Ngāpuhi ‘is probably the most incarcerated tribe in the world’

The Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says that Māori make up over 50% of the population, and the Northland tribe Ngāpuhi “is probably the most incarcerated tribe in the world”.

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis at the announcement.

Kelvin Davis (RNZ): ‘Ngāpuhi [probably] ‘most incarcerated tribe in the world’

Mr Davis said Māori make up over 50 percent of the prison population, and he wants that number reduced.

“Of that 50 percent, half again, are from Ngāpuhi, my own tribe, so this is personal.

“My tribe of Ngāpuhi is probably the most incarcerated tribe in the world, per head of population, so we really have to look at what we’re going to do differently as a country, to turn these figures around.”

Mr Davis said Māori must be included in the conversation, and is pleased half of the justice advisory group, set up by the Justice Minister Andrew Little and headed by the former National MP Chester Burrows, are Māori.

“If Māori make up more than 50 percent of the prison population, we should actually be talking to Māori about what the solutions are too.”

More than talking. Māori need to be prominent in implementing solutions.

“The question then becomes, ‘so, what do we do about it?’

“Because if it’s not unconscious bias, well then it’s conscious bias and we’ve got to make changes to make sure that Māori aren’t particularly picked on, or seen as the ones that are committing all the crime.”

Is it policing bias and judicial disadvantage for Māori? Or are Māori  proportionally more inclined to commit crimes. Probably some of all of those things.

He points to an instance in the last year near his home up north, where people were incredibly upset about the imbalance of justice.

“A couple of families who could afford justice, actually got a form of justice. Whereas people who couldn’t afford justice, for lesser offences, actually got a prison sentence. And that sort of stuff is not right.”

The cost of ‘justice’, of defending oneself in the court system, is a major issue. If you can afford a good lawyer your chances of being found not guilty or of a reduced sentence will be greater.

Mr Davis said they were looking at all aspects of the system to make sure it was fair for everybody.

He said the justice summit this week is an opportunity for people from all parts of the system to have their say.

“We’re expecting a lot of thought and a lot of ideas to come out of this, and we’ve got to sift through and see which ones are the best ones that can make a short term difference, medium and long term differences,” he said.

It isn’t going to be easy turning poor crime and imprisonment statistics around for Māori, but different approaches have to be tried, by the police, by the judicial system, and probably most importantly, by Māori communities and iwi.

Davis can play a significant role in finding social and judicial solutions for Ngāpuhi in particular.

And there are wider issues that probably contribute to the problems up north. RNZ: Little meets with Auckland-based Ngāpuhi members

The Treaty Negotiations Minister, Andrew Little, has met with hundreds of Ngāpuhi members based in Auckland this weekend to discuss the contentious claim.

Ngāpuhi have been quite divided on their treaty claim.

32 Comments

  1. sorethumb

     /  August 20, 2018

    “My tribe of Ngāpuhi is probably the most incarcerated tribe in the world, per head of population, so we really have to look at what we’re going to do differently as a country people, to turn these figures around.”

    • They should start by looking into the statistics for absent fathers in that tribe. There is increasingly inescapable evidence throughout the whole Western world that this is the major factor producing weak, inadequate and criminal young men.

      • Corky

         /  August 20, 2018

        That implies responsibility, hard work and sustained effort. Unless there is a fall guy it’ll be a no-goer.

  2. sorethumb

     /  August 20, 2018

    They need a Jordan Peterson or a Rob Muldoon not a snivelling Labour soy boy.

    • duperez

       /  August 20, 2018

      There are some tribal groups in different parts of the world which have been involved in conflict with other groups for more than a thousand years. They have their lull periods they have their stormy periods. Human nature.

      The lack of ability, willingness or whatever it is, (the frailty of human nature?) in Ngāpuhi, to get together being sorted out by banging heads together?

      (I may have said this on here before): I was dismayed to hear a most prominent Ngāpuhi leader bemoaning what he saw as them having no resources. That he inherently couldn’t see his young people as a resource, their most precious resource, was staggering. The stunning perspective showed a mindset, a roadblock, which would not be obviated by head banging.

      Still he can be content that he could speak to masses of his iwi in one place – Ngawha Prison. And knows he can wait at the gate to welcome the next generation.

      Ngāpuhi definitely have been quite divided on their treaty claim. The personal perspectives of the individuals sees to that and leads pretty directly to a lot of the situation Kelvin Davis wants changed. Social and judicial conditions can’t be isolated from the economic conditions.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  August 20, 2018

    Poor roads and infrastructure in Northland combined with the lunacy of multiple owners Maori Land => idleness and poverty.

    • Blazer

       /  August 20, 2018

      not everyone wants a job at Bunnings and a very thin slice of the ‘Kiwi/American dream…Al.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  August 20, 2018

        True, quite a lot of people use education or initiative to get other paying employment.

  4. Zedd

     /  August 20, 2018

    What are most young ngapuhi being arrested for (1st offence); driving unlicenced, smoking weed etc. Most young pakeha would likely get a warning or diversion; stats show young maori are 4x more likely to be arrested & imprisoned for similar ‘offences’.. again it is a failure of the ‘system’ to address the issues.

    • duperez

       /  August 20, 2018

      Maybe young Ngāpuhii are coming from home and community environments where the likelihood of them being involved with the justice system at some stage are high. And that may be symptomatic of the ‘system’ not addressing the real issues.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  August 20, 2018

        It might be symptomatic of their culture not addressing real issues.

    • chrism56

       /  August 20, 2018

      Zedd – How many people get imprisoned for driving unlicensed as their major offence? The answer is zero. It is not an offence you can be imprisoned for. .

