Kelvin Davis calls for Kiwi detainees to return to marae

By Ripeka Timutimu

Parliament is going to pass urgent legislation to monitor New Zealand criminals being deported from Australia.

Around 20 New Zealanders with criminal records will land back on our New Zealand  shores as early as Thursday.  It's likely the legislation to monitor those people will pass easily.

However, MP Kelvin Davis says detainees should return to marae to be rehabilitated.

“Most of them don't have family here, they remain in Australia. Yes, I think marae should play a role in helping and supporting them back into the community,” says Davis.

Pita Paraone can see value in Davis' position. H e says, “At the end of the day, it's up to each marae to decide for themselves.  But if we really take it back to what our forefathers taught us, then yes, I agree with that sentiment.”

Justice Minister Amy Adams says most of the criminals will be coming from Christmas Island with some serious offenders in the mix.

Adams says, “I'm trying to recall from my briefing but they certainly include sexual violence, serious violence, robbery, I'm pretty sure I saw drug offences on the list, I can confirm that through my office, but all I've been given is the types of offending.”

Te Ururoa Flavell says the Māori Party will be supporting the legislation.  According to Flavell, “We stand by the idea behind the bill, to create ways they can return home.”

But he doesn't agree that marae are the best place for these criminals, “Each person is different.  Some understand marae protocols, others don't,” explained Flavell.

Flavell says we need to look at each criminal and the seriousness of their crimes. After the Bill passes the government may be able to monitor such things.