Māori have got the message across to an independent review group that racism is embedded in every part of the criminal justice system and a Māori-led ‘total rethink’ is required.
The independent Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group released its interim He Waka Roimata (A Vessel of Tears) report today, in which it says Māori they have spoken to have driven home the point that the current justice system is both racist and stacked against Māori.
“A consistent message throughout our conversations has been that racism is embedded in every part of the criminal justice system. We heard that the system often treats Māori, and Māori ways, as inferior and that individuals acting within the system hold active biases against Māori (consciously and unconsciously),” the report says.
The advisory group is helping lead public discussion around fixing failures in the country’s criminal justice system.