Crime stats suggest rangatahi Maori face institutional racism



The Ministry of Justice’s Youth Crime Action Plan has pointed out that this over-representation of Māori within the criminal justice system and argues that this poses a challenge to everyone working in the youth justice sector.

Within that report are some shocking statistics which suggest strongly that rangatahi Māori are being treated differently by the police and by the judicial system.

  • 20% of all youth in NZ are Māori
  • yet 53% of apprehended youth are Māori

11,033 Māori were apprehended compared to only 9,917 non-Māori. What is that telling us?

We know that rangatahi Māori are not committing 33% more crimes so what IS happening? Are they being racially profiled? Are they stopped on average more than non-Māori?

It gets worse.   Apprehension of our rangatahi Māori results in MORE serious outcomes, Māori are getting warned less than non-Māori and getting charged more than non-Māori. Want to talk institutionalised racism?

The Stats


  • Māori who get a warning = 19%
  • Non-Māori who get a warning = 26%


  • Māori who get charged = 33%
  • Non-Māori who get charged = 27%


Apprehension rates per 10,000 population for all imprisonable offences (2007-2012), by ethnic group and age group

Children (ages 10-13) Young people (ages 14-16)
Māori Pacific Non-Māori/non-Pacific Total Māori Pacific Non-Māori/non-Pacific Total
2007 835 188 160 318 3,127 1,246 917 1,428
2008 793 200 174 320 3,208 1,238 938 1,461
2009 860 226 181 344 3,236 1,168 941 1,463
2010 840 211 164 327 3,274 1,207 887 1,442
2011 826 175 144 308 3,033 1,290 754 1,311
2012 706 139 137 272 2,740 1,087 665 1,172

The report also argues that “Local communities and professionals are often best placed to decide how to deal with youth crime in their local areas, and respond to offending in ways that help children and young people to develop in positive ways.”

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley announced in April that an independent panel was to be established to lead a complete overhaul of Child, Youth and Family, in order to ensure that the agency was able to deliver meaningful and long term results for vulnerable children and their whānau. Yet there is no input from Māori on this panel.

It’s no wonder our children are being treated differently to non-Māori.


  1. The stats clearly show that part Maoris commit more crime and far more violent crime than anyone else. That is the issue that needs addressing here, not some brainless and baseless assumption that part Maoris are victims of a conspiracy.


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