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Wednesday, December 4 • 11:30am - 1:00pm

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Chair: Marilyn Chetty 

Naomi Fuamatu: Samoan Aiga (Family) and Youth Justice in Aotearoa, New Zealand

Family is important, when it comes to understanding the phenomena of youth offending. Family is where an individual’s life begins, from birth to the years of adolescence and transition into adulthood. A young person, encounters their own experience of how they are immersed or socialised into family life or connected to caregivers, people or a community that has significant meaning to the individual. Youth offending impacts families and communities, it is important to understand the significant role of family for young who engage or become entangled in the youth justice system. Particularly how family is perceived as an essential component in youth justice discourse. This presentation which will speak to Samoan aiga (family). The structures of power within the aiga model, considering how Samoan youth who become part of the youth justice system in Aotearoa, New Zealand - negotiate these aiga structures, articulate their reflections on their personal and collective sense of identity, well-being and belonging, before, during and/or after their engagement of the youth justice system. I intend to explore the aiga dynamic as a place of strength, resilience and challenge for Samoan youth.

Sailau Suaalii-Sauni, Juan Tauri, Robert Webb: Māori and Samoan Youth Justice in Aotearoa: preliminary research themes

An ongoing area of major concern for Māori and Samoan communities in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ) is the criminal justice system, and in particular, the system’s responses to youth and their whānau/aiga (families) and vice versa. This paper outlines some themes from the preliminary analysis of the New Zealand leg of a Marsden research project on international comparisons of Māori and Samoan experiences of youth justice. This speaks to the different cultural and community knowledge frameworks used to understand justice, and the issues for youth in these communities.

Maja Curcic: The Making of Māori Hyper-Incarceration: Narratives of Imprisonment and the Violence Continuum

This presentation draws from interviews with Māori ex-inmates, their family members and Indigenous prison scholars. The paper analyses structural constraints and everyday struggles regarding incarceration, violence and dispossession. Acknowledging the social structures, historical context and power relations between Indigenous peoples and settler-colonial society, it investigates Māori incarceration as a structural problem that has its roots in New Zealand’s colonial and neo-colonial history. Throughout the thesis, the over-representation of Māori in the criminal justice system is not understood as an independent issue, much less a criminogenic problem, but as a wider social harm issue that has been in the making by various historical and structural processes of dispossession. The study investigates the ongoing process of the making of Māori hyper-incarceration with its destructive social, cultural, economic and political consequences. It reveals the active presence of structural violence that intimately translates into the violence continuum in everyday social settings and relationships. This includes a critical outcome where Māori incarceration becomes unremarked, internalised and taken for granted.

Each presentation will be allocated 20 minutes. Additional time for questions and discussion will be available in each stream.


Juan Tauri

Senior Lecturer, University of Waikato

Marilyn Chetty

PhD Candidate, University of Auckland

Wednesday December 4, 2019 11:30am - 1:00pm NZDT
206-220 - Lecture Theatre 4