MEDIA RELEASE, 24.08.23, on the Jaz brothers' sentencing

The Jaz brothers' offending was no anomaly, but it can be a call to action

Today, at 3.40pm, Danny and Roberto Jaz were sentenced to 16 and a half and 17 years imprisonment respectively, with a minimum non-parole period of 50% of their sentences.

Judge Mabey incisively cut through the lies and lack of remorse and empathy of the two brothers, accurately stating that they were not men of good character, that in fact they were sexual predators.  When, typically, few sentences feel adequate enough, today was honouring of the survivors who have given so much of themselves to achieve this outcome.  Today belongs to them, today they walked free from the courtroom with pride in themselves, they are the real heroes of this story.

As the trial unfolded and the extent and manner of the offending was reported, the community expressed shock and anger. And it is right for us to condemn this kind of violence. But the uncomfortable truth is, that sexual violence is rife in Aotearoa. This stood out because of its scale and brazenness, but it did not happen in a vacuum. It is just the tip of the iceberg.

The New Zealand Crime and Victims Survey found that 1.1 million adults in this country report having been sexually assaulted at least once in their life. Yet the real number is probably far higher, as it’s estimated that fewer than half of victims report. Last year, Aviva’s Sexual Violence Services alone supported over 500 adults – and we only cover Canterbury.

The collective horror and outrage towards the Jaz brothers is justified. We should all be appalled. But it’s not enough for us to comment on news stories, calling for these men to be “strung up”, or to post words like “monsters” on social media. Because to cast human beings as “monsters” is to cast their actions as unavoidable and their victims as the inevitable collateral damage. This simply isn’t true. Their actions could and should have been prevented. 

And yet, if there is any hope to be found, we can find it in the societal outrage. Because if we can harness that outrage, we can take action. Systems and structures that make this kind of offending possible of course need to change. So too do our attitudes – the beliefs we uphold with the words we use; who we choose to believe; the responsibility we take for holding others – and ourselves – to account; the jokes we tell, judgements we make, the things we teach our children.

What happened today was the final chapter in a story that started with misogyny and was written in rape culture. Now we can write a new one.



Aviva is a Canterbury-based, specialist family and sexual violence agency dedicated to making New Zealand Aotearoa violence-free. Our sexual violence services are contracted to support victims through the reporting and court process. We offer a range of services to support all people, children, youth and adults, to live free from violence and overcome its enduring harms.



For more information, contact Jo Bader (Sexual Violence Kaimahi - Senior Client Service Manager) at [email protected]