June 30, 2023
Lock up experience driving research
A community-based rangatahi Māori research organisation Toi Matarau has received $2 million in the latest Health Research Council to look at the health and wellbeing of young Māori released from prison and youth justice residences.
Study co-lead Dr Paula Toko King from the University of Otago in Wellington’s Department of Public Health says mokopuna Maori between the ages of 10 to 24 have been subjected to mass incarceration, including 73 percent of those locked up in the five youth justice residences.
She says it’s an urgent area of health and justice need.
“Not much is know actually about well being in these contexts and that’s not surprising because the state doesn’t actually comprehensively monitor the well being of tamariki and rangatahi in its youth justice residences and prisons so there’s a lack of meaningful data and other information,” Dr King says.
The Nga Hau o Tawhiri project will include training mokopuna who have been incarcerated to be researchers so they can generate their own solutions for wellbeing.