The Ināia Tonu Nei: Māori Justice Hui took place over the weekend of 5-7 April in Rotorua, attracting 200 people from all around the motu to reflect, korero and waiata about Inamata (the past), Onamata (the present), and Anamata (the future) of the criminal justice system in relation to Māori and te Ao Māori.
Keynote speakers included Justice Joe Williams, the first fluent te reo Māori speaker to be appointed to the Court of Appeal, and prominent lawyer and advocate Moana Jackson. Justice Minister Andrew Little and Sir Mark Solomon spoke at the Hui’s conclusion.
The Hui provided a forum to empower Māori voices in the conversation about criminal justice, delivering on a commitment Justice Minister Andrew Little made at last year’s Criminal Justice Summit to gain deeper understandings of Māori experiences in the justice system, and discuss a Māori response to criminal justice reform.
The overall theme of the hui was Ināia Tonu Nei – Now is the Time. We lead, you follow, to reinforce the notion of being Māori-led and Māori focused, and a space for Māori to discuss their aspirations for criminal justice reform.
The purpose of the Hui was to:
• Empower Māori voices in the conversation about criminal justice.
• Recognise the critical space Māori must hold in justice reform, and contribute to and influence the reform programme.
• Build and strengthen networks with Te Ao Māori and across the justice sector.
• Listen to Māori voices in ways that lead to actions by Government.
The Hui Māori was organised by Te Ohu Whakatika, a group of Māori representatives from 11 rohe across Aotearoa who attended last year’s Criminal Justice Summit.