The dividends of falling crime

The Herald editorial:

The Government’s proposal to close courts and shift registries to nearby towns is another welcome sign that crime is on the wane. One of the most intractable policy challenges for the state is starting to pay a dividend. …

Now the Courts Minister has moved to meet the reduced demand on the courts by cutting the total number of court houses and reducing others’ opening hours. Towns such as Warkworth and, on the West Coast, Whataroa, will lose their seldom-used courts and those needing their services will be required to front at North Shore or Greymouth. Whataroa had just 11 hours of sitting time last year. As well as streamlining the costs of low-use courts, the Government will move some functions online with a goal of cutting 90,000 hours of effort between court and police staff. Courts Minister Chester Borrows also talks of defendants being able to deal with the court from their lawyers’ officers by Skype. In a damp economy the need for innovative ways of saving taxpayer dollars is all the greater.

has opposed every cost reduction for the last four years, including this one.

They want to keep courthouses open even when there is not enough crime. I guess their policy is to increase crime, so that no courthouses need close.

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