Wednesday June 28, 2017   Last updated 01:45AM

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Vision for kaupapa Maori in prison needed

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Justice reform advocate Kim Workman says there needs to be a dialogue on what a kaupapa Maori prison may look like.

A call from corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis for such a prison drew a cool response from other politicians and from lobby group No Pride In Prisons, which argued for finding an alternative to prisons.

Mr Workman, who last week was awarded an honorary doctorate by Massey University, says there are examples around the world where society has a different attitude to prisons, such as in Japan where forgiveness and remorse are considered important.

"If we were to develop something that reflected Maori culture in terms of promoting a balance in the community which is about kaupapa Maori looks to deal with those sorts of issues in a restorative way involving the whole whanau the community and so on, and prisons could become the place where a lot of that stuff happens," he says.

Mr Workman says attempts to reform prisons must overcome the deep opposition in New Zealand to any initiative that would allow Maori to exercise tino rangatiratanga.



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