Budget 2021 invests to reduce reoffending

  • Funding for an additional 12 Te Pae Oranga (Iwi Community Panels).
  • Including nine new Rangatahi (youth) panels
  • Funding for approximately 35 full time equivalent positions within Police

The Government is delivering on its commitment to reduce reoffending and keep our communities safer with a significant investment in Te Pae Oranga (Iwi Community Panels), Police Minister Poto Williams announced today.

Te Pae Oranga transform the way communities and Police work together to provide alternative pathways within the criminal justice system.

“We know that prosecutions for low level offending can have a detrimental impact on the individual but also on their whānau. Te Pae Oranga uses tikanga and kaupapa Māori and restorative justice practices but is available to people of all ethnicities, from all walks of life. Victims are also encouraged to take part.

“The Government is expanding its investment in Te Pae Oranga, so more New Zealanders can access the support services they need and turn their lives around.

“The programme provides an alternative resolution path, where community leaders support participants to account for their offending and help them to make a plan to put things right. Those plans include restorative actions that participants must complete and conditions they must follow.

By understanding ‘what works for Māori, works for everyone,’ Te Pae Oranga is a key enabler of a more humane criminal justice system through delivering tikanga Māori restorative justice services focussed on accountability, education, and preventing reoffending.

“We know Te Pae Oranga can have a positive impact on the lives of individuals. An evaluation published in 2019 showed the programme reduced harm from reoffending by 22 percent. This Government is committed to supporting initiatives such as Te Pae Oranga that will have a meaningful impact on an individual and strengthen its commitment to the Māori Crown Relationship,” Poto Williams said.

There are currently 16 existing panels, with a further two in place by June 2021. With today’s investment, this will increase to 30 panels over the next four years. This includes the establishment of nine new Rangatahi (youth) panels. Budget 2021 includes $70 million in new operating funding. This funding will ensure that the panels are available to individuals across New Zealand. In addition, it will provide certainty to both Police and Iwi providers, ensuring that this important mahi can continue.

To date Te Pae Oranga has been funded through funding through the Effective Justice Fund and Police baseline, which has allowed Police to partner with Iwi Māori to deliver the panels.

“What is distinctive about this investment is that the majority of the funding will be directed by Police straight to Iwi and Maori services providers, strengthening not only our Justice system but investing in the development of services where they are needed most,” Poto Williams said.

“The investment will also fund approximately 35 full time equivalent positions within Police which will support and enable the Programme. Funding has also been allocated to explore future referral pathways into the programme from Ara Poutama Aotearoa and the Judiciary.”

Following discussions with Iwi over the next two years, Police will confirm the location of the new panel locations, targeting communities and areas in greatest need.

Notes to editors:

  • Te Pae Oranga began in 2013, when panels were established in the Hutt Valley, Gisborne and Manukau.
  • In recent years a tikanga Māori framework has been incorporated in the community justice panel approach piloted in Christchurch from 2010.
  • The panels were previously known as Iwi Community Panels or Community Justice Panels, before being gifted the name Te Pae Oranga in 2018.
  • The initiative is widely supported by Māori leaders across Aotearoa; the Māori King, Te Arikinui Kingi Tūheitia is the programme’s patron.
  • There are currently panels in 16 locations: Moerewa, Waitematā, Auckland City, Papakura, Māngere, Hamilton, Rotorua, Whakatane, Gisborne, Hastings, Taranaki, Masterton, Lower Hutt, Nelson, Christchurch, and Invercargill.