Update on The Turning of the Tide - making a difference now and for future generations

The Turning of the Tide strategy aimed at reducing the number of Māori entering and re-entering the criminal justice system and dying on the roads is making progress.

It is well known that Māori are over-represented in statistics covering law, order and deaths on the roads. Although Māori make up only 15 percent of the population, they feature disproportionally in the data.

After much work, a bold vision from the Police executive and Māori leaders was created. In 2012 an aspirational goal was set for Māori to live full and prosperous lives, free from crime and road trauma.

While it is still early days in our strategy, it is pleasing to report that Police and iwi partners are starting to make a difference. After years of monitoring seemingly unassailable statistics, the upwards trend in the proportion of first-time offenders - youth and adults - who are Māori has stabilised.

In another positive development among young people, it is heartening to see a 4 percentage point decrease in the proportion of repeat youth victims who are Māori.

The number and proportion of Māori dying every year on our roads has also dropped, without any increase in the proportion of casualties in serious crashes who are Māori.

But it is the reduction of Police (non-traffic) apprehensions of Māori youth resolved by prosecution where the greatest advancements have been recorded. These apprehensions have receded by 35 percent.

These positive trends among the young reinforces our confidence that Turning of the Tide is starting to disrupt the previously disturbing data collected on some of our most vulnerable people in Aotearoa. We congratulate Police staff and Māori leaders for influencing change.

Committed, positive and undaunted

Anyone working to make a difference in society would agree there is more work to be done.

Police are disappointed to see a 4 to 5 percentage point increase in the proportion of repeat youth and adult offenders who are Māori.

While we register our disappointment with those particular statistics, we are undaunted and remain committed to The Turning of the Tide.

By continually updating our data, we can make refinements to our strategy where necessary and build on what is working well.

Police are buoyed by the gains made through the dedication of Police staff and Māori leaders in their individual locations. We are encouraged by the developments so far.

Praise for the plan

We are further emboldened by the differences being made for individuals, whānau, and the communities we serve and live in.

Māori trust and confidence in Police is another measure we track for The Turning of the Tide. In 2014/15, 66 percent of Māori surveyed had ‘full’ or ‘quite a lot’ of trust and confidence in Police. Levels were highest among Māori aged 65 and over (76 percent) and lowest among Māori aged 25-34 (56 percent). That snapshot of the Police assessment should also be read in conjunction with the ground-breaking 2013 Statistics New Zealand survey of well-being among Māori. Te Kupenga shows Police and health are the top-rated sectors among Māori.

We are also gaining recognition and support for how the joint initiative is observed by other institutions.

In a public announcement released before Christmas, the Human Rights Commission congratulated the leadership of New Zealand Police in “acknowledging and working to address unconscious bias.”

“The fact our Police are publicly acknowledging and working to address unconscious bias is significant and something we can all be proud of,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy.

“The United Nations agreed with the Commission’s view that ‘Turning the Tide’ could be applied to other areas of New Zealand’s justice system,” said Dame Susan.

“We acknowledge the leadership of iwi and the NZ Police in challenging and addressing a major human rights issue facing many New Zealanders.”

The baseline year is 2011/12

Phase 2 Targets (to end of June 2018)

Actual (year ending May 2016)

A 10% decrease in the proportion of first-time offenders who are Māori

No change for youth or adults. 44% of first-time youth offenders and 28% of first-time adult offenders are Māori.

A 20% decrease in the proportion of repeat youth and adult offenders who are Māori

A 4 to 5 percentage point increase in the proportion of repeat youth (from 55% to 60%) and adult offenders (from 41% to 45%) who are Māori.

A 20% decrease in the proportion of repeat victims who are Māori

A 4 percentage point decrease in the proportion of repeat youth victims who are Māori (down from 41% to 37%) and a 1 percentage point increase in the proportion of repeat adult victims who are Māori (up from 26% to 27%).

A 25% reduction in Police (non-traffic) apprehensions of Māori resolved by prosecution

A 35% reduction in Police (non-traffic) apprehensions of Māori youth (down from 7275 to 4708) and a 9% reduction in Police (non-traffic) apprehensions of Māori adults (down from 64709 to 58943) resolved by prosecution.

A 20% decrease in the proportion of casualties in fatal and serious crashes who are Māori

A 3 percentage point decrease in the proportion of fatal crash casualties who are Māori (down from 23% to 20%; fewer than 60 Māori dying every year on our roads). No change in the proportion of casualties in serious crashes who are Māori.

Māori satisfaction with Police services, and Māori trust and confidence in Police, will be higher than they've ever been

Māori satisfaction with Police services is currently at 78% (down from 82% in the July 2013 to June 2014 period)Trust and Confidence in Police is currently 64% (down from 66% in the July 2013 to June 2014 period). Statistics New Zealand’s Te Kupenga 2013 survey shows police and health are the top-rated institutions by Māori.