Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Gains in Criminal Justice Sector Leave Māori Behind


14 February 2013
For immediate release

State of the Nation: Gains in Criminal Justice Sector Leave Māori Behind

The Salvation Army’s report on the current state of New Zealand’s social policy, ‘She’ll be Right – A State of the Nation Report’, suggests that gains in the criminal justice sector continue to leave Māori behind.

While the report includes some positive findings such as declining rates of crime, imprisonment, and recidivism, it also shows significant disparity between Māori and non-Māori in criminal justice statistics, that our prison population is 11 percent higher than five years ago, and poor performance in traditional risk factors for criminal activity such as child poverty, education, housing, and unemployment.

JustSpeak is particularly concerned with the disparity between Māori and non-Māori in criminal justice statistics. The Report found that “not only were Māori youth aged 14 to 16 years three times more likely than non-Māori youth to be apprehended for a criminal offence, but they were also more likely to be prosecuted by the Police for their offending … not only has this trend continued during 2011/12 but it may be getting worse.” This is coupled with the disproportionate incarceration of Māori in New Zealand prisons.

However, importantly, this report also draws our attention to the corresponding disparity between Māori and non-Māori in terms of access to early childhood education, rates of unemployment and other measures of social inequality.

JustSpeak released a paper last year demanding that this disparity be addressed with some urgency, innovation and yet with a long-term commitment to meaningful change in the way Māori experience the criminal justice system.

While the Salvation Army’s Report states that the positive findings reflect a shift away from a wholly punitive ‘tough on crime’ approach in the political climate and public discourse, if gains in policing, justice, sentencing and corrections policy are to be maintained it is clear that we need to address the disparity experienced by many New Zealanders.

The reported declining rates of teen pregnancy are positive in terms of sustainably reducing offending because maternal age and education are significant offending risk factors. However, the fact is that 20 per cent of New Zealand children experience poverty, violence against children has increased by 11 per cent, and there remain significant issues in terms of housing, unemployment, and alcohol — and each of these things are barriers to sustainably reducing offending.

Increased use of community-based sentences and a shift away from incarceration toward rehabilitation and reintegration should be encouraged. The Report points to the significant under-reporting of crime, which may reflect the fact that much crime occurs within families and communities, or in circumstances where the current criminal justice system does not provide meaningful resolution. JustSpeak believes this highlights a need for greater use of alternative justice processes, such as restorative justice conferences and drug courts.

Though the Salvation Army’s report shows promising changes to offending and incarceration statistics, policing and sentencing practices, and in public attitudes towards criminal justice, the disparity between Māori and non-Māori undermines New Zealanders’ highly-prized sense of fairness. Until we address wider social deprivation we cannot hope to achieve sustainable reductions in offending in Aotearoa.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greens: Russel Norman To Stand Down As Co-Leader

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party’s Annual General Meeting in May. Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM.

“After nearly a decade as Co-leader, now is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family” said Dr Norman.

“This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change. Now is a good time for new leadership for the Party. My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point… More>>

ALSO:

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news