The Rangatahi court
Dickson, M. (2011). The Rangatahi court. Waikato Law Review, 19, 86-107.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/7464
It has become popular to use the marae setting as an alternative to the mainstream courts in dealing with young Māori offenders. The rationale is that taking young Māori offenders back to the marae to be dealt with in the youth justice system, encourages them to face up to their responsibilities and aids their rehabilitation back into the community. The expectation is that whānau will be present to support the young person and to help resolve his or her offending and bad behaviour. I supported this innovation when it was introduced but now I have second thoughts having seen that a marae that piloted this scheme was vandalised with graffiti painted on the marae buildings. In my view, when this happened the scheme to use marae should have ceased and an opportunity taken to rethink their use in this way. For a Māori the vandalism of their marae is like a physical assault on the person of their tupuna. This paper looks at the traditional role of marae in the Māori community and questions the use of marae as judicial settings. It suggests what needs to be done first to make this setting tika or appropriate.
University of Waikato
© 2011 University of Waikato. Used with permission.
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