MAORIS AND LAW
EXAMPLE TO PAKEHAS
The interesting mental attitude of the Maori in regard to penalties inflicted by the law was remarked upon by Bishop Williams, of Waiapu, when speaking before the Wellington Philosophical Society.
"He apparently regards each transaction as complete in itself," said the speaker. "He does something which, by the laws of the game, incurs a penalty; he pays the penalty and considers the account closed. This philosophic attitude makes him a good prisoner, and the chief gaoler in Napier remarked a few years ago that if all the prisoners were Maori his post would be a sinecure.
"A most important result springs from this. A Maori who has broken the law does not become a criminal; he may have been in gaol, but there is nothing of the gaol-bird about him. He may, and frequently does, become a most respectable member of society. Of course, the mental process is not confined to the delinquent; his friends look at it in the same light. If the pakeha could only adopt a similar attitude crime would be greatly reduced. "
There is still something in this. From my observation Maori have a stronger inclination towards redemption. The rangatahi courts possibly reflect this. Our prisons today may be half full with Maori but I doubt that'd be the case under a Maori justice system. Pakeha clearly didn't take Bishop Williams advice.