It is time for Māori to take leadership in crafting the future of the country's justice system, according to a report released today.
The report released by Hui Māori 'Ināia Tonu Nei – The Time is Now: We Lead, You Follow', captured the kōrero at a national Hui Māori held in Rotorua in April.
The hui highlighted Māori experiences within the justice system calling for changes such as a Māori-led approach, the abolishment of prisons and the disestablishment of Oranga Tamariki.
Tā Mark Solomon and Katie Murray, who were both involved in the compilation of the report, said it reflected both the reality for Māori at the hands of a colonial justice system and the need for Māori to lead a new design of the system.
"For generations Māori have suffered disproportionate adversity from a justice system that has been imposed on our people," Murray said.
She said the justice system's negative impact on Māori was a "crisis" for New Zealand.
This was reflected in the highest number of Māori caught in the "justice pipeline" than any other time in the country's history, she said.
At the Hui Māori, she said it was heard that the Crown must take responsibility for the legacy of colonisation and intergenerational trauma that affects families today.
Soloman said it was time for Māori and the Crown to enter in a partnership to design a new justice system.
The report highlighted the impact that Oranga Tamariki and the Family Court had on a child from birth, as many who had previous interactions with these entered the criminal courts or prison.
The report even called for Oranga Tamariki to be disestablished.
An excerpt stated "no child should be removed from its mother or whānau at birth" and that this "adds further trauma and denies the right of the child to their whakapapa".
The report called for the "abolishment of the current prison system" as it continues to "fail Māori".
It underlined that the system did not focus on rehabilitation and instead was based on a
Recommendations included the justice system treating addictions and providing healing spaces for offenders.