Independent research on Samoan and Māori rangatahi experiences youth justice policies in Aotearoa New Zealand is rare. For this reason, in 2016 criminologists from the University of Auckland, Associate Professor Tamasailau Suaalli-Sauni and Dr Robert Webb, along with Dr Juan Tauri (then with the University of Wollongong, now with the Public Policy Institute, University of Auckland) applied for and were successful in gaining a Marsden Grant to research this issue.

The focus of this seminar, hosted by the Public Policy Institute (University of Auckland) was to report on the key findings from the research. The session is broken into two parts. In part I, Associate Professor Suaalii-Sauni and doctoral candidate Naomi Fuamatu discuss fieldwork challenges and preliminary themes arising from the Samoan data, while in part II, Associate Professor Tauri and Dr Webb discuss rangatahi Māori experiences of policing and court-related policies and interventions. There is then a discussion around a question concerning justice policy transfer in relation to the research.

Listen to a recording of Critical Reflections on Samoan and Māori Rangatahi Engagement with Criminal Justice Policies and Interventions via the link below.

Read coverage of the seminar from RNZ: Rangatahi Māori and Samoan people treated unfairly in justice system, study finds here.


Tamasailau Suaalli-Sauni is an Associate Professor in Criminology at the University of Auckland. Her research and teaching interests include Pacific indigenous jurisprudence and Pacific indigenous research methodologies.

Robert Webb (Ngati Hine) is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Auckland. His research and teaching interests include criminal justice policies and Māori, youth justice, Indigenous criminology, Māori and organ donation.

Naomi Fuamatu is a doctoral candidate with the University of Auckland’s criminology programme. Her research and professional interests include Pacific equity policy and practice, and Pacific youth and youth culture. Her doctoral thesis focuses on the interactions between youth justice systems and different models of family.

Juan Tauri (Ngati Porou, Ngati Tuwharetoa) is an Associate Professor in the Public Policy Institute at the University of Auckland. Juan’s research focuses on critical analysis of settler-colonial state responses to the inter-related wicked (policy) problems of Indigenous over-representation in criminal justice processes, and Indigenous critique of, and resistance to, state-centred crime control policies and interventions.

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