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Govt must address racial discrimination in justice system

4 March 2013

Govt must address racial discrimination in justice system

The release of a report by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination means that the Government can no longer ignore the overrepresentation of Māori and Pasifika communities in the New Zealand justice system, the Green Party said today.

“Successive Governments have long been in denial about the institutional bias against Māori and Pasifika people at all stages of our criminal justice system,” said Green Party justice spokesperson David Clendon.

“Many of the solutions are obvious, including proper drug and alcohol treatment, investment in mental health services and practical support to aid reintegration post-release. What is required now is Government commitment to resourcing these properly.

“Māori have incarceration rates more than three times that in the general population, and at least part of that is due to racial bias in arrest rates and other stages in the justice system.

“New Zealand should be embarrassed by these statistics and must act immediately to address them,” Mr Clendon said.

ends

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