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Building an Aotearoa Without Prisons: Te Whanganui-a-Tara - May 2023

"We need to move the focus from Punishment to Prevention, Restoration, and Care"

Kia ora koutou,

A big thanks to those of you who joined us last month at Te Pokapū Hapori for Building an Aotearoa Without Prisons. We want to give a particular mihi to our speakers, Eugene Ryder, Kelsey Lee, and Ti Lamusse for sharing their whakaaro with us.

The discussion was a great reminder that many of the changes needed to transform our justice system begin with conversations in your dining room. With that in mind, we’ve provided a few resources to help you support this kaupapa.

What you can do

Host a civic dinner

JustSpeak’s Justice Is Served resources can help you have productive conversations about justice over kai. They have a range of tools to support you, including a step-by-step guide to hosting your own civic dinner.

Turn up to events, protests and hui

Your physical presence is vital to supporting a grass roots movement such as transforming our justice system. You can find out about events for signing up for updates from organisations like JustSpeak, People Against Prisons Aotearoa (PAPA) and Ināia Tonu Nei.

Become a pen pal with someone in prison

The Prisoner Correspondence Network Aotearoa connects incarcerated people in Aotearoa with pen pals on the outside. For some people, their pen pal friendships can be a rare bright spot in an otherwise dark time in their lives. It also benefits our communities as a whole when people on the inside are provided with dignity, compassion, and respect.

Support organisations on the front line

Organisations such as JustSpeak and PAPA do not typically accept funding from the Government. While this enables them to remain a truly independent and critical voice, this means the need financial support from the community and other non-government organisations to enable them to do their mahi. You can donate to JustSpeak here, and PAPA here.

Read articles and listen to podcasts

The True Justice podcast is a good place to start. There are episodes that provide a perspective from those with lived experience of New Zealand’s justice system.


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