Recap: 700 delegates from 40 countries “energized, encouraged and inspired” at RJ World 2020

RJ World 2020 brought together people from restorative justice and restorative practice initiatives from across the world. Presenters recorded interviews and share them to the eConference website to be viewed throughout the duration of the conference. Delegates interacted via Zoom and online chat.

The 700 delegates have spoken of being re-inspired, challenged, amazed and energised. Here are some of the reflections that have come in.

Thank you so much for an amazing event! 

Joakim Hope Soltveit, Norway

The theme that stood out for me through the conference was that restorative work is an expansive continuum.  The RJ World 2020 Conference beautifully brought out the multipronged potency of restorative work.  The continuum  begins with how we relate to ourselves, extends to our relationships, and to transforming systems.

Arti Mohan, India

The format was fantastic – I’m in Australia so a very different time zone to most. I really appreciated the opportunity to engage with so much of the content without having to get up in the middle of the night.

Lucy Evans, Australia

I really loved seeing some huge names in such an intimate setting… So many can’t afford to travel or pay exorbitant registration fees… if we think of information as power it’s a real game changer

Jane Bolitho, Australia

Thank you so much for this incredible offering.  I feel affirmed, energized, encouraged and inspired.  RJ around the world is happening, yahoo!

Laura Dafoe

The quality and variety of speakers was sensational .  I also appreciated that I could leave feedback on a presenter’s wall and read the feedback of others. The Chat Wall was almost like the chat over a cuppa at the break at a conference where important reflection time, sharing – and connecting with others occurs. It has been an amazing 10 days and my head is swirling with ideas but almost as important my soul has been fed. 

Jane Langley

An amazing eConference, with a great variety of speakers. It was a most enriching experience 

Upneet Lalli, India

Read Arti Mohan’s review of RJWorld 2020 “Reflecting on the Continuum” at the EFRJ blog

This was a space for people in different parts of the world to connect with restorative practitioners and academics of all levels of experience, including many people whose work I have deeply admired but never got a chance to engage with before.” 

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“Despite being a virtual event, the conference created space for dialogue and connection through the comments section and the live sessions.  The virtual nature of the event may have rendered it more accessible owing to the reduced investments needed by participants in terms of travel, finances, and time.  Participants could engage with captivating  speakers from the comfort and safety of their own homes/offices.”

It brought together world experts on a topic that really needs more air time within the general public. I think if these experts from different countries can unite to share information and work together constructively, it is much more powerful and in effect would help spread the word on RJ more rapidly throughout the globe.

Ailbhe Griffith

I think this has changed the face of international and probably national conferences!

Marg Thorsborne

Brilliant inspirational content. Spent the week fitting my life around all the powerful speakers. So much to take away.

Pamela Dillon

RJ world is a global RJ village, with a compendium of knowledge. It should be an annual event.

Professor Don John Omale

It was an amazing experience!

Dr Sandra Pavelka

I can’t say enough to express how well organized and truly informative I found this conference. I watched every presentation…  a widespread topic base, professionally presented, informative beyond any conference I’ve ever attended… Thank you for organizing it, I can’t believe how rejuvenated I feel and how much I’m taking away from this event.

Kristine Atkinson

I have learnt so much, my understanding and practice has definitely developed exponentially as a result. It was an amazing and very impactful experience, thank you!

Molly Macleod

I really like the variety this type of format. It gives so many voices the opportunity to be heard. 

Mark Rutledge

It was wonderful to have so many presenters in RJ world and because it was virtual it had it’s own advantage. 

Urvashi Tilak

I made wonderful connections with other speakers and met two people… that I have since Zoomed with so I am thrilled to have met new colleagues. I would love to do it all again. Thanks so much!

Leaf Seligman, Canada

RJ World would like to thank the many co-sponsors who made this groundbreaking event possible.


