‘Mahuru’ a new Māori initiative to support offenders in Ngāpuhi
Mahuru is an initiative with a Māori approach to support young offenders in Northland that hopes to enhance their Māori identity within tribal boundaries of the Ngāpuhi people.
The initiative is a collaborative effort between Ngāpuhi and Oranga Tamariki for young people in remand.
Youth Minister Peeni Henare says that this is for Māori, by Māori.
“Ko te mea nui kia noho mai ngā tamariki Māori ki roto i ngā kāinga me ngā whānau Māori.
“Koinā te hua papai rawa atu.
“E mōhio ana tāua te Māori mēnā ka tupu pai te tamaiti ki roto i te whānau nā, ka tū, ka toa.”
Oranga Tamariki spokesperson Allan Boreham says they support this wholeheartedly and it’s important for iwi to support their own young people.
“This is the first time we've had an iwi lead community remand service.
“There’s great work going on in our residences but the problem with residences is that they disconnect the young person.
“They cluster the young person with other challenged young people and they start an institutionalised process and we've just got to turn that around.”
Ngāpuhi Iwi Social Services organiser Keryn Bristow says it’s an initiative that connects young Māori to their culture as a deterrent for further offending.
“Ka tutuki mātou i ngā wawata o Ngāpuhi Iwi Social Services, Oranga Tamariki hoki.
“Ka tū pakari ēnei taitamariki kia kore rātou e uru atu ki roto i ngā whareherehere pērā i te tini me te mano o a mātou, [a] Ngāi Māori.”
Bristow also says that if young people participate in this initiative they will stand strong as will Te Whare Tapu o Ngāpuhi [the sacred house of Ngāpuhi].