Systematic bias against Maori in criminal justice system says UN report

A visiting United Nations delegation says the New Zealand Government needs to investigate why a systemic bias against Maori is evident in the country’s criminal justice system.

The delegation, which reports to the UN Human Rights Council, in a statement released at the conclusion of its visit to New Zealand any bias against Maori leading to their incarceration more than other New Zealanders constitutes arbitrary detention and is illegal under international law.

Speaking after a two-week tour, chairperson Mads Andernas said 50 percent of the male and 65 percent of the female prison population are Maori. Fifty-four percent of young people in Youth Court and 71 percent of child offenders in the Family Court are also Maori.

Police and Corrections Minister Anne Tolley says she has seen no evidence of institutional racism in either police or Corrections.

“Quite the reverse in fact; there’s a lot of work going on. The police are turning the tide and we’re very impressed by that work and of course in Corrections the work that’s going on to reduce reoffending.”




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