Hōkai Tapuwae

Hōkai Tapuwae is the name given to a form of cultural intervention resulting in a report which may be presented to the court prior to sentencing. These can be used in place of Section 27 cultural reports, and provide an opportunity to discuss an individual’s whakapapa and cultural identity, and to present their place within te Ao Māori.

The process allows individuals to have their Māori identity recognised and the voice of their whānau heard. The reports allow a judge to make sentencing decisions with a more complete understanding of a person’s circumstances.

Hōkai Tapuwae interventions and reports can also be requested for those who have been sentenced and are residing in the community or in prison. They can be used by Probation Officers or Case Managers to support an individual’s rehabilitation or reintegration. They can also provide a fuller picture of a person’s identity to the Parole Board.

All Hōkai Tapuwae report writers are approved by Ara Poutama Aotearoa based on their tikanga, local knowledge, and mana, and must have received our training. Hōkai Tapuwae reports and interventions are  fully funded by Ara Poutama Aotearoa.

To be eligible to participate in the Hōkai Tapuwae process, the person must:

  • have guilt established
  • identify as Māori and provide consent for the process
  • be remanded in custody, on bail or remand at large
  • Be subject to a sentence managed by Ara Poutama Aotearoa or have an upcoming court appearance. Each report will be completed within 20 working days of receipt of referral, please allow additional time for court processes.

See our Hōkai Tapuwae information sheet PDF, 171.5 KB to learn more about Hōkai Tapuwae and how you or a whānau member going through the justice system can participate.

Information for legal counsel

To obtain a Hōkai Tapuwae report, lawyers are asked to obtain the consent of their client, using Hōkai Tapuwae consent form PDF, 161.4 KB.

Once completed, please email the consent form to LegalHokaiTapuwae@corrections.govt.nz. You may attach a photo of the consent form to the referral request, if legible. Once received, we will make the referral to an approved Hōkai Tapuwae report writer. We will cover the costs for the report to be produced.

More information can be found in our information sheet for the judiciary and legal profession PDF, 125.0 KB.