8 Oct 2018

Māori crime problems must be tackled by state - ActionStation

From Morning Report, 8:40 am on 8 October 2018

The campaign organisation behind a survey that asked why so many Māori end up in prison stands by its conclusion that structural racism and colonialism are to blame.

ActionStation and Otago University surveyed 900 Māori and found 90 percent of those surveyed agreed structural racism was behind the over-representation of Māori in prison.

Morning Report earlier spoke to Ward Kamo from the organisation Pillars, which supports the children of prisoners. He disagreed with the survey, saying the bottom line is some people make bad personal decisions.

Laura O'Connell-Rapira is the director of ActionStation. She doesn't disagree with Ward Kamo that people must take responsibility for their actions, but says only the state can tackle the wider problems driving high incarceration rates.