Weaving a Māori pathway through the Justice System

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu – the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency for the South Island – welcomes the announcement of $98 million to be invested in initiatives aimed to reduce Māori recidivism rates.

A pre-budget event at Ngāwha Prison today was attended by key agencies and showed that a collaborative effort to co-design a holistic Māori pathway is on the horizon.  

The Whānau Ora agency has made a special acknowledgment to  Minister Davis for his courage in opening up the gates that will ultimately give Māori a voice and a chance to make real change.

Chief Executive of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, Helen Leahy said “We are so pleased to see the strong recognition from Ministers Davis and Henare in their announcement today and the foresight that a more holistic approach should span from inside prison walls to the heartland of our homes”.

“We congratulate Minister Henare on his resounding endorsement of the Whānau Ora approach and his success in normalising the concept of whānau transformation across arguably one of the most entrenched institutions of state control.

“With the enormous impact of the findings of the Whānau Ora Review behind him the Minister has been able to demonstrate that government has to change”.

His words this afternoon were powerful; this is not about putting Whānau Ora into prisons; this is about inviting - indeed urging Corrections to take up the transformative potential of a Whānau Ora approach. When a whānau member does time the whole family does that lag with them.

Ms Leahy says, “Today’s announcement makes it clear - we will never dismantle the shackles of incarceration until we willingly, positively and constructively work with the whānau to make change happen”.

 “The symbolic intent of today’s announcement is profound.  We in Te Waipounamu will start tomorrow to construct the case that enables all our whanau to benefit from the change envisaged with Paiheretia te muka tangata. Influenced and guided by the nine iwi of the South Island we’re in a position to begin the discussion on how we can co-design a way forward”.