of Aotearoa New Zealand
Click here to watch the video on the Rangatahi Courts.
This video is a brief introduction into a new and culturally innovative way of dealing with the disproportionate appearance rates of young indigenous offenders within the Youth Courts of New Zealand. Over 60% of those appearing in the Youth Court are of Māori descent. Ngā Kōti Rangatahi o Aotearoa (the Rangatahi Courts of New Zealand) applies the same law as the Youth Court but uses a culturally adapted process held on a marae (traditional tribal meeting place) to better engage rangatahi (young people) and their whānau, hapū and iwi (family, sub-tribe, tribe) in the justice process. A young offender will go the Rangatahi Court after they have admitted the charge in the Youth Court and have then undergone a restorative Family Group Conference. At the conference, the young offender and their whānau (family), and the victim and their supporters, have an opportunity to meet to address the wrongdoing and formulate a plan to prevent further reoffending. With the agreement of the young person and their whānau, the implementation and progress of this plan is then comprehensively monitored in the Rangatahi Court which, when appropriate, will apply sentencing options available to the Youth Court. The Courts aim to address the underlying causes of the offending behaviour by using te reo Māori, tikanga and kawa (Māori language, culture and protocols) as part of the Court process; by assisting the rangatahi to learn more about their culture; and to increase the involvement of whānau, hapū and iwi in the Court process as is directed by the Child, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989. This video was produced by Awa Films Ltd and made with the support of the Ministry of Justice, Te Puni Kōkiri, New Zealand Police, Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry of Pacific Peoples, and most importantly, the rangatahi, kuia and kaumātua (elders) who agreed to share their stories.