The Ministry of Justice has been presented with the IPANZ Excellence Award for Crown-Māori Relationships for its Rangatahi Courts initiative.
The annual IPANZ awards are presented by the Institute for Public Administration and recognise and reward outstanding performances and achievements in the public sector.
There are 14 Rangatahi Courts operating on 15 marae throughout the country and there is wide interest from iwi to expand Rangatahi Courts into their rohe (tribal area).
Early results show reoffending rates of young people who attend Rangatahi courts committed 14% fewer offences and were 11% less likely to commit a new serious offence in the following year than comparable youth.
Justice Minister Amy Adams says the award is a "superb endorsement" of the partnership between the Ministry of Justice and the judiciary to deliver a process that better engages Māori young offenders, drawing on the strength of whānau and iwi.
"I acknowledge the leadership and support from the judiciary, who jointly accepted the award with the Ministry of Justice. The judiciary has shown exemplary leadership and I'm proud of the way judges and officials have worked together to deliver better public services," says Ms Adams.
"Rangatahi Courts are about providing an environment where our rangatahi (young people) can take ownership of their offending in a supportive environment," says Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell.
"The positive collaboration between the courts, judiciary, iwi and communities and the tautoko given by whānau, kuia and kaumātua can, and is, helping young Māori turn their lives around."