He Waka RoimataHe Waka Roimata

Recently the programme’s advisory board Te Uepu completed a major milestone with the release of its first report into what New Zealanders think of the justice system. It has provided a valuable insight into public attitudes into criminal justice system, and makes for sober reading.  Click here to read the report.

It’s clear that we need to do better for Māori and victims. The overwhelming impression we got from people who have experienced the criminal justice system is one of grief and conversations have reinforced the view that the criminal justice system is in urgent need of reform. We think the content of the report may resonate personally and with your networks. In particular, the impact on social services and community support organisations presents a strong theme in the first report:

  • People who lack basic necessities (decent quality housing, education, employment, adequate income, good health, and strong connected families, whānau and communities) are significantly more vulnerable to both being harmed by crime and to offending
  • A lack of adequate housing and mental health support, in particular, is contributing to many of the difficulties that can lead people into the criminal justice system
  • Collaborative approaches, focusing on the wider social needs of people affected by crime or in contact with the criminal justice system, are said to be working in some of the communities we visited
  • Development of local, community-based initiatives to help intervene in troubling situations, support families and children, and address offending through restorative processes
  • A need for better collaboration across social services and addressing difficulties faced by NGOs with current funding structures.

We have made a promise to our Justice Sector Ministers to try and reach as far and wide as possible so that all New Zealanders can join the conversation for a safer, more effective justice system – and to find greater understandings of the drivers of crime in Aotearoa.

That’s where you come in. As a family-focused organisation we believe your members and networks would provide valuable insights into what a safer and more effective justice system would look like, so we’d hope you could encourage their participation in the ongoing conversation. We would also welcome content about community initiatives in the justice-related sector that your organisation supports or is associated with to share through our networks.

We’d also like to let you know about the Hui Māori, held in April 2019, which was designed to provide an intentional space for Māori voices to discuss what a Maori-led criminal justice system might look like. This hui was convened by Te Ohu Whakatika, a group of Māori representatives from 11 rohe across Aotearoa. This report is currently being drafted and due for release mid July 2019. If you would like to be on the mailing list to receive this report please email huimaori@gmail.com.

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