November 07, 2023
Cultural reports attack breach of Tiriti
The dean of AUT’s law school law says National’s plan to cut funding for cultural reports is mean-spirited and racist.
Both National and ACT campaigned against the section 27 reports, which defendants can present at sentencing to give judges context to their offending.
Khylee Quince, who helped develop the format and quality standards for the reports, says they were part of an effort by parliament to address the over-representation of Māori in the justice system.
She says it’s an effective use of legal aid.
To take that opportunity away only for people who can’t pay for it I think is mean-spirited and because most of those people will be Māori it’s a breach of Te Tiriti in terms of Article 3 – equal access to justice. Bottom line is it’s racist because non-Māori people or Māori people too who can afford a private report or have someone within their whānau or community who can stand up and speak for them, they can still have access to those things,” Associate Professor Quince says.-