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Ed Sheeran

Nelson tries community justice

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A new panel which brings together justice sector agencies and the community to reduce reoffending has been launched in Nelson.

Te Pae Oranga: iwi community panels have been trialed in South Auckland, Gisborne and Lower Hutt, and are now being rolled out nationally.

Tasman district commander Mike Johnson says the panels can offer alternatives to court action to address lower-level offending.

The panel will consist of respected community members and be facilitated by the Tasman Maori health services provider, Te Piki Oranga.

People facing low-level offences such as shoplifting or disorder which would have a penalty of less than six months in prison could be referred to the panel by police if they fit the criteria and had admitted responsibility for the offence.

As well as making sure the offender was accountable for their actions, they will also attempt to address underlying causes of the behaviours that drove the offending.

This could include anything from access to training or education, budgeting advice, or other interventions that will address the underlying causes of the behaviours and help the individuals to integrate further into their communities.

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