’s happened the media may want to get comments or interview you, your family, whānau, close friends or any witnesses.  Media can sometimes feel demanding and intrusive during stressful times but it’s your decision if you want to speak to them or not and what you feel comfortable sharing.

These situations can seem very unjust and unfair and can cause both grief and trauma. There is an overlap between these two reactions but there are also some differences. Grief is a normal reaction to loss, featuring a range of responses that stem from sadness. Trauma is a normal reaction to an abnormal event, featuring a range of responses that stem from fear and anxiety.

To help them cope through what’s happened, provide a safe and supportive space for children and young people to process their thoughts in their own way and reassure them it’s not their fault.

Family, whānau and friends can suddenly be called on to help someone who is a victim, witness, or has been bereaved by a crime or a traumatic event. Your caring support can help the person feel more able to cope and begin to recover. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do or say and you may be feeling stressed by their situation as well. Being there to listen and taking care of yourself along the way helps.

Any sudden death that is unexpected, violent or suspicious will be investigated by a coroner. Coroners are responsible for determining the details surrounding the death, including how, where, when, and why it occurred. This information is important in listing the cause of death on the official death certificate. It is a complex process that can vary according to the different circumstances of the death but is handled carefully and respectfully by those involved.

For many, a ceremonial blessing of the site where a person has died is an essential part of processing the loss. It acknowledges of the spiritual impact of the tragedy and protects and guides the spirit of the deceased. It respects and honours the dignity of the deceased person, their family, whānau, and community.

For Māori, it can include lifting of the tapu on the site and karakia. Other cultural and faith groups have their own unique blessing ceremonies. Some family or whānau members may choose to visit the scene and be part of a blessing ceremony and others may not. They may prefer to hold a private blessing or open it to whomever would like to come, including from the community.

If you are an immediate family or whānau member wishing to organise a blessing for the site, you could contact your kaumātua, local marae, church or faith centre, the police officer who has been working with you, a Police Iwi Liaison Officer, or speak to a Support Worker.

If you don't personally know the family or whānau but witnessed or discovered the incident, you can speak to a Support Worker if you'd like to attend a blessing, provided it is open to the public and the family or whānau are comfortable with that.

Advice and information is available from Aotearoa New Zealand embassies in the country concerned and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) can help. They can liaise with New Zealand Police and the country the person died in about the local investigation and justice process.

MFAT can let you know about:

Official processes required in the country the person died in.

Available local burial or cremation options and any requirements that must be met.

Contact details for funeral directors in that country who could manage the funeral or tangihanga.

How you can bring back the person’s body or ashes (repatriation) to Aotearoa New Zealand.

If a person’s body or their ashes are being returned to Aotearoa New Zealand

The immediate family or whānau can ask a funeral director in Aotearoa New Zealand about the options they have for arranging for their loved one's body or ashes to be repatriated (brought back to New Zealand).

Urgent travel

If you live overseas but the death of someone close to you has happened in Aotearoa New Zealand, the bereaved family or whānau are able to access some assistance here in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Manaaki Tāngata | Victim Support
Call us 24/7 on 0800 842 846 to be connected to a Support Worker for assistance.

The Ministry of Justice's Victims Information Centre
Find information, advice and support. Contact them here.

Support through the criminal justice system
Look in this directory to find a New Zealand lawyer

Some financial support
ACC may accept a claim for accidental death which would provide financial support to cover some costs when the death of a New Zealander has been confirmed by police as murder or manslaughter. If you're overseas contact ACC on +64 7 848 7400

Your chosen funeral director can do as little or as much as you want them to do. Talk with your funeral director about what you would like, including any cultural or religious rituals you want honoured. Ask them about costs and payment options, so you can make choices that are manageable.

A funeral director helps bereaved families and whānau in several ways, including:

collecting the person’s body from the mortuary and caring for them at their funeral home until burial or cremation

providing information about necessary legal requirements after a death

registering the death and helping families get a copy of the death certificate

explaining how you can bring back the person’s body or ashes (repatriation) to Aotearoa New Zealand.

preparing the body for viewing if the family wishes this and it is possible

fulfilling the family’s choices for the funeral, tangihanga (tangi), or memorial event

checking if the person’s legal will requested certain funeral arrangements

organising cremation or burial procedures that meet necessary requirements

helping families apply for financial assistance, if needed

If you and your immediate family or whānau prefer to organise a burial or cremation without a funeral director

The Victim Notification Register provides victims of serious crimes with notifications about what's happening to the person that offended against them as they move through the justice system. This includes their Parole Board hearings, temporary prison releases, home detention, hospital detention or prison release date.

To receive notifications and be kept informed, victims must apply to be listed on the Victim Notification Register. Victims are also able to nominate someone else as a representative to receive the notification on their behalf.

A victim can apply to be on the register at any stage after an offender has been charged.

The Police determine a victim’s eligibility to be on the Register and the Department of Corrections runs the confidential Register service.

A Victim Impact Statement is your opportunity to tell the court and the offender how the crime has personally affected you as a victim - emotionally, physically, financially, socially and psychologically, and in your daily life. This is a different statement to the one you gave to police after the crime occurred.

A Victim Impact Statement helps the court understand your views about the offending and the information you provide, if you decide to make a statement, will be considered by the judge when the offender is being sentenced.

The tragic death of someone close to us is always distressing, and when it happens unexpectedly or in some cases violently, it can be even more challenging. We might hear the news from others or have witnessed the person’s death ourselves, and the shock can leave us unsure about what we need to do.

