An announcement that the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will be based in Hamilton makes “perfect sense” given the city’s location and strong transport links says Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate.
On Friday Justice Minister Andrew Little and New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball announced the appointment of Colin Curruther QC as Chief Commissioner of the CCRC to be based in Hamilton.
The CCRC is an independent body that will review criminal convictions and sentences where there is a claimed miscarriage of justice. It can refer cases back to the Court of Appeal, but it does not determine guilt or innocence. The CCRC will be overseen by a Board comprising a Chief Commissioner, a Deputy Commissioner and between one and five Commissioners.
“As with CCRCs in England and Scotland, it is important the NZCCRC is independent from the big bureaucratic and judicial centres, Auckland and Wellington,” Minister Little said.
Mayor Southgate noted the model announced last week followed that of England and Scotland.
“But there are other good reasons to locate the CCRC in Hamilton including the fact we have a law school at the University of Waikato which was a consideration when choosing a location.”
She noted Hamilton has strong domestic transport links by both air and road, and soon by rail to Auckland.
“Those sort of logistical issues matter. For that reason, I’m confident Hamilton will continue to be front and centre when these types of decisions are made in Wellington,” she said.
“Hamilton has a huge amount to offer as a key centre for business and government head offices. There is a lot about our city which is very appealing and that’s becoming more and more apparent.”
In December the government also announced plans to fund a new Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court (AODT) in Hamilton – only the third in the country.