Taxpayers forked out $3.3 million for the cost of "cultural reports" for offenders in 2020. That's five times as much as the year prior.
These reports argue how each offender should receive a reduced sentence due to "personal, family, whānau, community and cultural background".
And it appears a cottage industry has emerged: anyone familiar with the courts system can charge up to $6,600 to write one, copy-pasting the standard lines they know will work to convince judges to cut sentences.
First published Taxpayers Union: Taxpayer Update: Mahuta reviews local govt | MBIE embraces Greenpeace | Court rorts, Wed 8 April 2021
Stuff.co.nz Large increase in number and cost of cultural reports for offenders: Marty Sharpe, March 8, 2021