INDEPENDENT NEWS

New Corrections plan for Māori “repeat of failed policies"

Published: Mon 19 Aug 2019 10:05 AM
New Corrections plan for Māori reoffending “repeat of failed policies”
The Hōkai Rangi plan for reducing Māori reoffending announced today fails to fulfil the Waitangi Tribunal’s recommendations, says justice organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa. Minister Kelvin Davis announced the plan this morning, which aims to reduce the proportion of Māori prisoners from over 50% to 15%. Details made public so far include changes in visitation and rehabilitation programme procedures, sensitivity training for prison officers and administrators, and “co-design” of the Corrections system with Māori in the context of a Treaty partnership.
“In 2017 the Waitangi Tribunal found that Corrections needed a strategy to fix the very high rate at which Māori are reimprisoned. In that report, the Tribunal noted that Corrections was not making policy that responded to the causes of Māori mass incarceration,” says People Against Prisons Aotearoa spokesperson Emilie Rākete. “Now, in 2019, the new Corrections strategy still totally ignores the structural causes of Māori mass incarceration.”
“Māori live in the worst poverty, with the most crowded schools, and in the most unhealthy housing in the country, and that’s what causes mass incarceration,” says Rākete. “Vague promises that visits from whānau will be easier, there might be more addiction counselling, and prison officers will do a course on not being racist does not fix these. Hōkai Rangi is just proposing services that already exist in prisons and have already totally failed to reduce Māori reimprisonment.”
“The unimaginable misery of being poor and Māori in this country grinds on, and Hōkai Rangi just fiddles with how we punish the people who endure that misery.”
People Against Prisons is also critical of the suggestion that Hōkai Rangi will involve some form of co-design between Corrections and Māori.
“Tikanga Māori cannot exist in a prison. Since the 1980s, leading justice scholar Moana Jackson has been saying that Māori never used prisons to punish people, and no effort to Māorify prisons can change that,” says Rākete.
“Teaching someone the words to Tūtira Mai in their prison cell won’t fix the social and economic inequality that put them there. To end mass incarceration we need to end unemployment, end homelessness, and implement the Welfare Expert Advisory Group’s recommendations to make benefits liveable. Hōkai Rangi ignores all of this vital work in order to rebrand stale, failed policy.”
ENDS
ends

Next in New Zealand politics

PM to visit Japan and attend the UN General Assembly
By: New Zealand Government
PM's Post-Cab 16/9/19: A Way Forward
By: The Scoop Team
Gordon Campbell on allegations of left wing media bias
By: Gordon Campbell
Tighter gun laws for the safety of all
By: New Zealand Government
On Labour’s mishandling of the alleged sexual assault
By: Gordon Campbell
History rectified - Rua Kēnana to be pardoned
By: New Zealand Government
Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission appointed
By: New Zealand Government
NZ history to be taught in all schools
By: New Zealand Government
Jacinda Ardern accepts Labour Party President resignation
By: New Zealand Labour Party
Q+A: Louise Nicholas interviewed by Jack Tame
By: TVNZ
Labour abuse allegations investigator hires computer expert
By: RNZ
Ending Sexual Violence Together
By: Toah-Nnest
National: Bill may stop gunowners seeking mental health help
By: RNZ
Government runs from election year firearms debate
By: ACT New Zealand
Measured and reasonable approach to gun register
By: Police Association
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media