April 10, 2019
Justice reformer pays tribute to wounded healer Zac Wallace
Justice reform advocate Sir Kim Workman says if the system is to change it needs to embrace people like the late Zac Wallace.
The former prisoner, unionist and actor died on Monday aged 73.
His tangi is at Ngā Whare Waatea Marae, which he started more than 30 years ago with a vision to provide a healing space for Māori who had been in custody or care.
Sir Kim first encountered Wallace through his impassioned and angry speech to the 1984 Hui Taumata about Māori imprisonment rates, and they were then put through a week-long wānanga together by visionary leader John Rangihau.
Since then government agencies have become more risk averse and pushed aside people like Wallace, who fitted the description of a wounded healer.
"The other term used these days is the idea he is a credible messenger, that when he brings a message to the people they know what he is talking about because he has been there. Those people are so valuable to us and we must make sure we are not so blinded by concerns about risk and safety and so on on not to have them engage with others in the criminal justice system," Sir Kim says.
The funeral service for Anzac Wallace will be at Ngā Whare Waatea Marae tomorrow.
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