An Indigenous Perspective on the Standardisation of Restorative Justice in New Zealand and Canada
The development and implementation of restorative justice policies and initiatives has increased dramatically in western jurisdictions, including New Zealand and Canada, since the early 1990s (Jantzi, 2001). This rise in activity has instigated a drive by state officials, supported by some practitioners, to standardise the design and delivery of restorative justice initiatives (Cormier, 2002; Ministry of Justice, 2007; Roach, 2000).
The paper begins by looking at the (re)discovery of restorative justice in New Zealand and Canada1. This is followed by a critical examination of various rationale presented in support of the state-driven standardisation process that recently occurred in Canada, and is currently underway in New Zealand. The final section focuses on strategies that Maori practitioners and First Nations may consider for responding to the state’s standardisation programme. The call is made for Maori practitioners to develop their own standards, or tika (doing what is right) for enhancing the delivery of restorative justice initiatives to Maori offenders, victims, whanau (extended family) and communities.
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