All four Iwi/Community Panel providers came together today to look at how successful their work was in dealing with Maori and other crimes within Metro Auckland. The Iwi Community Panels known as Te Pae Oranga was launched 4 years ago in partnership with the New Zealand Police. Manukau Urban Maori Authority MUMA was one of the three pilot programmes set up and included a provider in Gisborne and Wellington. Now Auckland metro has four providers delivering this successful service.
Lead panel member Zac Wallace from MUMA said that given Māori made up 51 per cent of the prison population - but just 16 per cent of the overall population – this type of programme funded by the NZ Police will assist keeping Maori and other offenders out of prison.
Te Pae Oranga is working for our people and if it is cut from the Police budget, then this would show how committed this and previous governments are toward reducing Maori incarceration rates.
Mr Wallace was one of the Panel Members from MUMA attending the hui at Orakei Marae.
The most recent panel to get started is Papakura Marae and CEO Tony Kake said that this type of programme will not only reduce the number of people jailed but also provide a huge saving to the criminal justice system. We launch on 19 November 2018 and he believes that anything that reduces the number of referrals to court is a great thing.
Hoani Waititi Marae Manager Shane White said that Hoani Waititi Marae have always delivered panel meetings for offenders who have broken the law and this process works for us by making offenders accountable for their actions and then wrapping support around then to ensure that there is less opportunity of offending to happen again. The reason this works is that it by Maori for Maori and the rest of the community benefits as well.
Meanwhile Panel Member for Orakei Marae, Alex Hawke said that if this is good for Maori then it would be good for all people referred to this Iwi Panel. Orakei have been operating since 15 December 2017 and he has noticed that all ethnicities from throughout Tamaki who have broken the law have been experiencing Te Pae Oranga – Iwi Panels in Auckland Central and the success for our people has been phenomenal.
His message to the NZ Police was “that this programme works and should be part of the Police BAU services”.
It reduces the number of people going through the system by dealing with the low offending matters at a community level.
The estimated cost saving to the NZ tax payer is huge and he looks forward to the results of the evaluation of this service to be released. Don’t change something that is working for Maori and the wider community.