August 23, 2018
Whānaungatanga path out of crime
A long time gang member is optimistic this week’s Criminal Justice Summit will lead to positive change.
More than 600 people from all parts of the sector have been at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua to discuss what can be done to bring down New Zealand’s high imprisonment rate, especially the high percentage of Maori inmates.
Denis O’Reilly from Black Power Aotearoa says while there were no specific session on gangs, with a third of inmates affiliated to gangs it’s inevitable a changed approach must be part of the solution.
As the summit addressed an elephantine set of problems, and the way to eat an elephant is to put it in a hangi.
"There is a Maori solution to these things, and it is essentially around whanaungatanga. You stop addressing the individualness of the gang member or the gang cluster and you look at the context of whanau," Mr O’Reilly says.
He says the summit took political courage, and he’s impressed Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Justice Minister Andrew Little and Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis out it on.
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