Restorative circles: Of care, vulnerability and radical kindness

Reflections from RJ World 2020 speaker Arti Mohan

At the start of the COVID 19 pandemic, there were clarion calls to fight the war and conquer it. The language of war compels us to fight by putting aside our vulnerabilities. Perhaps, the pandemic need not be seen as war, a call to battle, or even a fight. Maybe, we can move through this difficult time by exhibiting courage of a different kind- the courage that comes from being vulnerable and with showing care and radical kindness.

We need spaces where we can care, where we can express our pain and our struggles and where we can be heard. Restorative circles are one such space.

These circles are a space to speak and listen to one another in an atmosphere of safety and respect. One or two circle facilitators or circle keepers facilitate the process. They ask questions that guide the discussion, but apart from that, participate in equal ways as others in the circle.

The circle offers everyone an opportunity to speak sequentially. While one person is speaking, others offer them the gift of listening without interrupting. Participating in, and sharing in the circle, is always optional, and every participant has the option to engage with the circle process to the extent they’re comfortable.   In most circles, we co-create values for ourselves such as confidentiality, respect, listening, no advice etc.

Questions asked during circles are open-ended and related to the purpose and the need of the circle.

Circles can be used in a wide variety of contexts and to address a wide range of needs. I’ve held circles in different spaces – custodial homes for children, protective shelter home for children, for staff of shelter homes, for frontline workers counselling children, during capacity building trainings, while teaching restorative justice in a law university, for my team at my workplace, and for friends and community.

A key element of all restorative circles is creating a safe, non-judgmental place for connection and dialogue. Circles are based on the principle that talking about challenging experiences helps reduce their adverse impact, and the emotional connection with others promotes wellbeing.

Feeling and acknowledging our emotions

Restorative circles create space to reflect on and experience our emotions. Often, in our daily lives, we may not find spaces or the time to think through how we’re feeling. A frontline worker said that circles are unique in allowing people to talk about one’s thoughts and feelings. Another circle participant said that in the circle as they share, they find words for abstract concepts.

“We need to find spaces to feel hurt rather than to spread hurt” – Brene Brown

Circles allow us to feel our emotions, and to tell ourselves that these emotions are valid even if others may be struggling much more than us. The pandemic impacted everyone in varying ways. It brought forth the existing social marginalization and intensified it. In light of the brutal impact on those impacted the worst, many adults in community circles said that they felt guilty allowing themselves to feel their emotions.

By asking specific questions that allow us to talk about our own emotions, despite all that may be going on around us, circles remind us that while we acknowledge other people’s pain, we are entitled to our feelings.

Talking about the unspoken

Circles create a space to share experiences and enable us to talk about the things that we may have wanted to bury and leave unspoken. Kazu Haga, in Healing Resistance, talks about how the strongest act of courage is often vulnerability; it is talking about the things that we are most ashamed about, the things that we feel the most vulnerable about. When we deny our stories, hide from them or pretend they don’t exist, they begin to define us. The pain begins to impact us and others around us. And by talking about the unspoken, it reduces its power over us.

Urvashi Tilak, Restorative Justice Director at Counsel to Secure Justice (CSJ), reflects on circles with a group of women and says that, “It was a safe space for them to talk about their past, their childhood, things they had never spoken about earlier, shared with people they barely knew before the circle. Such was the power of the circle.”

“With skinned knees and bruised hearts; We choose owning our stories of struggle, Over hiding, over hustling, over pretending. When we deny our stories, they define us. So, we turn toward truth and look it in the eye.” Brene Brown

Children in custodial settings have found space to acknowledge their actions for the first time in circle with each other. In a reintegration circle with his family, a child admitted what he’d done to his family without offering any defence, something he hadn’t ever thought he’d do.

In the friends and community circles, adults have often spoken about their deepest fears and about behaviours/personality traits they perceive as their biggest flaws. Circles create space to talk about things that we’ve otherwise chosen to leave unspoken.

