26 Jan 2012

Murupara launches restorative justice programme

8:32 pm on 26 January 2012

A programme aimed at deterring young Maori from re-offending was launched in the Bay of Plenty town of Murupara on Monday.

Following the killing of two teenagers in the town in 2009, locals set up the organisation Te Ha o Te Ora in an effort to make the community safer.

Te Ha o Te Ora has been setting up the programme with help from Progress Murupara Charitable Trust and a drug prevention group, Community Action Youth and Drugs, or CAYAD group.

The chair of the trust and co-ordinator of Murupara CAYAD, Jacob Te Kurapa, says the programme, which has the support of police, will help troubled rangatahi between the ages of 12 and 18.

He says the idea is that offenders who receive diversion from the courts may be directed to the community-based programme.

Mr Te Kurapa says Te Ha o Te Ora has selected and trained four young mentors for the programme but it'll be some time before they work with offenders.

He says until then they will set up a home work centre and create initiatives such as sport nights along with holiday and recreation programmes for young people in Murupara.