Topic: Crime

Ngāti Porou take action to prevent iwi members from heading to prison

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Ngāti Porou is serious about reducing the number of their people who are heading to prison as iwi statistics show it has one of the highest groups of Māori offenders.

It's taking a hands-on approach by working closely with Police, with the roll-out of a community justice panel being piloted in its area.

Police from all across the country have come to support Ngāti Porou and discuss how initiatives being run in Ngāti Porou to help its people can be adopted by other iwi throughout the country.

One achievement reached by Ngāti Porou is the establishment of police officer Juanita Timtutimu, the only full-time police officer to be based in a Māori rūnanga nationwide.

Another initiative that has been launched, so that less Māori are going to prison, is the iwi justice panels, an initiative between Justice Departments, Corrections and Police.  With three new pilots launched in August in Waiwhetū, Ngāti Porou and Counties-Manukau.

The community justice panels will aim to reduce the amount of Māori being prosecuted for lower grade crimes and will help rehabilitate them to prevent them from re-offending.  Each pilot is 12 months long and if successful could see the adoption of more policemen in rūnanga.

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