The official launch of the Te Tirohanga programme in the Whanganui prison marks the final stage of all five Māori Focus Units coming together under one umbrella.
Statistics show that the reoffending rates for Māori prisoners who have completed a Māori focus unit programme are generally lower than those who have not completed a programme, a rate the department wants to continue to improve on.
Te Tirohanga is now facilitated in five prisons around the country. It is 18 months long and aims to prepare each Māori inmate for reintegration back into the community.
Within that 18 month period, the inmate goes through six different phases of development.
While NZ has one of the highest incarceration rates in the developed world with Māori making up around 50% of the prison population, Te Tirohanga Hou has been designed by Māori for Māori in the hopes of giving inmates tools for change.