Agenda for Change and its Impact on Maori Over-Representation in the Justice
Hon. Georgina Te Heuheu, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Minster for Courts
deeply regret that I cannot be with you today at the Tangata Whenua I Roto I Te
Tika, Indigenous People and Justice, the first wananga of the Ngai Tatou 2020
series of Nga Kaitaunaki Rangahau Iwi Tuatahi Puta i te Ao - the Foundation for
Indigenous Research in Society and Technology.
I accepted the Foundation’s invitation to give the opening address, The Agenda
for Change, I did so with great delight. The reasons for my acceptance were
many, but the major reason was that this would be a forum where indigenous
people and others will engage in discussions surrounding the existing imbalances
in the justice system. This is
whether these imbalances are in the jurisprudence and practice of the law,
imbalances in the populations in practitioners, professionals those charged
those convicted or their victims.
wananga where we can look at ways to make a difference. A wananga where we can
find out where the present justice system may have failed our people, and if so
how these systems can be adapted to correct any shortcomings. Although I know
that I would have had something to contribute, I was encouraged by one of my
colleagues who said “try to remember the saying of our tupuna -
te rourou, Naku te rourou, ka ora te iwi. - With your contribution and my
contribution, the people will flourish.
is your challenge today to determine where the difficulties of adaptation lie in
the basic elements of our existing systems and how the principles and rights
inherent in the Treaty of Waitangi can be applied in an indigenous justice
system. I want to urge you all to take an active part in this wananga, you all
have something to contribute.
the other important saying of our tupuna – Ahakoa te iti, he pounamu - no
matter how small your contribution is valued.
I am unable to make my contribution today because after my acceptance, the Prime
Minister asked me to represent the New Zealand Government and people at the
United Nations World Population Conference in New York where I am today.
my absence, I am still sure that ALL of you here today have a great part to play
in The Agenda for Change and its Impact
on Maori Over-representation in the
seek your indulgence for my absence in the line of duty and I wish you well in
your deliberation over the next two days and in your work beyond that time.
ora koutou katoa.