18 Feb 2013

Crime reduction strategy seen as re-inventing the wheel

6:32 am on 18 February 2013

Whanganui iwi say they understand the benefits of a Whanau Ora crime reduction strategy, but suggest the Government maybe trying to re-invent the wheel.

The Turning of the Tide strategy aims to reduce the prosecution rate of Maori by 25% by 2018.

Whanganui River Maori Trust Board deputy chairman John Maihi said what the police and iwi are trying to achieve is something that's been tried in the past.

Iwi and police are collaborating to implement an innovative strategy aimed at reducing victimisation, offending, road fatalities and injuries among Maori.

It's based on iwi crime and crash plans drawn up by Te Arawa, Ngapuhi, Ngati Whatua and Tainui and has been strongly endorsed by iwi leaders around the country.

Mr Maihi said the whole kaupapa ofTurning of the Tide is nothing new, but if it keeps young Maori out of the criminal justice system, then Whanganui iwi is prepared to sign up to it.

After speaking to another kaumatua who has also worked with Corrections, he said they both agreed that they need to keep an open mind and prevent young Maori going to prison.