Greens welcome whānau centred initiatives for Prisons

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

Today the Government announced a new whānau-centred Māori pathways programme in the Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison.

“We know Māori are over-represented in our correction system, and with little support they often struggle to adjust once they have finished their sentences. We welcome the Government’s new whānau-centred kaupapa which provides support through Mātauranga and Tikanga Māori” says the Green Party’s Māori Development spokesperson Dr Elizabeth Kerekere.

“It is long overdue that our people have access to initiatives that will provide employment, healing of wairua and hinengaro as well as iwi-led organisations taking the lead in welcoming whānau back into their communities.

“I agree with the Minister that things must be done differently across all aspects of a racist system that consistently profiles Māori. It is a high priority for the Green Party that the Government honours Te Tiriti o Waitangi when restructuring its agencies.”

The Green Party’s spokesperson for corrections Golriz Ghahraman MP commented, “While this is a positive step, it is time our Government acknowledged that imprisonment has demonstratively failed to keep our communities safe or rehabilitate anyone.”

“We must have the courage to look beyond this abusive, failed system, and invest in solutions beyond imprisonment. Instead of the billions we pour into our overcrowded prisons, we must invest in solutions like mental health services, addiction support, inclusive education, meaningful work and housing – in partnership with Māori.”

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