Rehabilitation Programmes Extended With Focus On Maori

  • Clem Simich

The Government will extend prison rehabilitation programmes with a Maori focus in an effort to help reduce crime among Maori people, Maori Affairs Minister Tau Henare and Corrections Minister Clem Simich said today.

"As announced by the Prime Minister in her statement to Parliament, the Government has approved funding to extend Mahi Tahi - a successful programme within prisons, providing rehabilitation and support to Maori prisoners in particular," the Ministers said. The extension of the programme will cost $200,000 (GST exclusive) a year.

Mr Henare said the focus on Maori inmates would be to create a change in the offender's lifestyle in and after prison by recovering traditional Maori principles, values and disciplines and helping them to reintegrate into society with strong family involvement.

"Our experience with rehabilitation shows that approaches with a Maori focus are effective in getting Maori prisoners to actively participate in programmes that address their risk of re-offending. Coupled with other preventative measures such as the work of Maori Wardens, these programmes bode well for the future of Maori and keeping them out of prisons." v Mr Simich said the Government recognised the need to extend programmes that proved effective in changing prisoners' behaviour for the better.

"I'm very proud to be part of a Government that is responsive to people's needs and responsible enough to back something that works. The results are there for us to see, and we've decided to take another step forward in promoting better behaviour and successful rehabilitation among inmates, particularly Maori in this case," Mr Simich said.