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Police Minister Paula Bennett and Justice Minister Amy Adams have today announced $10 million for initiatives to improve Māori justice outcomes.

“It is well known that Māori are overrepresented at every stage in the criminal justice system. We’re not prepared to accept that continuing,” says Mrs Bennett.

“Tackling this issue is a priority for the justice sector which is why we have set aside $10 million of the Justice Sector Fund for initiatives that will improve outcomes for Māori in the justice system,” says Ms Adams.

The first initiative to be funded is a services hub which aims to prevent offending and reoffending. It will receive $4.73 million to deliver four new whānau-centred justice services, co-designed by the justice sector and Christchurch-based urban Māori organisation Ngā Maata Waka.

The services are:

a program that aims to prevent at-risk young Māori from offending by assisting them to build positive whānau relationships and engage with their culture through activities such as kapa haka and te reo intensive mentoring for young people who have offended support for women in prison, their children and temporary caregivers support for young people to obtain driver licences.

“Police, with support from Corrections, will lead the delivery of these services in partnership with Ngā Hau E Whā marae. I’m hopeful that as the programmes start delivering results we’ll be able to develop further programmes for future iwi, Māori and justice sector services,” says Mrs Bennett.

The Justice Sector Fund assists projects that support the Government’s Better Public Service targets of reducing crime and reoffending, and allows agencies to trial new initiatives that deliver better results for New Zealanders.

Since its establishment in 2012, it has distributed $263 million of savings into 63 initiatives across the justice sector.

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