      • Zedd

         /  August 20, 2018

        I didnt say imprisoned..

        but I concede that much of it is often hearsay.. from MPs & media etc.

        • chrism56

           /  August 20, 2018

          You are doing a Winston Peters Zedd
          “ngapuhi being arrested for (1st offence); driving unlicenced” “stats show young maori are 4x more likely to be arrested & imprisoned for similar ‘offences’”
          What is the similar offence to driving unlicenced that Maori are being imprisoned for?

          • Blazer

             /  August 20, 2018

            having a joint.

            • chrism56

               /  August 20, 2018

              How many people in say the last ten years have been imprisoned on a simple possession charge? If fact, how many have even been convicxted?

            • chrism56

               /  August 20, 2018

              And here is the actual law Blazer
              “provided that, where any person is convicted of an offence against subsection (1) relating only to a Class C controlled drug and is liable to a penalty under paragraph (b), the Judge or District Court Judge shall not impose a custodial sentence (being a sentence under which a person is liable to be detained in a prison within the meaning of the Corrections Act 2004) unless, by reason of the offender’s previous convictions or of any exceptional circumstances relating to the offence or the offender, the Judge or District Court Judge is of the opinion that such a sentence should be imposed.”

              Now for both you and Zedd, how many have been imprisoned?

            • Zedd

               /  August 21, 2018

              @C56

              OK so to cut through all the pedantic stuff; many young folks, first come to the ATTENTION of police for minor ‘offences’ inc. driving & illegal drugs. This then puts them in the spotlight.. more likely to be stopped & searched on ongoing basis

              btw: I am speaking from person experience 1970s.. after my run in (cannabis), I was stopped several times, for ‘random checks’ over about a year. One even said that I was a suspect in recent house breaking enquiries.. because I looked similar to one description; ‘we have our eyes on you’.. for the record; I have never been involved in any such things OR other illegal activity, besides personal cannabis use !!!

              btw; I am not ngapuhi…

            • Zedd

               /  August 21, 2018

              just to be clear; I was only fined for my ‘historic offence’ BUT the judge warned that I maybe looking at jail-time IF I appeared again.. in short order !

              the times have changed, but dont be fooled by the recent reports.. police still arrest for cannabis possession & ‘reoffenders’ are being sent to jail, even for possession

    • Gezza

       /  August 20, 2018

      What are most young ngapuhi being arrested for (1st offence); driving unlicenced, smoking weed etc.

      Can you link me to the stats or other evidence proving this please Zedd? I’m not saying you’re wrong but I hear claims like this (1st offence) and can’t find any actual stats that back it up.

      • chrism56

         /  August 20, 2018

        Gezza – he can’t back it up because the data doesn’t exist. He is just reciting Labour’s talking points which numerous commentators have shown were deliberately wrong – what some unkind folk call lying.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  August 20, 2018

          It’s not true that driving without a license will earn someone a prison term; there’d be a huge number inside if it was.

          First time drug offences seem to earn fines or diversion.I have never heard of anyone being banged up just for smoking dope,

          • Zedd

             /  August 21, 2018

            see my comment above kitty; cut through the pedantic rhetoric.. once young folks are ‘in police sights’ they get targeted.. while others just happily carry on smoking weed etc. without this stigma; as many of my associates do

            btw; most of the activists I know.. become ‘active’ because of these experiences, the rest tend to just carry on down the apathetic route (43 years of prohibition & still counting) 😦

            • Zedd

               /  August 21, 2018

              (43 years of prohibition & still counting) 😦

              meaning since the current MODA 75 was made LAW

        • PDB

           /  August 20, 2018

          Stuff: “It takes something of a life of crime before anyone is sentenced to prison in New Zealand. On average, people must have committed 11 offences before spending their first spell behind bars.

          About 70 per cent of prisoners are in for violent or sexual offending, or for drug trafficking. About 20 per cent are inside for burglary, theft, or fraud. No-one goes to prison in New Zealand for drug use. We are not like the United States, where harmless old hippies get thrown in prison for outrageous lengths of time.”

  5. lurcher1948

     /  August 20, 2018

    If Ngapuhi Maori didn’t commit the crime they wouldn’t be doing the time

  6. Griff.

     /  August 20, 2018

    Maybe teaching young Ngāpuhii thats it all whiteys fault , whitey owes you and whiteys laws dont apply to Ngāpuhii might just be a contributing factor.
    And before you get all wobbly and deny such things happen I have seen a young Maori spurt such crap when caught vandalizing someones property and his father when contacted by the police repeat the same rubbish.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  August 20, 2018

      Yep, the whole world owes them a living culture.

      • Blazer

         /  August 20, 2018

        as someone who has had a priveleged upbringing and every advantage in life,all I can say is that seems a recipe for misery going by your bitter,lemon sucking viewpoint on life and lack of empathy for those less fortunate.

  7. PDB

     /  August 20, 2018

    Until Maori in general try to excuse, ignore or normalise Maori gang culture then is it no surprise that their prison rate is so high?

    NZ Herald: “Police say three-quarters of the country’s mobsters are Maori – despite the fact they make up just 15 per cent of the population.”

    Stuff: “The number of gang members in prison has increased by 350 per cent since 2011; from 1051 in April 2011 to 3711 in April 2017”

    • Blazer

       /  August 20, 2018

      I do note the behaviour of members of other ‘clubs’/gangs that indulge in sexual abuse,fraud and countless misdameanours are viewed in a different light…seemingly on the basis they dress conservatively and have influential connections.

      This subset of society cause more malice and mayhem than any in your face..gangster.

  1. Ngāpuhi ‘is probably the most incarcerated tribe in the world’ — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition