Inmates punished for performing haka

By Heeni Brown

Māori inmates have allegedly been punished for performing a haka in a South Auckland prison.

Labour Spokesperson for Corrections Kelvin Davis was tipped off by an anonymous email informing him that eight Māori prisoners were removed from ‘Self Care’ for two months. This followed the performance of a farewell haka to one of their Kapa Haka leaders who was being released from the Auckland South Corrections Facility.

The email states, “We had asked for permission from an officer and was given the ok. But after bringing attention after giving our bro a haka, we were charged for being in the house and not complying with prison rules which is bs.”

Since his time as Corrections spokesperson, Kelvin Davis says he’s been given a number of anonymous tips from prison and none of the allegations he’s been given have been proven wrong.

He says, “They should be encouraging prisoners to connect with their culture and people should never be punished for practicing their culture, it’s denying who they are.”

Te Kāea has contacted the Ministry of Corrections and are awaiting a response to the matter.

“They took the precaution and were respectful and despite doing everything right it’s no wonder that Maori prisoners rebel against the system,” Davis adds

Te Kāea reporter Heeni Brown will have more on this tonight at 5:30pm.