New Rangatahi Court for TaupōJustice Courts
Justice and Courts Minister Amy Adams has welcomed the launch of New Zealand’s fourteenth Rangatahi Court in Taupō today.
Te Kooti Rangatahi ki Tūwharetoa was launched at Rauhoto Marae, Taupō.
Ms Adams says the Rangatahi Courts are focused on addressing offending by young Māori by involving communities in the youth justice process and encouraging strong cultural links.
“I welcome the ongoing expansion of the Rangatahi Courts, which attempt to create a different environment for young offenders,” Ms Adams says.
“The courts do this by taking the cases away from the adversarial environment of the traditional court setting, and creates one where, with the support of whānau, kuia and kaumātua, a young person can take ownership of their offending.”
Ms Adams says that while the setting is different, the same legal rules of the Youth Court apply.
“Requiring young people to stand up on their marae, in front of their family and their elders, and account for what they have done and how they are putting it right is a powerful, daunting and hopefully life-changing experience.”
The Judge Alayne Wills presided at the launch, which was attended by Chief District Court Judge Jan-Marie Doogue, Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft, and Paramount Chief of Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Sir Tumu Te Heuheu Tukino VIII.
The first Rangatahi court was established in Gisborne in 2008 by Youth Court Judge Hemi Taumaunu. The Rangatahi Courts are a judicial initiative that works within the existing Youth Court framework but use a marae-based, Māori-specific environment to try to help young Māori and their whānau engage with the justice system in ways that make sense to them.