New prison programme to tackle Māori reoffending rates

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Friday, 10 May 2019, 5:26p.m.
Photo / NZ Herald

The government is going to try and bring down the rate of Māori reoffending and attempt to reduce the prison population.

Corrections minister Kelvin Davis has launched an audacious plan to reduce the prison population by targeting $98 million at the hardest inmates who commit the most serious crime.

The plan is aimed at turning from crime mainly Māori men aged under 30 who are serving prison sentences of between two and five years.

Maori council leader Matthew Tukaki told Mike Yardley we have a system which is fundamentally broken.

"It's what starts the offending which worries me. For example, 70 percent of all children in care are Māori, and we all know its a very short step into the adult prison environment. We need to find out what causes the offending in the first place.”

Tukaki says government agencies need to be working closely together and fund the right resources which will make a difference.

"There needs to be greater coordination going on to fix the problem. There is a lot of great stuff happening, but we have a long way to go."