Justice & Corrections

Māori and Pasifika Experiences of Victims Services, 2014

In 1999 IRI (International Research Institute for Māori and Indigenous Education), University of Auckland conducted a research project on the needs of Māori victims of crime (Cram, Pihama, & Karehana, 1999). This reseach, funded by Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry of Justice, included interviews with ten key informants as well as 70 Māori who had experienced a serious crime. The recommendations emerging from the research included improved Māori responsiveness from mainstream services for victims of crime, and the establishment of a Kaupapa Māori service for Māori victims of crime.

It is timely to reassess the needs of Māori victims of crime, and to include Pasifika peoples who have experienced a crime. The focus of the present research, funded by the Victims Centre with in the Ministry of Justice, was on Māori and Pasifika victims experiences of victim services. The purpose of the research was to help the Victims Centre gain an up-to-date understanding of what Maori victims of crime need from victims services, and to get some baseline understanding of Pasifika victims of crime and their needs. 

This project was undertaken around the country by a team of researchers, coordinated by Fiona Cram.

The Māori and Pasifika participants in this study had diverse experiences of informal and formal victim support – ranging from very positive to quite negative or the absence of support. Most participants sought and found support from their family, friends, church, or work colleagues. This support endorsed participants’ candidacy for support as victims of crime. This endorsement was withheld when informal support networks trivialised participants’ experience of crime, or when participants did not to seek informal support.

Instances of police compassion and involvement reported by Māori participants suggest an improvement in the Māori cultural responsiveness of police. However, the police did not endorse the candidacy of some Māori participants for victim support. This occurred when the police treated participants as offenders or suggested that participants may have been complicit in the crime they experienced. The relative silence of Pasifika participants about the police should not be interpreted as indicative of good experiences.

While participants knew Victim Support, the agency was not generally accessed by Māori participants and by only one Pasifika participant. It is suggested here that Victim Support’s initial contact with Māori and Pasifika victims of crime is important and should be by telephone rather than letter.

Finally, counselling was reasonably common among participants and was reported to be effective. Their investment in themselves was important, as resolution following their experience of a crime was not guaranteed by an offender apology, arrest or conviction. Counselling is also an alternative to victims trying to adjust their own attitudes or behaviours in order to avoid being re-victimised.

The main limitation of the present study is its small size. However, some commonalities among participants suggest that their experiences were not unique.

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Evaluation of Ka Hao Te Rangatahi, 2013

Ka Hao te Rangatahi (KHTR) is a Kaupapa Māori programme provided by the Ka Hao te Rangatahi ki te Matau a Maui Trust (the Trust). The intention of the Maraenui based programme is to walk alongside young men, aged 12-16, to assist them to find a life pathway outside of gang membership and offending. In June 2013 the Napier City Council contracted with Katoa Ltd for the summative or outcome evaluation of KHTR. The objectives of the evaluation were to assess:
  1. Programme achievements
  2. The cost effectiveness of the programme
  3. Critical programme success factors
  4. Potential programme improvements

The evaluation found that KHTR was successful in enabling young men to find a life pathway outside of gang membership and offending. Participants and their whānau, and community stakeholders spoke very highly about the value of the programme in changing lives. The programme was also found to be very good value for money, giving a high return for every dollar invested in these young men.

Reporting

Cram, F., Paipa, K., Hona, D. & Cram, A. (2013). Evaluation of ‘Ka Hao te Rangatahi’. A report prepared for the Napier City Council. Auckland: Katoa Ltd.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Corrections Programmes for Māori, 1999

A report to the Department of Corrections evaluating a framework for Effective Corrections Programmes for Māori. A revised framework was developed and recommendations made.

Meeting the Needs of Māori Victims of Crime, 1999

Ten key informants were asked their views on Māori victims of crime. In addition a survey of 70 Māori in three regions were asked about their experiences of being a victim of crime. Read more

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