Report from Hui Māori: Ināia Tonu Nei - criminal justice reform

Tue 06 Aug 2019

A report summarising the discussion and kōrero from Hui Māori: Ināia Tonu Nei has been released. The Hui Māori was held in April 2019 in ...

A report summarising the discussion and kōrero from Hui Māori: Ināia Tonu Nei has been released.

The Hui Māori was held in April 2019 in response to calls for more Māori involvement in the Government's work on criminal justice reform. 

The report Ināia Tonu Nei – The Time is Now: We Lead, You Follow (2019) states it "... captures the raw voice of what the people said at the Hui Māori, and it attempts to let their voices be heard. This report is uncensored and should be read with an open heart and mind."

The executive summary states:

"Three main recommendations arose from the kōrero at the Hui Māori. These cover constitutional reform, a call for a plan to accelerate and understand the change needed, and to establish a Mana Ōrite model of partnership. Further, various other themes were identified within the recommendations relating to building or improving leadership capability, workforce development, legislative and policy settings, working together and service delivery. To enable these recommendations to happen, the message from those who attended the Hui Māori was clear: Māori must lead now, Ināia Tonu Nei."

The report summarises discussion on each of the following themes:

  • Te Ao Māori and justice
  • Journey of Māori and the reform of the justice system
  • The Crown and delivering a justice system for Māori
  • Power sharing
  • Māori-led responses
  • Wellbeing and development of our tamariki and mokopuna
  • Abolishment of prisons.

The report acknowledges the generations of work by Māori to explain a Te Ao Māori view on justice reform, and is intended to sit alongside ongoing research and work. The report lists recommendations that reflect some of the kōrero and calls made by participants at the Hui, while noting the recommendations aren't exhaustive.

The recommendations start by outlining an overarching approach:

"Develop and implement a comprehensive approach to reform Aotearoa’s justice system based on abolishing prisons by 2040. This approach must be underpinned by, inclusive of and encompass the following points.

    • Inclusion of Te Ao Māori, tikanga Māori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
    • Mana Ōrite model of partnership to be established and nurtured between Māori and all Crown agencies and departments.
    • All legislation and policy settings in Aotearoa to reflect Te Ao Māori, Tikanga Māori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
    • High-trust relationships must be established and nurtured between Māori and all Crown agencies and departments. 
    • The Crown must take responsibility for colonisation and stop all ongoing effects of colonisation.
    • Prisons are abolished in New Zealand.
    • Oranga Tamariki is disestablished.
    • Lived experience must influence policy and legislative developments. 
    • The justice system must reflect the true intentions of Puao-te-ata-tu.
    • The justice system must reflect the true intentions of He Whaipaanga Hou."
Additional recommendations include:
    • A constitutional reform to take place to entrench Te Tiriti o Waitangi. A work programme to be developed to support this work.
    • Justice and social sectors to establish a Mana Ōrite model of partnership that puts in place Māori at all levels of decision-making.
    • Review all legislation relating to the justice and state sectors and ensure it reflects Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Immediate review of the Sentencing Act 2002, Bail Act 2000, Criminal Procedure Act 2011 and all legislation relating to care and protection. 
    • Increase legal aid funding to whānau, hapū and iwi, to ensure greater access to justice. 
    • Make Te Tiriti o Waitangi and New Zealand history compulsory for primary and secondary education.
    • Review section 27 of the Sentencing Act 2002, to allow judges to direct cultural reports, to increase their use. In addition, the Ministry of Justice must fund these cultural reports.
    • More Māori judges to be appointed across all courts and tribunals of Aotearoa. 
    • Devolve services from Oranga Tamariki to whānau, hapū and iwi to provide care and protection services with and for whānau in their own communities. 
    • Justice and social sector agencies to develop, in conjunction with Māori, regionally based advocacy units. 
    • Undertake a kaupapa-Māori-based evaluation of the current therapeutic and specialist courts across Aotearoa to distil key learnings and principles from these models. Develop and implement a plan to apply these learnings and principles to the mainstream court process (ie, normalise these approaches). This includes: establishing more therapeutic and specialist courts, where appropriate (ie, Matariki, rangatahi, sexual violence, alcohol and other drug treatment, and family violence courts). 
    • Reform the Family Court, with the first step being to establish a tikanga Māori pilot for the Family Court. 
    • Establish more Te Pae Oranga, iwi and community panels and increase the tariff to enable more cases to be heard. 
    • Fund Māori non-governmental organisations and provide extensive support to organisations to develop capability and capacity in their own communities.
    • Invest well in, build and drive a rapid upskill and increase of Māori capacity and capability within the justice and social sectors. 
    • Invest in Kaupapa Māori Legal Units within each Community Law Centre, to support access to justice in Māori communities. 
    • Invest in rangatahi-led initiatives, to improve capability and capacity building of the future of Aotearoa. 
    • Whānau Ora navigators to be established for the justice sector working with the social sector.
    • Increase the pool and use of lay advocates, and their remuneration, to reflect their requisite skills and experience, and put in place a workforce strategy to attract and retain high calibre lay advocates.
    • Develop and invest in regionally focused service models within the justice and social sectors, to ensure models reflect the needs of each region. 

Māori Hui spokesperson Tā Mark Solomon said:

"Māori have the knowledge, the relationships, the experience and capability to lead reform of the justice system. We are calling on the Crown to join with Māori, build on the great initiatives that are already providing hope and better outcomes in our communities, and design a system that is fit for purpose in modern Aotearoa, New Zealand. We can, and must, grasp this opportunity together to build a justice system that is safer and more effective for all New Zealanders. Ināia tonu nei, the time is now."

The report is available in Te Reo Māori, English and accessible formats for both languages.

This report sits alongside the first report on criminal justice reform from Te Uepū Advisory Group, He Waka Roimata (A Vessel of Tears) (2019) which includes feedback from the Hui Māori: Ināia Tonu Nei and the Strengthening the Criminal Justice System for Victims workshop.

The report notes that a follow up Hui Māori will be held within 1000 days of the release of the report to monitor the progress of the Crown and the justice reform work.


For more background information about the reform work see the Hāpaitia te Oranga Tangata Safe and Effective Justice website and our previous stories:

Justice reform survey open for victims/survivors of crime 

Criminal Justice Advisory Group public meetings; related research and reports

Summit and new advisory group to focus on criminal justice reform

Related media

Strategy launched to break the cycle of Māori reoffending and imprisonment, Beehive press release, 19.08.2019

Speech: Launch event for Hōkai Rangi, Beehive press release, 19.08.2019

Māori leadership of prison reform strategy essential, Waatea News, 19.08.2019

Hōkai Rangi: The plan to reduce Māori in prison from 52 percent to 16, RNZ, 19.08.2019

New Corrections Māori strategy: Prison should not traumatise inmates more than loss of liberty, NZ Herald, 19.08.2019

Hope Māori-focused Corrections plan will deliver for families, Newshub, 19.08.2019

Justice system change not for middle NZ, Waatea News, 25.07.2019

We lead, you follow message for justice reform, Waatea News, 25.07.2019

Māori resolute in calls for total justice reform, Newsroom, 25.07.2019

Māori lawyer supports report's call for major justice system reform, RNZ, 25.07.2019

Hui Māori report released, Beehive Press Release, 24.07.2019

Community Law Ready To Implement Kaupapa Maori Plan, Press Release: Community Law Centres Aotearoa, Scoop, 24.07.2019

Scrapping prisons and Oranga Tamariki part of report released today, Rotorua Daily Post - NZ Herald, 24.07.2019

Image: Sandy Millar on Unsplash

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