12B – Justice and Peace

  1. Justice in New Zealand

    How the New Zealand Church implements Social Justice.

    Caritas is the Bishop Conference of Aotearoa New Zealand’s agency for justice, peace and development.

    The Treaty of Waitangi is seen as the founding document of the nation of New Zealand. It was signed in 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and Māori chiefs.

    Information about the Waitangi Tribunal and the claims. This is the Waitangi Tribunal reports database. The latest information on current claims, and the ability to search the Tribunal’s Report database.

    The New Zealand Bishops’ Conference regular issue statements around various issues of social justice

    Restorative Justice

    A bruised reed will not break; and a dimly burning wick he will not quench: he will faithfully bring forth justice.
    Isaiah 42:3

    “Crime is often a symbol of woundedness within but so is the retributive concept of justice. The outer reality mirrors an inner reality, only love and compassion can remove such walls. Only respect for others and ourselves can break the cycle of violence and revenge. Biblical justice is fundamentally respectful because people and relationships are central. We learn respect by being respected, not by being disrespected. A justice that heals is a justice that respects.”
    (Howard Zehr, Professor of Sociology and Restorative Justice, Eastern Minnonite University, Virginia.)

    Retributive Justice

    Is essentially a negative philosophy flowing from feelings of revenge. It is based on punishment and the power of the system is removed from the community and transferred to the State.

    Eight R’s of Retribution

    • Responsibility waived in a plea of ‘not guilty’
    • Regards for the needs of the victim of little account
    • Rights of the community are enforced
    • Replacing of reconciliation with punishment
    • Resentments experienced both offender and victim
    • Recriminatory feelings do nothing to restore peace
    • Rate of recidivism is increased
    • Removes power from the community to the State

    Restorative Justice

    Is a positive philosophy flowing from feelings of compassion and reconciliation. It is based on the Biblical concept of shalom and covenant and is powered by the community and fits well with the Māori tradition and those of other indigenous cultures.

    Eight R’s of Restoration

    • Responsibility accepted by the offender
    • Restitution is made to the victim
    • Reparation is made to the community
    • Reconciliation occurs between the offender, the victim and the community
    • Reintegration of the offender and victim
    • Restoration of harmony
    • Reduction of recidivism
    • Removal of power from the State to the community.

    How Justice is administered

    In a Court of Law

    Either a District Court presided over by a judge who decides the sentence after hearing the case for both the prosecution and the defence, or a High Court presided over by a judge who decides the sentence. A jury of twelve peers who give the judgement, lawyers for the prosecution and the defence who present the case through a system of questioning appropriate witnesses.

    In a Community Conference

    Presided over by a trained facilitator in the presence of the offender and their families and support persons. The judgement is agreed on by both parties and a form of reparation is recommended to the appropriate authority.
    How we currently spend the Annual Justice allocation of Taxes:

    • $50,000 per inmate per year in prison
    • $350 million per year to maintain the system
    • Social Welfare payments to defendants
    • Loss of productivity of inmates and prison officers.

    Prepared by the Congregational Leaders Conference of Aotearoa New Zealand.

  2. Social teaching – a summary

    From the beginning, the Church has been committed to the welfare of its member and people in society.

    video reflection that presents the 10 key principles of Catholic Social Teaching.

    General information on the background to Catholic Social Teaching related to specific ethical issues.

    The social doctrine of the Church A collection of the central statements knowledge of the Roman Pontiffs from a range of texts, including papal encyclicals, apostolic letters, and Conciliar documents, on matters relating to politics, economics, and culture.

  3. Just War

    Traditionally the Church has taught that there may be some circumstances in which a war is justified.

    The Just War. Is it always wrong to wage war?

    Visit a Refugee Camp – 14 million refugees and up to 25 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) live in temporary shelters throughout the world. Médecins Sans Frontières – USA takes us on virtual tour of a refugee camp to learn about the basic of shelter, food, water, sanitation, and health care and hear personal stories of refugees and relief workers.
    Beyond The Fire, introduces the real life stories of 15 teenagers who have survived war in seven war zones. These stories tell of loss, hope, fear, strength and despair and resilience.

  4. Peace

    Peace is more than an absence of war it is a determination to be just.

    Peace on Earth (Pacem in Terris). The full text of John XXIII’s letter on Peace.

    Pope John-Paul II comments on Pacem in Terris on its 40th anniversary in his address for the World Day of Peace

    Pax Christi – the Catholic Peace Movement’s response to the recent world unrest.

    Peace Movement Aotearoa, is a national organisation concerned about peace related issues in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

    The Non-violence Web-zine is home to many of the US Peace groups. It is updated twice-monthly and puts a ‘peace’ slant on world events.

    Peace Magazine is published by a non-profit organisation – the Canadian Disarmament Information Service.

  5. Support Resources for AS90822

    If you are being assessed to Achievement Standard 90822 these resources may be useful.


    Remember that these are resources that fit the generic title of the standard.  You should read the actual standard 90822, the national moderator’s report, and the assessment task that your school has set.

    Background Information

    In AS 90822 you are required to explain and analyse in breadth (using a range of examples to support your answer) and depth (using a range of details and reasons) an example of contemporary social action related to a religious tradition.  This means that you need to inspect or scrutinise carefully; to observe, test or investigate, to inquire into an action taken by a religious group

    There are a wide variety of groups affiliated to the Catholic Church that make a response to contempoary social issues e.g. you may be asked to look at the response to poverty.  You could look at the statistics on poverty and reasons for poverty.  This background information is not the MAIN focus of your work though.  It sets the scene.  Then you would look at the response e.g the work of St Vincent de Paul the type of work they do that responds to the issue, how they carry it out. Finally you must make connection between the action of the group within the Catholic Church and the ethical teachings of the Church.  For example Church teachings on poverty, how the philosophy of the group flows from Church teaching.


    There are a large number of organisations within the Catholic church that respond to contempoary social issues.  Schools will make professional decisions regarding what they ask students to look at.  Some of the common responders are:

    • Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand – part of the international network of Catholic aid and development agencies.
      • Caritas respond to issues at both an international and local level.
      • Caritas have a section in their website dedicated to school students.This includes a section on issues of concern.
    • St Vincent de Paul Society is an international organisation dedicated to social action by ordinary people on a national and international scale.


    FaithCentral would love to know about sites that you have found useful in your preparation for assessment to any achievement standard. We are also keen to know what you would find helpful to have on FaithCentral. Please share your resources and views with us via ncrs@catholicinstitute.ac.nz.