Māori don’t need to know the justice system is racist, they live that reality and have lived that reality since the mounted constabulary was established in New Zealand.
A new study from the excellent Just Speak highlights that police are almost twice as likely to send a first-time Māori offender to court, than a Pākehā.
Remember, these are people with no previous convictions, this is Police discretion at work and that Police discretion is biased against Māori.
NZ Police will give white kids a break, they won’t give Māori kids the same.
Call it what you want, unconscious bias or naked racism, it amounts to structural bigotry that dooms first time Māori offenders to the most severe punishment while giving Pākehā favouritism.
This doesn’t mean we should treat Pākehā with the same prejudice, it means Māori should be treated with the exact same leniency as their fellow citizens.
So what has been the response politically to another damning report on the structural unfairness of our Police and Justice systems?
Labour are too frightened to look soft on crime to say anything and National are currently too busy demonising Gangs as a cancer to comment rationally on the issue.
How many reports need to say the same thing, how many times do Pākehā NZers need to hear the same complaints, how many times do we need to keep doing this before there is a change?