Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga’s Te Arotahi series provides expert thought, research and focus to a specific critical topic area to support discussion, policy and positive action. Te Arotahi will be delivered as an occasional paper series. 1 te Arotahi Series Paper SEPT 2019 - 03 Corresponding Author: Sir Kim Workman, Institute of Criminology, School of Social and Cultural Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140, New Zealand Email: INTRODUCTION In February 2018, Superu and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga commissioned three “think pieces” on the role of whānau and whakapapa (relationships) in three critical public policy areas of New Zealand: the precariat, oranga tamariki (child welfare and wellbeing) and imprisonment. The focus was to be on “blue sky” thinking, supported by historical precedent, evidence and research. This paper explores the effects of imprisonment on the whānau ora (family wellbeing) of Māori communities. It is an opportune time to write about the criminal justice system, imprisonment and whānau. The government announced in 2018 its intention to reduce the prison population by 30 per cent in 15 years, when it launched its programme of work to reform the criminal justice system called Hāpaitia Te Oranga Tangata—SafeandEffective Justice. The launch was part of a criminal justice summit where 700 people discussed the challenges ahead, including the role of whānau and whakapapa. In June 2019, He Waka Roimata: Transforming Our Criminal Justice System, the first report from Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora—The Safe and Effective JusticeAdvisoryGroup (2019a), acknowledged that “solutions need a whānau-centred approach that both recognises the whānau dynamic and reflects that whānau have also been affected by having a member in the criminal justice system” (p. 27). Onemonth later, in July, a Hui Māori report, Ināia Tonu Nei—Now Is the Time: We Lead, You Follow, recommended that “Whānau Ora navigators be established for the justice sector working with the social sector” (Te Uepū Hāpai i te Ora—The Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group, 2019b, p. 28). In August, the Department of Corrections then released a new five-year strategy that “innovates to find new and alternative ways to achieve better outcomes with Māori and their whānau” (Department of Corrections, 2019, p. 2). This paper contributes to the ongoing discussion by calling for closer attention to be paid to the issues of whānau and whakapapa within the criminal justice system, and advocates for the development of a new paradigm of transformative justice based on whānau development. In December 2017, Justice Minister Andrew Little summarised the situation at that time. The prison population had increased by 20 per cent since 2015. The incarceration rate was 220 prisoners for every 100,000 people, when the OECD average is 147 (Little, 2017). Who was in prison in December 2017? Nearly two-thirds of prisoners had literacy and numeracy levels below NCEA Level 1. Ninety per cent of youth offenders had significant learning difficulties. More than three-quarters of prisoners had themselves been victims of violence. More than 60 per cent of prisoners had had a mental health problem in the previous 12 months, and nearly half had an addiction problem. A significant number had recorded traumatic brain injury. Prisons do not as act as a deterrent—they are serving the same purpose today as they served 100 years ago, and with the same results. All the while, the crime rate has steadily declined since 1993. Fifty-two per cent of the prison population is Māori, and Māori women make up 63 per cent of the female prison population (Department of Corrections, 2017), an increase Whānau ora and imprisonment Sir Kim Workman (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Rangitāne o Wairarapa) Victoria University of Wellington 1 An expert paper as part of Toi Tū Te Whānau, Toi Tū Te Kāwai Whakapapa: The Criminal Justice System in New Zealand project led by Tracey McIntosh (Ngāi Tūhoe) University of Auckland, 2 Kim Workman (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Rangitāne o Wairarapa) and Patricia Walsh (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Ruawaipu) . 3