Maori, Justice and the 20th Century

IGPS Senior Associate Len Cook examines how complex population dynamics have affected the experience each generation of Maori has had with State custody.

Maori, Justice and the 20th Century

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Event type: Public Lectures

4 March 2020 from 12.30 pm - 1.30 pm 4 Mar 2020 12:30 pm 4 Mar 2020 1:30 pm

Old Government Building LT3 (GBLT3)

The demographic transformation of the Māori population over the 20th century resulted in its place, level, structure and growth changing from decade to decade, placing population driven services including education, health, housing and justice in a continual state of reaction. In this talk, IGPS Senior Associate Len Cook puts a spotlight on how this complex population dynamic has affected the experience each generation of Maori has had with State custody.

To our shame, the rate of incarceration of adult Māori males places them amongst the world’s most incarcerated populations.  The highest rate of State custody experienced in the last seventy years by any age group of Maori occurred during the 1970s and 1980s, when some seven percent of Māori boys had been placed in State custody. The long reach of the policies of the 1970s into the present can be contrasted with the last 15 years, which have seen reduced rates of imprisonment in some age bands. This puts a spotlight on the tension between welfare and penal policies, rehabilitation, the strength of whanau centred support, and the continued change in social and demographic structures.