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Korotangi Paki – The Shame is Punishment Enough

Korotangi Paki – The Shame is Punishment Enough says Rethinking


The public discussion surrounding the discharge without conviction of Korotangi Paki, son of King Tuheitia is missing an important point, says Kim Workman, in Rethinking’s latest blog, .Korotangi Paki – ‘Waiho mā te whakamā e patu – ‘Let Shame Be Your Punishment’ athttp://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/07/korotangi-paki-waiho-ma-te-whakama-e.html”One of the things that distinguish this case from most others, is the devastating impact of shame and disrepute his actions have brought on King Tuheitia, Kingitanga and Tainui.”

“The research on the impact of public shaming is pretty clear. What it tells us is that for the most part, public shaming has the opposite effect to that intended, especially when it is applied to the marginalised and powerless within our community. At that level, public shaming amounts to no more than stigmatisation, and the end result is that offenders feel less ashamed, and more comfortable in their role as one of society’s ‘outsiders’. For low level marginalised offenders, widespread television and media coverage only serves to further stigmatise and increase the likelihood of future reoffending.”


The exceptions to the rule are people who live in tribal societies, white collar criminals and respectable law abiding citizens who fall by the wayside once, and have the resources and resilience to clamber their way back into society.

One of the significant differences in this case, is that Korotangi is a member of a closely integrated tribal society. If you are looking for an example of a highly tribalised community, Tainui and the Kingitangi movement has it all. Its structural roots, values and approaches to social order are embedded in the 1860’s.

That of course, doesn’t make it easy for Korotangi – the road to redemption will be much more difficult and tricky. His shame is not a personal thing - it is at this moment, a topic of discussion within the 65 Tainui marae, all of which will have their views on the matter. His acceptance back into that tribal community will be a long and difficult path, and he will have to prove himself in order to restore dignity and respect to his father and whānau. In those circumstances, shame is the punishment. Nothing else the Court can do will equal the severity of his sentence.

Rethinking’s blog goes on to discuss the history of public shaming in New Zealand, and the impact of stigmatisation on offender reintegration. It recommends that the government’s Reducing Crime and Reoffending strategy should include a strategy to reduce the impact of public shaming and stigmatising of offenders, in order to reduce the crime and reoffending rate.

Blog Link: http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/07/korotangi-paki-waiho-ma-te-whakama-e.html


ends

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