A lot needs to happen within the first few days after a death and many people and agencies become involved. They understand how distressing this time is will support you through it respectfully and with care.

Support is here for you when things get tough. You don't have to face it alone. Reach out to these confidential and non-judgmental services to discuss your situation and get the help you need.

Citizens Advice Bureau | Ngā Pou Whakawhirinaki o Aotearoa

Visit your local CAB in person, search their website, or call for free, confidential support about your rights and how to access community or justice services you need.

The Victim Notification Register provides victims of serious crimes with notifications about what's happening to the person that offended against them as they move through the justice system.

To receive notifications and be kept informed, victims must apply to be listed on the Victim Notification Register. Victims are also able to nominate someone else as a representative to receive the notification on their behalf.

A victim can apply to be on the register at any stage after an offender has been charged.

The Police determine a victim’s eligibility to be on the Register and the Department of Corrections runs the confidential Register service.


How we can help



Victims' rights

Under the Victims' Rights Act 2002 you may be eligible to receive information (notifications) about the offender as they move through the justice system if:

  • you have been a victim of a sexual offence or a serious assault
  • the offence resulted in serious injury to a person, in the death of a person or in a person becoming incapable; or
  • you have been the victim of an offence of another kind, and that has led to you having ongoing fears, on reasonable grounds, for your physical safety or security, or for the physical safety or security of one or more members of your immediate family

Parents or legal guardians of a child or young person under the age of 17 who has been the victim of an offence, are also deemed to be a victim under the Act.


What information can victims receive?

There are laws about who can get information about an offender and what information is made available.

Victims who are are listed on the Register, will be told about any significant events involving the offender by the agency that has custody of that offender. This includes their Parole Board hearings, temporary prison releases, home detention, hospital detention or prison release date.

You may also be notified if the offender changes their name, and you can request to see an up-to-date image of them (these requests are determined on a case-by-case basis ).


What are the benefits?

Many victims say they feel acknowledged, respected, and supported when they are given notifications. It provides opportunities to have your say on things like the offender’s parole or parole conditions when they are released.

Also, knowing the facts about what’s happening to an offender can help increase your, and your family's or whānau sense of safety.

By being registered, your home location will be considered when an offender proposes a residential address to live at after their release. Concerns will immediately be raised if that address is too close to you.


Receiving notifications

You can choose if you want to go on the Register or not

You can apply to go on the Register at any time after the offender has been charged with a serious offense. It is important to understand that registration is an opt in process, which means victims of serious crimes are not automatically placed on the Register.

You must apply to go on it.

You can choose someone to get the notifications for you

Receiving news about the offender can be stressful. You can ask a trusted person to receive the notifications on your behalf. They can then share the information with you, if that’s what you want. They must agree in writing to be your representative. There is a place for their details and signature on the Victim Notification Register Request Form that must be filled in.

At any stage you can ask for the notifications to be sent to you instead, or you can choose someone else to represent you, if they agree.

Victim Notification Coordinators at prisons and community probation offices are responsible for providing notifications to victims. Notifications are sent by mail or email (if requested).  In urgent situations victims or their appointed representative will be phoned.

A Victim Information Manager writes to the victim, or their appointed representative, to confirm they are registered to receive notifications, if their application has been approved.


The application process

There are a few steps for you to complete before you may be added to Victim Notification Register.

How to apply

  • Complete the Victim Notification Register Request Form available on the New Zealand Police website. Alternatively, obtain a copy of the form from the Police.
  • The Police, your Support Worker, or your Court Victim Advisor can help you complete the form. You don’t have to complete it alone.
  • If someone else will receive notifications on your behalf, provide their name on the form and ensure their signature is on it.
  • Submit the completed form to Police at victim.notification@police.govt.nz, by free post on the address provided on the form, or in person at your local police station.

Eligibility and Approval

  • The Police review each application to verify eligibility for inclusion on the Register.
  • If there is any reason why you cannot be accepted onto the Register, the Police will explain this to you.

For Minors

  • If the victim is under 17 years old, a parent or legal guardian can apply to be on the Register on their behalf.
  • The victim can apply for themselves once they turn 17.

Notification Process

  • Once an application is approved, the Police send it to the Department of Corrections as soon as the offender is in custody (including remanded in custody).
  • Once your application is accepted, the Victim Information Manager will write to you or to your chosen representative, to confirm you are on the Register.


Victims' involvement in the Register

How long can a victim be listed on the Register?

A victim’s registration will be formally closed, and all notifications will finish, when the offender’s sentence has been completed. The Department of Corrections will let you know when this happens.

Contact information for your enquiries about the Register

The Victim Information Manager is your key contact for your enquiries and updates to the Register.

Email: victim.notification@corrections.govt.nz

Phone: 04 460 3064


Victim Information Manager, Department of Corrections

Private Box 1206

Wellington 6140

Always keep your contact details up to date on the Register. Let the Victim Information Manager know whenever your contact details change, including your phone, address, or email details. This means notifications can continue to reach you, or your chosen representative.

If you change your mind

If you have been accepted onto the Register, you can ask for notifications to be stopped at any time. You can also ask for them to be started again. It’s always your choice, but all requests must be made in writing by email or post to the Victim Information Manager.


Your privacy

The Victims Notification Register is confidential and access to your information on the Register is restricted to:

  • Victim Information Manager
  • Victim Notification Coordinators
  • authorised New Zealand Parole Board staff
  • prison or community probation services management in the event of an after-hours emergency.



Useful websites and other information


Downloadable resources