Story: Youth offenders

Youth Court on marae

Youth Court on marae

In some places young Māori offenders are dealt with in a Māori setting. Many people who work with these offenders argue that culturally relevant programmes and processes will reduce the likelihood of reoffending. In 2008 the Youth Court sat at Te Poho o Rāwiri marae in Gisborne. The initiative was extended to Manurewa marae in South Auckland in 2009. Principal Youth Court judge Andrew Becroft (second from left) and Police Superintendent Wally Houmaha (third from left) are shown at the marae.

Māori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples said: '[T]o stand in a court at your marae with your ancestors and your aunties, uncles and cousins – it's scary. Some will think it's soft but this is the hard option ... This is how we reconnect them. A lot of children are going to court and finding their Maori side...' (New Zealand Herald, 24 September 2009)

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New Zealand Herald
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Photograph by Greg Bowker

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How to cite this page:

Gabrielle Maxwell, 'Youth offenders - Programmes for young offenders', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/26617/youth-court-on-marae (accessed 25 January 2020)

Story by Gabrielle Maxwell, published 5 May 2011, updated 1 Aug 2017