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Ināia Tonu Nei - Now is the Time for justice transformation

Wednesday 24 July

JustSpeak is calling on Govermnent leaders and decision makers to honour the calls from a Māori justice hui and begin urgent work to enable Māori to lead the way on justice reform.

Today's report from the hui Māori in April 2019, Ināia Tonu Nei, summarises the kōrero from the 200 representatives at the hui and sets out a clear timeframe and agenda for transformational change of our justice system.

JustSpeak director Tania Sawicki Mead says that the calls for constitutional reform, devolution of power and resources by the Crown to Māori, and an acceleration of change have been made by Māori for decades, and action is well overdue.

“Māori perspectives on our justice system have been sidelined for too long, and this report makes crystal clear that work needs to start now to decolonise our justice system and allow Māori to lead the way” she says.

Discussions at the hui echo the findings of the recent report 'He Waka Roimata' from the Justice Advisory Group, which showed that thousands of people across Aotearoa feel that our justice system does not facilitate healing, restoration or prevention of harm.

"The call from the hui is crystal clear: there is urgent work that needs to take place to ensure our justice system is fit for purpose and that Māori leadership is given priority.

"Ināia Tonu Nei has a firm timeframe and agenda for change; starting this year by establishing true partnership with Māori and investing in alternative processes that would actually help us to reduce harm in our communities and help whānau to flourish.

"Legislative reform needs to be at the top of the Government's agenda if they want to reach their goal of reducing the Māori prison population and uplifting and supporting Māori whānau. Of particular priority are the Sentencing and Bail Acts of 2002 and the Criminal Procedure Act 2011.

"Hui participants made it clear that prisons have and continue to fail Māori, and that community based alternatives that help to heal harm and provide accountability need to take priority.

"JustSpeak supports the goals of Ināia Tonu Nei as a blueprint for transformational change in our justice system by 2040 that would benefit everyone in Aotearoa.

"We need Government and other decision makers to be courageous and act now so that generations to come will be protected and supported by a justice system that is effective, compassionate and grounded in Te Tiriti O Waitangi" said Ms Sawicki Mead.


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