Paiheretia te Muka Tāngata

What is the Paiheretia te Muka Tāngata initiative?

Paiheretia te Muka Tāngata – Uniting the Threads of Whānau is a cross-agency initiative which draws on the Whānau Ora approach to improve outcomes for tāne Māori and their whānau engaged in the Corrections system.

This new initiative aims to work with both the individual and their whānau to build and maintain strong relationships and provide support from pre-sentence to rehabilitation and reintegration.  Support will also include tailored rehabilitation programmes and specialist navigators to help both the individual and their whānau achieve their own goals and aspirations.

Paiheretia will be jointly led by Te Puni Kōkiri, the Department of Corrections and the Ministry of Social Development in partnership with Māori.  It will initially be focused in the Hawke’s Bay and Northland Region and will be aimed at Māori men under 30 years of age.

Why is the Whānau Ora approach being used in Corrections?

The Whānau Ora Review Report – Tipu Mātoro ki te Ao – released in February 2019, affirms this unique whānau-centred approach works and results in positive change for whānau as well as creating the conditions for the change to be sustainable.

Why is this initiative focused on Māori?

Paiheretia te Muka Tangata is an acknowledgement of, and response to the Corrections system not working for Māori. The overrepresentation of Māori in the Corrections system is longstanding and substantial. Māori currently make up half of the prison population, despite being only 16 per cent of the national population.

Why is the initiative directed at those under the age of 30?

Young Māori are significantly and persistently over-represented in the criminal-justice system, both as victims and people who offend and those under 30 are also more likely to be reconvicted and re-imprisoned.

Which Corrections facilities will trial the initiative?

The initiative will be trialled at Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison and Northland Region Corrections Facility.

When will the first programme be ready for implementation?

The planning and design phase has already commenced, with the intention to start rolling out the initiative in early 2020.

Who is leading the project?

Paiheretia te Muka Tāngata is jointly led by Te Puni Kōkiri, the Department of Corrections (Corrections), and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), in partnership with Māori.  The initiative reflects a new whānau-centred kaupapa Māori approach for improving outcomes for Māori engaged with the Corrections system.  It recognises the importance of whānau in improving individual and intergenerational wellbeing, thereby reducing offending and imprisonment.


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