TTPCA and Māori
Increasing Māori involvement and community building
The Department of Corrections’ strategic plan for its entire operation, called ‘Hōkai Rangi’, marks a significant shift in thinking. This approach also aligns with two of TTPCA’s strategic focus areas, namely increasing Māori involvement and community building.
Hōkai Rangi seeks to empower both Māori and non-Māori in the prison system through principles of Tikanga Māori (Māori culture and customs). While that is inherently more effective for Māori, many elements of Te Ao Māori (Māori worldview) are universal for all people. For example, it promotes everyone being recognised and respected and feeling connected to the whenua (land), their whakapapa (genealogy), and whānau.
Hōkai Rangi is, in part, a response to the fact that 53% of the prison population is Māori and reflects their goal for the prison population to better match New Zealand’s ethnic demographic. It also expands on the belief that the pathway to an individual’s healing is through a community journey.
Three of Hōkai Rangi’s underpinning principles speak to TTPCA’s strategic focus, they are humanising and healing, whānau, and incorporating a Te Ao Māori worldview. Essentially, through prison chaplaincy, we want to allow paihere to heal, and feel included in a community while accessing Māori values and customs.