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The Treaty of Waitangi settlements process is restorative justice in action says M?ori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples.
Speaking at the launch of JustSpeak’s paper on M?ori and the Criminal Justice System, he recalled the recent settlement of five Treaty of Waitangi claims.
“The victims were the families of Ng?ti Maniapoto, Ng?ti Pahauwera, Ng?ti Porou, Ng?ti Whare, Ng?ti Manawa. Tribes and families who, on the 29 March 2012, forgave years and generations of offending,” said Dr Sharples.
“The intergenerational offender who apologised unreservedly, and agreed to work alongside their victims into the future, was of course the Crown.”
Dr Sharples congratulated JustSpeak on their thought provoking position paper, as well as the justice work they were carrying out in communities via forums and online communities.
“If young people are perceived to be part of the problem – then they must also be part of the solution. If M?ori are perceived to be part of the problem - then we must be part of the solution too.”
Dr Sharples said the Whare Oranga Ake programme being run by two New Zealand prisons is a kaupapa Maori response to crime and punishment.
“Maori philosophies and the strength of Maori communities, providing solutions for M?ori problems. Whare Oranga Ake challenge prisoners, wh?nau and communities to break the cycle of reoffending,” he said.
“As with Wh?nau Ora – if you want to take control of your future, the first thing you must do is take responsibility for it.”