NZ Herald on Maori prison unit

April 17th, 2009 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

While Labour is attacking it, the NZ Herald welcomes the Sharples proposal:

As Dr Sharples envisages it, a 60-bed unit would be established in an urban centre close to educational services and jobs. The inmates would earn places by learning to speak Maori and prove their good intentions by becoming literate and working for charitable or community projects.

Though locked in at night they would be more like flatmates than inmates, sharing facilities, learning to live together, associating with their families, the community and their victims. All going well they could be released after four months.

It sounds more like a pre-release hostel than a prison and the cultural element might be no more intensive than the Maori focus units already operating inside five prisons. They were set up with Dr Sharples’ help 11 years ago and their inmates have recorded a reoffending rate about 7 per cent lower than the general prison rate. Since the units probably attract the better-motivated inmates, the improvement does not seem startling.

Clayton Cosgrove has outraegously scaremongered that this is some sort of seperate prison that Maori would get sentenced to. As the Herald points out it would merely be a specialist unit for suitable prisoners nearing release. A number of prisons already have pre-release units where prisoners flat together and learn some living skills.

A stand-alone unit may be a long way from adoption and National may remain sceptical of its worth. But it owes the Maori Party a concession, especially after ruling out Maori electorates for Auckland’s proposed Super City.

Actually I think the quid pro quo for no Maori seats will be signing the UN declaration on Indiginous Rights.

The criminal unit sounds better than building another prison and probably cheaper. As Dr Sharples has said, at $80,000 a year to accommodate someone in prison it would be cheaper to put them in a hotel. The unit will sound too much like a motel for many. But it would be run by a Maori committee involving local iwi or hapu. It is the sort of initiative that can enhance the autonomy and mana of many besides the inmates concerned.

Like Judith Collins, I am pragmatic on this. Will it reduce Maori reoffending, and lead to less victims of crime? If so, then worth supporting. Just like specialist units deal with sex offenders – the final stage rehabiliation before release should be targeted as there is no one cure all method of rehabilitation.

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24 Responses to “NZ Herald on Maori prison unit”

  1. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Why not turn over all the existing prisons to maori, build a new one for non maori – it wouldn’t need to be very big.

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  2. dad4justice (8,313 comments) says:

    Jack, I foolishly thought maori gangs already run our jails? Silly me!

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  3. big bruv (14,156 comments) says:

    Reasons to agree.

    1. We have just about tried everything else, why not give this a crack.
    2. We already have separate justice systems so why not a Maori only one.
    3. If it does not work then we can tell the left to fuck off when they next suggest an “apartheid solution”.

    Reasons to disagree.

    1. “quid pro quo for no Maori seats will be signing the UN declaration on Indigenous Rights”
    2. The rights of Kiwi’s being “traded” away just so Neville Key can stay on side with the racist Maori party.

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  4. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Nope. Its separatism.

    Too much is excused on the grounds of “Maoridom”.

    Far past the time so called Maori stepped up to the plate and agreed to be treated like everyone else.

    As for the opinion of the Herald Editor, nothing pisses me off more than this pseudo liberal crap. Its because people who think the way he thinks have held sway for so long that we’re in this state.

    Thanks but no thanks. If there’s on thing I don’t need its advice from incompetent media liberals who can’t even run their own newspapers at a decent profit.

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  5. dime (10,113 comments) says:

    anyone here jeremy wells on ZB this morning?

    “so white guys go to jail and maoris get to go flatting”

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  6. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Given the high number of Maori residing in Australia it would be reasonable to asume they too would need such special treatment… but they don’t.

    Could this be that the better part has left and what remains is tends more towards the shallow end of the pool?

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  7. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “National may remain sceptical of its worth. But it owes the Maori Party a concession, especially after ruling out Maori electorates for Auckland’s proposed Super City.”

    What disgusting racist crap.

    National does not owe the Maori Party, who only received the vote of one Maori in ten, anything.

    It owes the NZ people good governance.

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  8. Inventory2 (10,434 comments) says:

    I agree with the Herald’s sentiments DPF – the reoffending rate for Maori is abysmal, and if this can be proved to have a good chance of success, it should be tyrialled at least. Anything is preferable to doing nothing.

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2009/04/herald-on-maori-prisons.html

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  9. choei (2 comments) says:

    As long as democracy has an inherently racist, apartheid, element, the Maori Seats, behavior of polititians will continue to be racist as a result.

