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Ed Sheeran

Iwi need to lead justice reform

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A south Taranaki iwi leader says iwi and Māori need to drive the next stage of criminal justice system reform to ensure the outcome addresses Māori needs.

Ngāti Ruanui kaiarataki Debbie Ngarewa Packer says the public response to He Waka Roimata, the first report of the Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group, shows large sections of the public have little contact with the justice system.

At the same time most whānau Māori would have first hand experience and understand the system is in crisis, with more than half the prison muster being Māori.

She says a third of Māori are struggling, and they're the ones who most caught up in the machinery of government.

"What we need to do is wrap around and move them out of the government machinery, make it about where we are and where our self determination is best positioned, and move them further away because a third of Māori are doing good, we don't ever talk about that, but a third of our population are doing really good. They're the least engaged with the crown so hello," Ms Ngarewa Packer says.

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