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Police celebrate Iwi/Community Justice Panels

"NZ Police celebrate the establishment of Iwi/Community Justice Panels following successful pilots"

Tomorrow evening Police and justice sector partners are being hosted by Police Minister Stuart Nash at Parliament’s Grand Hall alongside Iwi leaders to celebrate a major milestone in criminal justice.

The celebration is to acknowledge the successful establishment of Iwi/Community Panels which sees justice sector agencies and community working together to reduce reoffending and to launch “Te Pae Oranga” a concept that imbues the vision and principles of Iwi Panels.

Tainui leader Rahui Papa, says the name “Te Pae Oranga” is a place where one offers a view and listens to the views of others in a safe environment intent on restoring the wellbeing of a person to become a more productive member of the community.

“Te Pae Oranga is a practical, community-led initiative based on taking real action, to correct a person’s criminal behaviour and create a different pathway for some of our most vulnerable young people,” he says.

“There is a positive flow on effects for society as a whole."

“Make no mistake, the Panels hold offenders to account.
But instead of travelling a well-worn path to court, then on to more serious offending and ultimately prison, this model of prevention provides panel participants with access to services to address the underlying criminal behaviour such as health, social and budgeting services, driver licence training and even employment opportunities.”

Police Commissioner Mike Bush says one of Police’s six core values is Commitment to Māori and the Treaty, where Police have worked in partnership with Māori leaders to focus on reducing Māori reoffending and victimisation.

“Iwi Panels are a reflection and extension of the strong commitment Police has to its relationship with Māori,” says Commissioner Bush.

“The overall aim, shared by Police and by Iwi, is to reduce the number of Māori entering the criminal justice system and, to redirect them to achieving their full potential.”

Participants who are referred to Iwi/Community Panels by Police engage in a process that enables a person to look at what is influencing their behaviour to commit crime.

The panel offers a range of solutions and options to get a better understanding of what’s driving that offender’s behaviour.

There is a strong restorative justice approach, one that ensures the offender is accountable for the actions taken and that the outcome is too prevent any further offending.

Panel Chair Hata Wilson, says the Panels are always aware of the impact on victims.

“With this in mind, panels offer any victims total support by holding the offender to account in a way that is meaningful and influences real change in their lives.”


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