Restorative justice examined in Māori Television documentary

This idea is explored in RESTORING HOPE: AN INDIGENOUS RESPONSE TO JUSTICE, a powerful new documentary to screen on Māori Television on Sunday, April 14 at 8.30pm.

Inspiring and thought-provoking, the documentary follows five emotional and often polarising criminal cases to examine the Restorative Justice model practised by facilitator Mike Hinton at Ngā Whare Waatea Marae in Manukau.

Restorative justice brings victims, offenders and their whanau together to sit down and discuss the crime committed and the effect it has had on everyone involved. 

Offenders are given the opportunity to express remorse, pay any reparation, apologise, or offer alternative compensation for the pain they’ve caused, and families of victims and offenders have the chance to talk about the hurt they have suffered from the crime.

RESTORING HOPE: AN INDIGENOUS RESPONSE TO JUSTICE follows Mike, the Manukau Urban Maori Authority restorative justice facilitator, in his work with victims, offenders and their whanau and goes inside the conferences in which they come face-to-face.

From grievous bodily harm to aggravated robbery to a heart-breaking fatal hit-and-run, RESTORING HOPE: AN INDIGENOUS RESPONSE TO JUSTICE provides an exclusive opportunity to witness the restorative justice process as it happens.

Producer Julia Parnell, of Auckland-based Notable Pictures, says viewers are exposed to real situations in their communities.

“We want to encourage people to look beyond what is on the surface and reconsider their first impressions or preconceived ideas about crime and punishment.” 

With our prisons full to overflowing and rates of re-offending more than 50 per cent within two years, could restorative justice be the answer to stemming the tide of Māori recidivism? Or does it offer criminals an opportunity for forgiveness they don’t deserve?

A commanding contribution to the punitive-v-non-punitive justice debate, RESTORING HOPE: AN INDIGENOUS RESPONSE TO JUSTICE challenges viewers to re-evaluate what ideas like community, humanity and compassion really mean.

RESTORING HOPE: AN INDIGENOUS RESPONSE TO JUSTICE premieres on Māori Television on April 14 at 8.30pm.