Collaborating on the Ground

If you are a low-level offender, the Police can direct you to front up to a restorative justice iwi panel. These might be comprised of community members or kaumātua, and you would have to talk with them about why you committed the offence.

Pre-charge iwi panels were a new intervention trialled during the Hutt Valley Justice Sector Innovation Project and still in use, says Dr Saskia Righarts, Manager Sector Strategy, Ministry of Justice. They are provided by Community Law Wellington and Hutt Valley in conjunction with Te Rūnanganui o te Atiawa.

“The panels use a problem-solving approach to address factors that contribute to the offending. They also focus on repairing harm caused by the offence, for example referring offenders to a training programme and/or commit to good behaviour for a stated period.”

Dr Righarts says evaluation shows the panels help identify factors associated with offending and connect the offenders with the services and support they need to change their behaviour and get their lives on track.

READ MORE in the attached article (from Public Sector 40:1)