Instead of having the "book thrown at them" an offender who tagged multiple buildings with spray paint around Te Awamutu has been referred to Te Pae Oranga Iwi Community Panels – a police and iwi/Māori partners approach to deal with crime and prevent reoffending.
Te Awamutu Community Constable Ryan Fleming says the offending relates to issues the offender has with the Family Court.
In the earlier hours of Wednesday, March 31 the main offender tagged the footpath outside Garth O'Brien and Associates, the outside walls of the Te Awamutu District Court and Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Children.
The offender was accompanied by another person and the pair was seen on council CCTV surveillance footage.
The footage showed them heading towards Oranga Tamariki from Vaile St, they pace around the building for some time before the offender "gets to work" and the second person sits up against a wall.
"I tracked someone down and it does relate to a Family Court matter. Rather than put them to court for willful damage, I've put them to what is called alternative resolutions," says Ryan.
"Things aren't going great for them and they need help more than they need the book thrown at them at this stage."
Te Pae Oranga started in 2013 and began in the Hutt Valley.
There are now over 16 panels across the country and its purpose is for local community leaders – they are not judges or lawyers - to support participants to make a plan to put things right.
Those plans include actions that participants must complete and conditions they must follow – including admitting to their offending.
The plan can also include getting support to quit drugs and alcohol, getting a driver's licence, job or training, doing an anger management course, paying reparation and apologising to victims.
If there was a victim, they're encouraged to participate too.
"It acts like a jump start to help people make positive changes in their lives."