Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"Maoris and Law"

Just an interesting tidbit from the NZ Herald - 80 years ago.



 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.


Anonymous said...

Its most unpalatable but its religion / spirituality that is to blame for these good outcomes. Who would have thought that something that is so last century and now seen as irrelevant would be a good influence. The Maori outcomes have gone backwards as their Christianity has become watered down by their old bogeymen.


Jigsaw said...

Impossible now to have two systems of justice and besides who would decide which person was to be judged in what system ? I think in 2015 any justification of anything by race is completely abhorrent. It's the casual racism of people that I find most offensive-as in saying that Maori do something better than others or some other racial group do something else better -or worse.