Succeeding with Māori

Tenei au, tenei au

Te hokai nei i taku tapuwae

Ko te hokai-nuku

Ko te hokai-rangi

Ko te hokai o to tipuna

A Tane-nui-a-rangi

I pikitia ai

Ki te Rangi-tuhaha

Ki Tihi-i-manono

I rokohina atu ra

Ko Io-Matua-Kore anake

I riro iho ai

Nga Kete o te Wananga

ko te Kete Tuauri

ko te Kete Tuatea

ko te Kete Aronui

Ka tiritiria, ka poupoua

Ki a Papatuanuku

Ka puta te Ira-tangata

Ki te whai-ao

Ki te Ao-marama

Te Ara Poutama

Te Ara Poutama is the chosen name for the Department of Corrections, and it metaphorically highlights our goals both as a Department and for our people (staff and offenders) to step up, challenge and better ourselves.

Corrections is concerned that Mäori are over-represented in crime and offending statistics, making up just over half of all offenders. This is one of the most significant challenges that we face. We recognise that to be successful we have to deliver a range of programmes which cater to the particular needs of those we are trying to rehabilitate.

Specific Mäori-centric programmes continue to be developed, enhanced and delivered both at an operational level and at a strategic level, working across the Justice Sector and in partnership with service providers, communities, iwi and others to achieve better outcomes. We apply what works and in some cases general (non-culturally specific) programmes are evidenced to be more effective for Mäori than for non-Mäori. We are also innovative and try new approaches, testing and evaluating their efficacy and then expanding upon what works.

The public often forget that the majority of Mäori offenders are on community-based sentences, and focus tends to be upon the smaller Mäori prison population. The overall complexity of what we deal with is often not fully appreciated. A particular challenge is the overrepresentation of Mäori offenders who are gang affiliated. Evidence shows that if a person is affiliated with a gang, they are twice as likely to re-offend no matter what level of support they receive in prison.

A focus on the gang problem therefore is high priority, which will have a dramatic effect in reducing re-offending among Mäori. Corrections, in conjunction with the Justice Sector, is involved in the Whole of Government Gangs Action Plan. Corrections is at the end of the Justice pipeline, and cannot alone address the causes of the high proportion of Mäori offending that is gang related.

When non-gang related Mäori offender statistics are taken into account, then offending rates for Mäori are consistent with other rates.

Highlights for 2015/16 and new initiatives which focus on the future

Corrections has completed the following initiatives in 2015/16 and will focus our efforts in 2016/17 on:

  • Establishment of the Chief Executive’s Mäori Advisory Board – authentic endorsement, guidance and input into the development and design of Corrections Services. The board has representatives from the following iwi; Waikato-Tainui, Ngati Porou, Taranaki Whanui, Te Runanga o Tupoho, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Kahungunu and Nga Puhi.
  • Te Tirohanga – The new national programme that will lift the achievement levels of the former Mäori Focus Units to an elite level, and assist this intervention to reach its true potential.
  • Te Kupenga – a whänau-centric initiative developed originally by our Kaikohe team, aimed at reducing intergenerational whänau offending. This will be used in the Manurewa district after the success seen in the Far North.
  • Partnerships with community and iwi – we are collaborating with iwi and communities to reverse the model, and to achieve strong reintegrative support for offenders. Whare Oranga Ake, Tiaki Tangata and Out of Gate are initiatives that showcase reintegration that is community and iwi led, with Corrections providing the support where and when necessary.

Corrections has embedded meaningful ways of working with and alongside Mäori, be it with staff, offenders, whänau and iwi. We actively seek to bring complementary elements of Te Ao Mäori into our initiatives (some of which are detailed above) but also from the front line, through to the design and delivery of our services and then into the pathways for reintegration.

Kia angitu mo te katoa, me angitu me te hunga hara Mäori – To succeed overall, we must succeed with Māori offenders.

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