$19.8 million: Restorative approach to offending

Published: Thu 20 May 2010 03:19 PM
Hon Dr Pita Sharples
Co-Leader of the Maori Party Embargoed until 3pm on 20 May 2010
$19.8 million: Restorative approach to offending
The Maori Party’s policy to decrease Maori offending and victimisation will be assisted because of the $19.8 million secured by Maori Party co-leader Dr Pita Sharples, who negotiated the funding in his capacity as Associate Minister of Corrections.
Budget funding for two new Whare Oranga Ake – kaupapa Maori reintegration units for prisoners – in Auckland and the Hawkes Bay will help to reduce re-offending and reimprisonment rates.
“At the moment more than 50% of Maori prisoners reoffend within four years of being released, and we can not be allowed to continue,” Dr Sharples said.
“For Maori, criminal offending is not an isolated situation, it hurts everyone from our kuia and koroua right through to our mokopuna.
“We know that kaupapa Maori rehabilitation strengthens the cultural identity of Maori participants, improves their attitudes and behaviours and can motivate them to avoid further offending."
Each whare will be reviewed after a year, and again a year later, to see how well it is working.
“In the longer term, I expect Whare Oranga Ake to show measurable reductions in rates of re-imprisonment,” Dr Sharples said.
The Budget will allocate the new funding over four years for the building and operating of two new 16-bed units by 2011/12. After a review in 2012, each unit will expand to 32 beds in 2013. With the typical stay expected to be nine months, a 32-bed unit would provide for 42 residents a year on average.

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