Rangatahi and Pasifika Youth Courts
Rangatahi and Pasifika Courts apply the same law and procedure as any other Youth Court, but in a marae or Pasifika community setting. They incorporate Māori and Pacific languages and protocols. Young people of any ethnicity may be referred to these courts if they admit to their offending, and if the victim consents. The Rangatahi and Pasifika Courts will regularly monitor a plan set by a Family Group Conference.
A Rangatahi Court hearing is held on a marae, and facilitated by a Youth Court Judge together with kaumātua/kuia. Hearings begin with a pōwhiri, and the young person is required to learn and deliver a pepeha. Kaumātua or kuia may offer advice to the young person, and some Rangatahi Courts provide access to tikanga learning programmes. There are 15 Rangatahi Courts in New Zealand.
Pasifika Courts operate in a similar way to the Rangatahi Courts. Pasifika Courts are held at Pasifika churches or community centres. A judge will facilitate the hearing with assistance from Pasifika elders. There are two Pasifika Courts, both in Auckland.
To find out more information about the Rangatahi and Pasifika Courts, please visit the Youth Court website.
An aim of Ngā Kōti Rangatahi is to connect young offenders who admit their offending to a better sense of who they are and where they are from, which in turn, encourages greater respect for themselves, their heritage, and for others in the community.
Judge Greg Hikaka
District Courts Annual Report 2014