October 08, 2020
Maori Party takes aim at justice conveyor belt
The Māori Party says radical transformation is the only answer to a broken criminal justice system.
The party’s justice policy advocates the creation of a $100 million Māori legal aid service to protect Māori from the crown.
It also wants a greater focus on restorative justice and rehabilitation and a review of racists laws and legal and policing processes.
Hauraki-Waikato candidate Donna Pokere-Phillips, who is a lawyer, says the criminal justice system is a conveyor belt.
"When you are on that justice conveyor belt all it is about is are they guilty, are they innocent, and their system, is set up for a guilty plea. We even plead guilty just to get out of the system. Setting up a Māori legal aid system or defence system enables us to make sure we are bringing the best Māori legal minds into the process rather than just clipping the ticket," she says.
Ms Pokere-Phillips says the Māori Party also wants action taken to tackle institutional racism in the police, rather than just more talk about it whenever a Māori dies at the hands of the police.
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