Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Justice Reinvestment: a Vehicle Toward a Self-Determining Model of Justice

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posted on 2022-09-27, 22:27 authored by Potter, Joseph

In response to the disproportionate rate of Māori within the New Zealand (NZ) criminal justice system, this thesis critically analyses the role of Justice Reinvestment (JR) to redirect state resources and decision-making abilities to local communities. Against the backdrop of settler-colonialism, criminal justice initiatives and policies have failed to provide significant outcomes for Māori communities, given their entrenchment in Western thought. In response, many have called for a holistic, transformative, community approach to justice, addressed in a Māori way. Therefore, this thesis looks to explore JR as a vehicle towards a self-determining model for Māori communities.

Using a critical methodology, which draws upon Kaupapa Māori theory, this research engaged in eight semi-structured interviews with key Māori thinkers associated with criminal justice. Using a thematic data analysis, the findings suggested balance, self-determination, and progressive transformation were significant considerations in developing a model for Māori communities. To achieve this, the concluding discussion argues for the implementation of a broader, power-sharing relationship between Māori and the Crown. Secondly, it proposes an alternate model which is given effect by key JR tenets, and Māori concepts to achieve a sense of collective balance. In doing so, this framework provides a more holistic, healing approach for Māori communities.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Victoria University of Wellington Unit

Institute of Criminology

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

1 Pure basic research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Social and Cultural Studies


Stanley, Elizabeth