February 14, 2019
Kaupapa Māori framework key for justice reform
The head of Restorative Justice NZ says the Government needs to embrace more Māori-led initiatives if it is to get the reform it is wanting in the criminal justice system.
A panel headed by former MP Chester Borrows is looking at reforming the system, and Mike Hinton says it now has a lot of evidence of what works.
He says what’s needed is resourcing and commitment, as initiatives like drug and alcohol courts limp along for years as pilots rather than rolled out nationally once they prove to work.
Māori initiatives like rangatahi courts and iwi justice panels have also shown their worth, if the right controls are in place.
"When we start adopting Māori initiaitives or kaupapa Māori, they have to be judged within a kaupapa Māori framework. You can't put them into the system as we know it now and judge them against a Pākehā framework and what the powers that we think is right. They must have their own sovereignty over that programme," Mr Hinton says.
He says the biggest challenge in restorative justice is finding enough people to do the work, so more resourcing is needed for that.
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