    As a Winston Churchill said of the new design of Parliaments debating chamber “we shape our institutions, then they shape us”.

    This will not be good for Maori, it will make everyone else resent them and may even move victims of crimes to revenge against Maori if they feel there has been no justice (which will push crime stats back up).

    It doesn’t matter if it’s a “wee” change, a virus is small.

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  10. Brian Smaller (4,026 comments) says:

    Sorry Red, but as long as this is a pre-release thing I think it is worth a go. Prisoners already have pre-release programs to get them ready for integration back into society. Will it work? For some maybe – a taste of normal life. For most I suspect it will be as successful as all the courses Graeme Burton did before he got parole.

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  11. goodgod (1,348 comments) says:

    Unless it can be proven that maori are a different species to humans with lighter coloured skin, we should stop kidding ourselves and just install a single justice/correctional system.

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  12. MajorBloodnok (361 comments) says:

    Before anyone encourages NZ to sign the UN Declaration on Indigenous stuff, please read NZ should stay put on UN Indigenous declaration at NZCPR.

    It might look ok today — but it is where it leads later that concerns me.

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  13. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Brian and others that are pro this idea-

    I think a large a part of the whole problem is the idea that there is some special group amongst us that needs special treatment. This is pandering. It is racism. It is counter productive. It is a self perpetuating negative.

    Until this idea is rejected, it is my view that we will not see improvement.

    Those saying that its worth a go because everything else has not worked are wrong. Treating so called Maori the same as everybody else has not been tried ever as far as I know.

    As for the subject idea, I feel it is nothing more than an attempt by Pita Sharples to give his worthless little racist gang some political relevancy. These people, Sharples and Turia and their hangers on, do not represent anyone other than a rag tag group of separatists and a very very small percentage of the NZ electorate. Ninety percent of Maori do not want a bar of them.

    It baffles me why Key ever ceded them any respect and why he granted them the authority of being a part of government.

    So I reject this proposal on the grounds that it adds to the problem rather than helps, and that it is merely a sop to a gang of non representative minority separatists.

    Key and the Nats need to wake up that they’re not here to pander to racists, or the witterings of pseudo liberal ivory tower leftist journalists and New York Times style pseudo liberal editors who mostly vote Labour. (for example the Herald Editorialist) What have Labour ever done but pad the pockets of elitist cronies and / or drive the larger part of Maori further into the desperate chasm of welfarism?

    Key et al are there to represent the people who voted for National. A large number of these were Maori, who chose the Nats over the separatist Maori Party. John Key needs to think about this choice, not the racist rubbish of NZ’s left wing mainstream media, or the squeals of minority racists trying to carve a political niche for themselves at the expense of NZ’s racial and social harmony.

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  14. Robert Black (423 comments) says:

    Do you realize how bad this is going to be for NZ and NZ Maori crime?

    The bros in their holiday camp with Sky TV, smoking joints, drinking beer and listening to Rap music.

    Run by Maori wardens that run ant-white history workshops.

    Whitie looking crims will be arguing they are Maori, then appealing declines, all on Legal aid.

    WTF?

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  15. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    if it doesn’t work the problem will be will be trying to take it back from maori – yeah right, like thats gunna happen without a protest an a few hundred hui

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  16. jackp (668 comments) says:

    When Maori start accepting responsibility for themselves it might work. There doesn’t seem to be that frame of mind. All I see and hear is Maori asking for more handouts, not working for them. They should stand on their own two feet. Stop asking for favors e.g. more representation for maori in the Super City. Why don’t they run for office the way Sharples did. Sorry, but the way things are now it would divide maori and europeans more.

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  17. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    For those readers who might have the impression I’m speaking in support of Clayton Cosgrove here, let me put the record straight.

    Cosgrove is nothing but a knuckle dragging uncivilzed half educated ignoramus and chameleon. As insincere a politician as I have ever seen. Whatever he says, its worthless rubbish

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  18. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    “We have just about tried everything else, why not give this a crack”

    really? ….
    -I don’t believe we’ve tried taking away all the preferential treatment maori get
    – I don’t believe we’ve ever demanded maori be raised without the oppressed indigenous victim mentality that’s drummed into their heads from the moment they can hear, and carry’s on as part of our state funded curriculum and continues as part of every day NZ life
    – I don’t believe we’ve ever tried taking their fucken benefits off them if they don’t raise their kids properly
    – I don’t believe we’ve ever tried to stop making excuses for their every wrong doing
    – I don’t believe we’ve ever considered kapa haka may just encourage aggression

    The huge number of maori living in Aussie get none of these special privileges – and their crime rate there seems extremely low by comparison

    If I had raised my children by giving special privileges to the worst behaved they would have all learnt to be arseholes.

    this is just more of the same bullshit road we’ve been heading down since maori crime statistics got out of hand decades ago – coincidence?

