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Ed Sheeran

Justice system change not for middle NZ

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A member of the Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group says reform of the justice system can't be about appeasing middle New Zealand.

Lawyer Julia Whaipooti has welcomed the Ināia Tonu Nei report of the proceedings of April's national Māori justice hui which calls for the reform process to be a partnership between Māori and the crown.

She says middle New Zealand and groups pushing for tougher sentences have dominated the debate around justice, but it's Māori who are most affected by the criminal justice system.

"We can't cater for that middle New Zealand any more. To do so is to accept that Māori belong in prison, to accept that Māori belong as victims of crime. There is a clear call for change. There are clear steps as to how change can be made in practical ways for ministries of everything, because the truth is the failure in our justice system is a multi-billion dollar industry," Ms Whaipooti says.

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