Alf does admire the way the Treaty of Waitangi can be applied to mean all things to all men – and sheilas.
Thanks to the treaty, for example, the cops and Maori are “working together”.
It is not altogether clear that “working together” doesn’t mean Maori will break the law in somewhat greater numbers than non-Maori, as a portion of the population…
The cops then will catch ’em and lock ’em up.
It’s all part of of the cops’ worthy efforts to be PC (as well as deploy PCs) to meet their treaty commitments.
Those in the force with a flare for being able to read a great deal into just three paragraphs (as you can see here) have formulated the Police view
… that the Treaty of Waitangi is a relevant and significant consideration, and that it [the Police] must properly consider the application of Treaty principles to the business of Policing in a way that embraces all Māori:
Under Article One:
Improve Police & Māori capability to address Māori issues, as a requirement of ‘Good Government’;
Contribute to the building of community capability, through the development of a partnership with Māori.
Under Article Two:
Recognise and acknowledge local iwi and hapu and the requirement to consult with tangata whenua, particularly on matters of property rights, user rights and development rights, and natural resources and assets in the current ownership of the Crown.
Under Article Three:
Develop partnership and consultation strategies which focus on all Māori, their special characteristics and needs, particularly in relation to the reduction of offending, re-offending, victimisation and road trauma. Develop policies and services which recognise the diverse Māori social and cultural reality.
Integrate both Treaty principles and Māori values and principles into strategies which reduce Māori over-represent as offenders or victims.
Alf supposes all this worthy stuff has resulted in an announcement from the cops two days ago (see here).
The announcement tells us Iwi and Police are joining together to implement an innovative strategy aimed at reducing victimisation, offending, road fatalities and injuries among Maori.
Naturally, this sort of thing has to be given a grand-sounding title.
Sure enough, this has been called ‘The Turning of the Tide – a Whanau Ora Crime and Crash Prevention Strategy’.
It was developed by the Police Commissioner’s Maori Focus Forum, consisting of senior Iwi representatives from around the country, with help from Police.
And it is based on something with another fancy title, Iwi Crime and Crash Plans drawn up by Te Arawa, Ngapuhi, Ngati Whatua and Tainui.
It has been strongly endorsed by iwi leaders around the country.
Police Commissioner Peter Marshall states the obvious when he says there’s a need to reduce the number of Maori entering and re-entering the criminal justice system and dying on the roads.
“Maori now comprise more than 40% of all police apprehensions, more than 50% of the prison population and more than 20% of crash fatalities, despite making up only 15% of the general population.
“It wasn’t always like this and everyone recognises things need to change.
“We’ve jointly developed a set of challenging targets out to 2018 that will really make a difference to Maori representation in official statistics.”
• a 10% decrease in the proportion of first-time youth and adult offenders who are Maori;
• a 20% decrease in the proportion of repeat youth and adult victims and offenders who are Maori;
• a 25% decrease in Police (non-traffic) apprehensions of Maori that are resolved by prosecution; and
• a 20% reduction in the proportion of casualties in fatal and serious crashes who are Maori (without increasing the proportion of Maori injured in serious crashes).
Alf observes that a Ngäti Porou leader and Maori Focus Forum member, Dr Apirana Mahuika, has said he believes the time is right for action.
“Most Maori who are victims or who are directly involved in crime are under 25 years of age. With our population of young people growing, if we do nothing, then even more Maori will end up in hospitals, police cells, courts and prisons. We can’t let that happen.”
But the time for action – surely – was years ago.
This Mahuika bloke – like a lot of Maori leaders – likes to speak in metaphors. Or riddles.
He says that back in 1996, he laid down a challenge to Police on behalf of Iwi.
And what was the challenge?
“E tū ki te kei o te waka, kia päkia koe e ngā ngaru o te wā. Stand at the stern of the canoe and feel the spray of the future biting at your face.
Alf supposes the cops have devoted a great deal of time since then trying to nut out what he meant.
Now we know they have cracked the code.
“The Turning of The Tide shows that Police have risen to that challenge. ”
Just how all this carry-one will be translated into reduced crime – a 10% decrease in the proportion of first-time youth and adult offenders who are Maori, for example – is a bit of a mystery to Alf.
But Alf has some advice on how to hit the first target real fast: the cops simply have to ignore 10% Maori first-time offences and not round up the rascals until they have committed a second offence.