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  19. big bruv (14,156 comments) says:

    Patrick

    I know what you are saying and a big part of me agrees with you, I guess there are two reasons why I think it might be worth “giving a crack”.

    One is that I am sick and tired of Maori crime and Maori criminals and the other is my sudden realisation that we already have two classes of justice in NZ.

    There is the justice system for the rich and powerful white guy and then there is the justice system that the rest of us honkies, Maori and all other races have to abide by.

    Don’t get me wrong, more than most I want to see Maori privilege removed from our land and I concur with your list of things that we have not tried, but if, like me, you are keen to remove Maori privilege then you MUST be consistent and demand that rich and powerful white guy privilege is also done away with.

    Simply put mate we do NOT have a justice system that treats all of us the same way, seeing as that is the case then I suppose I can put up with trying something new if it might (granted, it is a fucking BIG “might”) change things.

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  20. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    Bruv – unless this is a cunning stunt by the Nats to put an end to all this bullshit I can only say I’m entirely disappointed in Keys approach

    This is as straightforward as pouring a bucket of water into a glass and wonder why it’s overflowing – so you try and fix it by pouring another bucket of water.

    I recall a profound comment by reid on this blog about a month ago. He stated along the lines of; “you don’t study the weaknesses if your trying to fix something, you study the successes”

    I equate that, not on the claimed 7% reduction in reoffending, but on how maori can successfully live away from the NZ climate – as proper members of society. What are they doing different?

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  21. choei (2 comments) says:

    I agree with Big Bruv the rich often get a different justice to the poor because the rich can usually afford better lawyers, but I see this more as a sign there is too much inequality of wealth in society, than an indiction we need to make the prison system racist.

    Don’t forget the most dangerous criminals in NZ are rich (e.g,. gangs) and many of them are Maori, there are plently of poor white people.

    I did hear reoffending rates went down by 7% with a similar programme, I hope thats not because they’ve been brainwashed into becomes something worse than criminals, namely racist violent revoltionaries! That’s what I’d do if I had to look after criminals of my race, try to direct their aggression somewhere, anywhere, else, far away from me!

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  22. deamon (1 comment) says:

    maybe the problem is because they get all the special treatment that they know they can get away with the crime’s. it make’s me sick to look in the paper and see people beaten to death and the killer’s get 6years because they are maori and only have to serve half that. murder and that should be life with no parole then maybe they would think twice. i hate nz, i don’t want my kids growing up here, our community’s just aren’t safe and its not just maori but making up only 14.5% of the population but being responsible for more then like 70% of crimes, i say don’t keep handing out to them and saying its OK its not there fault, treat them exactly the same. 200 years they have had to get use to society, isn’t that long enough to learn to follow some simple rules?. I know people even some maori’s who are sick of there own because they also get the bad name. They say give me back my land i say fucking take it im sick of you but give me back my technology, my clothes, my houses, my car’s and go back to living in the bush in grass skirts and eating sweet potato’s. After a week see if they still singing the same song.

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  23. billybold (4 comments) says:

    Im afraid we will be singing the same old song way after you leave my friend, perhaps to the chinese govt?NZ society is changing your daughters and our sons and vice versa have very little racial barriers, their kids our children and grand children love both sides of the fence.people like you and me are fast becoming a silent voice. I do not have my own (maori) or the govt to thank for my upbringing in fact both caused me grief I grew to hate society and all in it.My answer was the Army. I am just a normal citzen now but I have regard for all people through my experinces of seeing hatred and anger unleashed in all its ugliness, and I know it started by the ignorance of statements such as yours, and of those who had no understanding of the pain and struggles of others.Serbs and Crotians, Hutus and tutsis, muslims and christians Ive seen them heard and known them all.You my friend are just the same. Give a person like you power in one word genocide! i geuss I would be the same too! probably why we have politicians, who understand treaty of waitangi issues, like you I dont.

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