Waikeria siege over; action needs to come for reform
Waikeria siege over; action needs to come for reform - Maori Council calls for action
“The New Zealand Maori Council is extremely pleased that the standoff at Waikeria prison has come to an end without any additional violence or damage” said Matthew Tukaki, Executive Director of the New Zealand Maori Council.
“Of course, there are many questions that need to be asked and answered and that will happen in the coming weeks. That includes an honest and open discussion and action plan on where to from here when it comes to the current state of Justice, Law and Corrections in Aotearoa. But, we also need to put on the table everything we can when dealing with prevention and postvention – in other words doing more as a nation to prevent crime and therefore prevent our people from entering into the criminal justice system and wrap around services and support post release to ensure we bring the numbers down of those returning.” Tukaki said
“That will also mean an honest conversation and action around the aging infrastructure of our system, ensuring there is adequate investment for social and community services support, whether or not the workforce is current fit for purpose and even looking at some of the other big Kaupapa such as the role of gangs and non-criminal and criminal enterprises.” Tukaki said
“If it is one thing that Waikeria has taught us all is that this issue has been bubbling away for some time and we must not lose this chance to take action and resolve it. The less people committing crime, the less people in jail is a symptom of a health society – and that must be our end game.” Tukaki said
“Over the last few days, like many others and organisations, the Council has been in discussions with all parties. It is the work of many and those directly involved that has seen this result today. But let it not be the end result – let it be the beginning of meaningful change and reform.” Tukaki said
Tukaki also indicated that it is more than likely that a full public inquiry into what had happened would need to occur but reiterated that grandstanding from National would not help the situation.