Patrick Gower recently reported an odd proposal by Pita Sharples:
Pita Sharples wants Maori flag to fly over prisons
Pita Sharples has a plan to improve the rehabilitation of Maori offenders in the justice system: fly the Maori flag at every prison. … At present only the New Zealand flag flies over prisons where more than half the inmates are Maori, and Sharples says seeing the flag would help their morale. “It’s just an opportunity for people to rally under their flag if they want to,’ says Sharples.
I find this proposal bizarre. Why associate the Maori flag with the ultimate symbol of one of our failures as a society – our overcrowded prisons? And what kind of boost to morale would this really provide to anyone? Terrifyingly, I find myself almost in agreement with an ACT MP:
‘If I was Pita Sharples, I’d be looking at reducing re-offending, rather than silly acts of symbolism than this,’ says ACT MP David Garrett.
Well and good, but not enough. If I was Pita Sharples I’d be looking at reducing crime full-stop. Reducing it the only way real reductions can ever be made, by alleviating the poverty that is the main driver of crime. Hey Pita – by propping up the NACT government and its continual attacks on the poor and the ordinary workers, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution. How long are you going to let that continue?