“Courage showed me how to open up and talk about the things I’m most ashamed of, being vulnerable. Speaking about true emotions, being vulnerable and showing all of who we are is what takes the most courage.” Kazu Haga, Healing Resistance

Often during circles, children in custodial settings, step away from the strong impenetrable image they’ve created for themselves and share vulnerably about their feelings, including the remorse they feel about their actions. Children in custodial settings have found space in circles to talk about their deepest fears, including being rejected by society and of being stigmatized for life.

Adults have spoken about the fear of losing their loved ones to the pandemic in the frontline worker and community circles. In a community circle where most people were strangers, people spoke about their difficulties with their intimate relationships.

By speaking about our vulnerabilities and what shames us the most, we break down its power over us and work towards our own journey of healing.

The magic of listening

“The experience has been undoubtedly beautiful for me. I never realized how powerful and effective a listening circle could be.” Shivangini, CSJ

Another element at play in circles, apart from the safe space to share, is the gift of listening. Listening is powerful and can help to reduce the intensity of our emotions. Often after people share deeply in circle, they later talk about how much calmer they feel. A frontline worker said that after the circle they felt as if a heavy balloon inside them had burst in the circle, and they felt much lighter after. Another participant in a community circle spoke about her severe emotional distress during the circle and later said that she felt a sense of calm after.

For the listeners as well, listening is an act of kindness towards others which, in turn, is a healing action for oneself. Shivangini Singh, Social Worker at CSJ talks about her experience of holding circles and how “listening to what others have to share has also been so wonderful because you realise how similar our experiences have been somewhere despite different contexts.”

Over the years, facilitating circles helps me feel a deep sense of belonging and connection as I realize that no matter how unique my troubles are, we are all human and all have our struggles, which our often similar. Shivangini puts it beautifully when she says holding and being in circle brings such a marvellous sense of community and I completely rejoice in the space”.

Building belonging and connection

“In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen. Really seen. It involves a choice to be vulnerable. To brave judgment and rejection. To overcome shame in a world that teaches us we must somehow be fixed.” Brene Brown

By creating spaces for vulnerability, circles also foster a space for building and deepening connection. At my organization, CSJ, I’ve held circles for the team around different themes, including those specific to listening and connecting. Often, when someone new joins, we invite everyone to share our stories of what brought us to the work we do. After one of our office circles during the pandemic, Prerna Barua, a colleague who recently joined the team virtually, said that the circle helped her feel a sense of connection with the team she’d never met in person.

Circles give us space to come together despite our varying identities and to be seen as our real selves. Urvashi reflects on facilitating circles with women from different social identities and how she initially wondered whether they would share in circle. Within a month, they began to take collective ownership for the circle process, reminding each other to uphold the collective values and guidelines, and began sharing from a place of vulnerability.

When physical distancing began, circles had to adapt to the virtual realm. Initially, I was sceptical about holding virtual circles owing to the lack of physical proximity. Over time, with training from some beautiful mentors (Dr. Frida Rundell and Molly Rowan) and many circles later, I believe that circles can be as magical over Zoom as in real life.


A frontline worker who regularly comes to circles said that during this period circles may be all the more important, “Circles help remind us that we are mentally connected despite the massive physical distance amongst us.” The virtual format has helped us to invite people from all across the country to circle together.

When the lockdown began, I started inviting my friends to virtual circles as I noticed that a lot of them were going through significant difficulties adapting to the pandemic. In a time of uncertainty, these were beautiful spaces of togetherness. I started putting out flyers and soon I had people I’d never met coming to these circles.

These circles have helped create new connections. Akash, a regular participant in these circles, says that, “Through this listening circle, I was able to meet, understand and listen to people who I wouldn’t have met otherwise.” Often, people connect with each other after the circle, creating new bonds and connections.

