Story: Prisons

Māori Focus Unit, Waikeria Prison, 2009

Māori Focus Unit, Waikeria Prison, 2009

Waikeria Prison Māori Focus Unit Manager Errol Baker (left) stands with (left to right) kuia (female elder) Rangi Huriwaka and kaumātua Solomon Nelson and George Nelson in front of the Ranginui pātaka (storehouse) in 2009. The pātaka was built and carved by prisoners from the unit, and is used to store vegetables which are donated to Hamilton women's refuge. Since the 1950s the number of Māori imprisoned has increased dramatically. Māori focus units are designed to reduce prisoners' risk of reoffending by helping them understand and value Māori culture and tikanga (correct ways of acting). First established in 1997, the units have also been set up at Waikeria, Tongariro/Rangipō, Rimutaka and Whanganui prisons.

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How to cite this page:

Peter Clayworth, 'Prisons - Māori imprisonment', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 July 2024)

Story by Peter Clayworth, published 20 Jun 2012