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Corrections Ministers hail Tuwharetoa agreement

18 February 2005

Corrections Ministers hail Tuwharetoa agreement

A major North Island iwi will sign an historic agreement with the government today to formalise a working relationship between the Department of Corrections and Ngati Tuwharetoa.

Corrections and Associate Corrections Ministers Paul Swain and Mita Ririnui said that the agreement sets out the way in which both parties will consult over issues of mutual interest, including lowering reoffending rates, improving reintegration of offenders and ensuring the concerns of the local community are recognised. The Department has a number of facilities and services in the Taupo/Turangi area that fall within the traditional rohe of Ngati Tuwharetoa

Mita Ririnui said he wanted the agreement to be the first of many with iwi throughout New Zealand.

"Whanau, hapu, iwi and the wider Maori community are a powerful force for positive change in the corrections system and for those who are served by the system.”

“In addition, this agreement recognises the cultural and spiritual links Ngati Tuwharetoa has with the land on which the prison is located.”

"Maori comprise more than 50 per cent of the prison population. We want to address this overrepresentation and agreements such as this one with Ngati Tuwharetoa can only assist in achieving this goal."

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia and Taupo MP Mark Burton will also attend the signing ceremony in Taupo today.

ENDS

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