Māori are over-represented in prisons because they are punished for feeding their whānau, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti Māori Party candidate Heather Te Au-Skipworth.
In this Local Focus video Te Au-Skipworth and two other candidates eloquently explain why Māori shouldn't feature so heavily in prison statistics.
"If we take for example the amount of Māori that are in prisons for marijuana use - that's a health issue," Te Au-Skipworth said.
Green candidate Elizabeth Kerekere points out that the only logical explanation for disproportionate levels of Māori in prison can be systemic racism.
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"Even looking sentence by sentence, Māori are sentenced much harder and they're usually in for longer," she said. "That's not about creating safety in our communities."
Labour candidate Meka Whaitiri agrees and says prison numbers are coming down under Labour.
"You have a different administration that is taking a different look at incarceration."
All three wāhine have more to add in this short Local Focus video.
Also standing in Ikaroa-Rāwhiti:
• Kelly Thurston for the Outdoors Party
• Melissa Hill for New Conservatives
• Waitangi Kupenga for Advance NZ
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