Snippets About Our Mahi From The Kumara Vine - Testimonials

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Kāore te kūmara e kōrero mō tōna ake reka.  The kumara doesn't speak of its own sweetness

Māori Proverb

We've put together some of the comments and feedback that we have received about our mahi in the hope that you will be reassured by what other people say about the work we do and what we have achieved by working together for better justice outcomes.

  • "Thank you for the cultural report. Without this she would not have been able to receive a sentence of home detention."
  • "The s 27 report was very helpful in assisting His Honour in understanding possible reasons why D was in possession of firearms, something which I believe is unusual for someone with no history with the Courts. There was a lot of crossover with the s 27 report that was completed for his brother B, which showed that the information he gave was consistent and likely accurate."
  • "I gave you a sentence indication of 18 months and you accepted that sentence indication. Mr B wisely chose to get a comprehensive report, as they seem to be called these days, addressing your background. There is a whole lot of information contained in there which has persuaded me that I should give you some additional credit other than for your plea."
  • "The Judge indicated he found the content very useful and as a result, instead of the initial 25% discount he had allowed for pleas, increased the discount by another 25% (despite the defendant's conviction history), resulting in the indicated starting point sentence of 18 months being reduced to 9 months imprisonment."
  • "Despite the Crown submitting that a 10 to 15 percent discount was appropriate for factors in the cultural report, the Judge agreed with our submission and gave him a discount of 20 percent for these factors. He described the report as thorough and extensive and quoted paragraphs of the report in the sentencing decision."
  • "The Judge was very moved by the report, as was B, who almost looked on the verge of tears at times. It was a very helpful albeit sad report. Thank you very much for taking the time to complete it. Really appreciate it."
  • "I direct that a copy of the s 27 report be given to the prison authorities and ultimately that would also be useful for the Parole Board in considering your parole hearing and conditions. I would urge the prison authorities to pay careful attention to the material there in the suggestions as to how you may be supported and what programmes would be of benefit to you."
  • "The sentencing went well. Your report made poignant reading and a material difference to the outcome. It will also be very valuable at the parole hearing. The final sentence of 6 years was at the lowest end of the available range. Thanks very much for making yourself available at short notice and presenting such a comprehensive and compelling report."
  • "The report was very thorough and phrased things appropriately. I regularly get reports that aren't on the mark and are not satisfactory."
  • "Critically, the pre-sentence report writer and Crown were seeking Mr W to complete intensive supervision with compulsory residential rehabilitation. Mr W explained to the Court that he poured his heart out when doing the cultural report. The Judge observed the contents of the report and accepted that compulsory residential rehabilitation would hinder Mr W's prospects rather than help, noting the content of the report and oral submissions made. The Court acknowledged the quality and content of the report."
  • "I really appreciate all your help, genuine kindness and empathy you have shown myself and my family. It really makes a difference when there is a light of positivity at the end of the tunnel."
  • “Mr G, I hope you’ve read the reports and I especially hope you’ve read the report of Ms Turner. Ms Turner is a very impressive person and I have been fortunate to read a number of her very good reports. And I also hope that you read her CV, because she is a model for you to follow.”
  • "Kia ora Shelley. I am a Health Assessor (Psychologist) providing reports for the Courts (mostly pre-sentence, parole and ESOs these days). I was sent one of your reports as part of a bundle for a client currently on remand and wanted to reach out and say how comprehensive and useful I found your report. Your observations and insights were critical to my psychological assessment and your contribution has allowed me to help the young man no end (I hope)! So, thank you! Your work is greatly appreciated."
  • "The sentence of 15 years' imprisonment with an MPI of seven years and six months is quashed and substituted with a sentence of 11 years' imprisonment with an MPI of five years and six months.
    The author of the s 27 report has drawn a connection between Mr Y's offending and his cultural dislocation/vulnerability. We will apply the following discounts to take account of Mr Y's personal circumstances:
    (a) Nine months to reflect the cultural dislocation Mr Y experienced when he was taken from Cameroon to France. We appreciate that his upbringing in France probably contributed in a significant way to his subsequent criminal offending.
    (b) Three months to reflect the challenges he will face as a foreign national serving a long sentence in New Zealand."
  • "Mr W appeared via AVL for sentence before HH Judge McNaughton. Judge McNaughton informed the s 27 Report was in-depth in the assessment as any psychological report, and invited counsel to take the report to both providers for an assessment to be made for treatment. Judge McNaughton gave 25% discount for the s27 Report."
  • "The s27 report was considered by the judge, Ingram DCJ. I note he referred to it several times as a 'comprehensive report' rather than a cultural report, and mentioned that such reports now seem to be referred to in that way. I have not heard that descriptor before but assume it is something the judiciary have picked up on. I suppose it is a useful term given the reports are not solely for advancement of a cultural perspective/nexus.
    The judge indicated he found the content very useful and as a result, instead of the initial 25% discount he had allowed for pleas, increased the discount by another 25% ('despite the defendant's conviction history'), resulting in the indicated starting point sentence of 18 months being reduced to 9 months imprisonment. All sentences were concurrent.
    Taking into account time served on remand (somewhere between 1.5 to 2 months I think), that should produce a release date after about 3.5 to 4 months.
    Thank you again for your assistance. It has proved most worthwhile in Ms A's case."
  • "I rung up to say thank you for everything you have done for my son and I. I am so grateful for everything you have done and for respecting my words. I know without a shadow of a doubt your mahi is what changed everything. You say it was me, but it was the way you articulated it for the judge to hear it. Our tāne need more people like you and you are the pathway to it. Ngā mihi nui ki a koe. Ngā mihi mahana mō tō mahi".
  • "Judge Rae noted that the s 27 report was simply outstanding. It tied background factors together and brought it all to the point of what s 27 is about".
  • "We are so grateful for your support, guidance and input in achieving the best sentencing outcome possible for S. The AOD counselling that you connected S with was integral. S wanted you to know what his sentencing outcome was and to thank you for all that you did."
  • "We consider that the report gave a credible account of matters which might be considered to have impaired choice and diminished moral culpability so as to establish a causative contribution to offending, of the kind envisaged in Zhang. Where that is shown, we consider it must have an effect on the sentencing outcome. The focus of s 27 is on matters personal to the offender and while the gravity of the offending might temper the extent of any discount allowed for such considerations, that is a different proposition from saying there should be no allowance."
    "As with Mr C, we consider that the s 27 report gave a credible account of matters which might be considered to have impaired choice and diminished moral culpability, with a resultant causative contribution to offending."
  • "Your cultural report was a revelation. The Crown wanted 8 years. He got 6.5 years [less all the discounts above]. In the end he got 2y7m and will be eligible for parole very soon. I can't wait to send you the sentencing notes. He got a really big discount."

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