Screenshot (143)13 Feb 2107
Te Kooti o Timatanga – The Court of New Beginnings
Last night’s speakers Carole Curtis and Adrienne Wing spoke passionately about their work in this court system established in 2010. It caters for homeless people with non-serious offending and looks behind the offending to focus on lifestyle and reasons for the offending. Rather than issuing fines, which they cannot pay, or jail sentences which costly and ineffective offenders are sentenced to a treatment programme. This programme brings multiple agencies together, including health services and housing, to work with the homeless person, and has been highly effective in reducing reoffending.

It was a surprise to learn that many of these homeless people receive no support from social welfare as they lack any forms of ID which are essential to qualify for a benefit and a bank account. They also have very high rates of poor mental health, alcohol and drug addiction and rejection by their families.

Research has shown who effective this with a 65% reduction in reoffending and an 80% reduction in hospital and prison visits.

It is a great example of how the Court can work collaboratively with the community to bring about positive change and we are grateful for Carol and Adrienne to give this most insightful look at a side of life which we are very fortunate not to have experienced.