Justice Policy

The Māori Party will:

  • Dismantle institutional racism within the Justice System as a matter of urgent priority
    • Place a moratorium on the building of new prisons and expand the provision of Whare Oranga Ake and Māori Focus Units in existing prisons
    • Reduce the rate of Māori over-imprisonment by 30% by 2027
    • Reduce the prison muster by 25% by 2025
      • Provide racial bias training for all those who work in the criminal justice system
      • Establish an independent group to oversee Māori strategy in accordance with Te Tiriti o Waitangi
      • Implement, prioritise and expand restorative justice processes through a kaupapa Māori lens
      • Support other culturally relevant approaches to prison and crime rates that address violence in all its forms, reoffending and recidivism and create a community-led fund for initiatives that focus on prevention of social harm
      • Review protocols around police use of pepper spray, guns and tasers

Legislative changes

  • Repeal legislation that disproportionately impacts Māori to reduce the targeted criminalisation of Māori and introduce restorative measures that ensure mana ōrite is upheld
  • Establish an Anti-Corruption Commission to absorb the investigative functions of state sector agencies
  • Disestablish the Independent Police Conduct Authority and transfer its functions to the Anti-Corruption Commission
  • Repeal the Bail Amendment Act 2013 to reduce the level of Māori imprisonment
  • Repeal the Sentencing and Parole Reform Act 2010 three strikes legislation
  • Repeal the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Act to ensure every person in Aotearoa is able to exercise their democratic right to vote
  • Repeal the Three Strikes Legislation, Sentencing and Parole, and Victims Rights Acts
  • Remove criminal penalties for the possession and personal use of certain illicit drugs 
  • Review sentencing laws to restrict prison to an option of last resort

Access to justice

  • Review funding of Community Law Centres to enable community legal services to be sustainable and to improve access to legal information, expertise and knowledge
    • Introduce Whānau Facilitators to ensure whānau are informed and able to discuss all their choices and the consequences (legal and non-legal) in the family court system
    • Require Whānau Facilitators work closely with iwi and hapū within the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies
    • Empower communities to reduce social harm and criminalisation by introducing a suite of housing and hauora policies and initiatives that support community led, whānau centred approaches
    • Adapt and expand specialist courts to align with evidence – mental health, homelessness, AODT
    • Increase funding and resources to support Marae-based youth court and restorative justice programmes, including iwi panels in line with evaluation recommendations
    • Advance community led restorative justice approaches to crime
    • Re-direct investment to community justice approaches to criminal justice
    • Support sustainable funding of Community Law Centres to improve access to legal information, expertise and knowledge and extend these services to a further six regions
    • Expand iwi panels, Kooti Rangatahi, Kooti Whāna, Matariki Courts across NZ and increase the numbers of specialist courts including the AOD Courts, following an evaluation of the current trials underway in the Drug and Alcohol Treatment courts in Auckland
  • Establish Kooti Māori that encourages kaupapa based approaches to dealing with whenua and whānau
  • Develop a community-centred approach  to criminal justice and introduce a strategy to reinvest putea in community and criminal justice initiatives and approaches
  • Introduce therapeutic-based treatment and courts that invest in long-term reintegration and rehabilitation post-release
  • Provide more funding and resources to support Marae based youth court and restorative justice programmes
  • Support whānau facilitators to work closely with iwi and hapū within the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies

Whare Oranga Ake

  • Extend Whare Oranga Ake to every prison service to support long term reintegration and rehabilitation post-release
  • Create a community-led fund for initiatives that focus on preventing social harm
  • Initiate a Computers in Cells policy to support inmates to achieve literacy and numeracy goals
  • Initiate a review of the entire justice system and align it to tikanga Māori with a focus on removing institutional bias
  • Develop a Māori Pathway for Women Prisoners that are culturally responsive to assist in addressing the disproportionate number of Maori women in prison
  • Reinvest in Te Reo and Tikanga programmes in all prisons and programmes to support prisoners reintegrating back into the community
  • Support iwi-led, kaupapa focused existing prisons to reduce recidivism amongst offenders
  • Invest in more adequate social and community housing for offenders with links to access to appropriate community mental health services and support
  • Provide community led alternatives to secure youth residences
  • Provide funding to run te reo Māori and tikanga programmes in all prisons and programmes to support prisoners reintegrating back into the community
    • Expand the Passports to Life initiative to all paroled offenders and prisoners on probation to support them to get a driver’s licence, identification, bank account or curriculum vitae

Family Violence

  • Increase funding for abuse survivors to immediately access specialist services, treatment and support
  • Provide lifelong, free access to therapeutic based support for victims and their families
    • Establish 120 new navigator positions under this kaupapa to extend Tu Pono: Te Mana Kaha o Te Whānau the Whānau Ora Facilitator approach that enables whānau to eliminate violence from within their lives
    • Educate children and young people about what child abuse and domestic violence is and how to protect themselves
    • Address the urgent need for a greater investment by government in whanau restoration programmes that address sexual violence and ‘whole of whanau’ initiatives to ensure the active participation and engagement of all whānau members.
    • Increase facilities and resources for families to help those at risk free themselves from sexual violence
      • Invest in frontline services such as Women’s Refuges throughout Aotearoa to enable them to address the huge numbers of police callouts, to restore safety and wellbeing while still maintaining zero tolerance for violence
      • Enable sustainable funding for specialist services to continue to provide information, first response and long-term support and treatment for those affected by sexual violence
      • Advocate for a much greater commitment from ACC into responding to the deep impacts of sexual and domestic violence.
      • Introduce a direct resourcing pathway that expands E Tū Whānau and the Pasifika Proud campaigns
      • Extend the reach and access of Facilitators in the Family Court to support whānau navigating their way through the Family Court system
      • Continue to support the, Achieving Intergenerational Change strategy introduced by former Co-Leader, Hon Tariana Turia.