The Government announced a new strategy today intended to break the cycle of Māori reoffending and imprisonment.
The announcement comes after this year’s Wellbeing Budget announcement in May, during which the Government allocated $98 million to change the way the Department of Corrections operates in regards to Māori reoffending and imprisonment.
Incorporating a Te Ao Māori worldview and greater connectedness with whānau are key elements of Hōkai Rangi.
Hōkai Rangi was launched this morning at an event in Parliament by Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis, who said it will underpin major transformational change within corrections.
"The over-representation of Māori in our prisons is devastating to whānau, hapū, and iwi," Mr Davis said in a statement.
"Our corrections system has not worked for the majority of Māori. We've all seen the statistics and they are so enduring that the reality that over half of our prison population is Māori has just become a normal fact of life.
"The status quo is no longer acceptable. Hōkai Rangi is a bold and long overdue strategy which ultimately aims to lower the proportion of Māori in corrections care to match the Māori share of the general population.
"Right now, we are prioritising the delivery of a deputy chief executive – Māori, a new role to ensure a dedicated Māori voice at the top table.
"We are actively partnering with iwi. Wherever there is a prison, my expectation is there will be a strong partnership with mana whenua.
"But perhaps the biggest change Hōkai Rangi brings is the idea that we are now going to treat the person - and not just their crime."