Creating a container for multiple emotions


Circles can be beautiful containers for a wide variety of emotions. While some circles focus on deep intimate sharing, they also create space for joy, humour, laughter and fun. Often, we’ve played games and coloured while in circle, especially with children. In our circles at CSJ as well, while we’ve had deep sharing, we’ve also intertwined it with humorous prompts and games. Kshipra Marathe, Restorative Justice Counsellor at CSJ says that, “Facilitating and being in circles with children has taught me the beauty of openness and flexibility and the safe space it creates for everyone.  I love how when we go with the flow of the circle, sometimes we play and have fun and other times we have such deep powerful conversations.” Urvashi talks about holding circles with women in the community and how deep circles are often interweaved with moments of lightness and laughter: “I miss those beautiful memories- moments of fun and laughter, sharing joy and tears.” Circles allow us to bring our whole, authentic selves to circle, and all of the aspects that we want to.

Self-care and healing in circle

Circles can be a space for us to focus inwards, to care for ourselves and to be compassionate to ourselves. Frontline workers and caregivers often talk about how they don’t find spaces which allow them to focus on themselves. Many of them have said they feel grateful that for the first time someone asked them how they’re feeling. A frontline worker said that the circle reminds them to think about themselves and to prioritize ourselves.

After a circle at a team retreat (by the beach), Urvashi spoke about how it gave her space to reflect on some very challenging times for her, Sitting there in the circle, overseeing the ocean, it felt good to express- to share with everyone what my family and I went through emotionally. It helped so much to process things better and to accept that our lives had changed.” At the end of this circle, for the closing I invited everyone to write out our worries on seashells and then float them out into sea.

Sharing in circles can also help us to be self-compassionate as we are invited to offer ourselves the same compassion we give others when we share. Vedika, a participant in the community circles, said that, “when I voiced the ideas in my head, I was not self-bashing, I spoke about myself with the compassion and understanding I always afford to everyone around me. That was very special.”

Nikita Kataria, also working on the restorative justice team at CSJ says that being in circle, feeling safe and heard are powerful and have helped become more restorative in her personal life as well. For me as well, being in circle nurtures me to act in consonance with my values within circle, but also outside.

Multiple truths

“Truth and perspective are not a zero sum game. My truth does not negate yours, even if our truths don’t match up.” Kazu Haga

Restorative spaces create spaces for multiple truths and do away with the need to have one argument win over the other. While teaching restorative justice to final year law students, Jonathan Derby (founder of CSJ) and I held circles for discussing the course content. Circles created space for discussion which gave everyone a voice, enabled students to have differing opinions which could all be valid at the same time.

Owing to India’s socio-political situation and treatment of those who are marginalized, many people who came to the community circles during the pandemic where extremely disturbed by the government’s (in)actions. There are often government officials in the same circle who believe that the state is doing the best it could, given the circumstances. ‘Generosity of opinion’ is a value that participants have brought to many circles, a value which has enabled people to talk about their differing viewpoints and perspectives, while respecting each other and their lived reality. Circles may be unique in how they root out the need to have one truth win over the other.

Finding hope


Restorative spaces are also beautiful as they enable us to find hope and meaning. A frontline worker who participated in circles regularly said that, “When we share feelings, we see things in perspective. When we hear others’ problems and how they cope, it’s a reminder that so can we. This gives me hope and helps me to let go of things.”

Tragic optimism can be a helpful coping tool: acknowledging that we can experience intensely negative reactions to the strange times, that we can experience stress and trauma, and at the same time we can seek out glimmers of light in the darkest of nights.

Often, in sharing circles we use questions that help people think through their coping tools and feel a sense of wellness, such as, “What are three things you are grateful for in this moment?”, “What is the one thing you look forward to that helps you feel calm/joyful?”

The circles during the pandemic were a way of responding to uncertainty and finding hope. Akash, a frequent participant said that, “Through some very uncertain times, with no end in sight, these circles managed to pull people from different walks of life together, to share their stories on a platform with no judgment towards the people who shared their stories. It helped me to regain hope and look at the positives of life with renewed vigor.” People have spoken about feeling “a new energy”, a sense of hope, calm, warmth, and feeling light after being in circle.

We are more than the worst things we’ve done

Restorative spaces also allow us to remind ourselves that we are all more than the worst things we do or the worst things that happen to us. Dr. Alissa Ackerman, a restorative justice and gender-based harm expert, used the analogy of driftwood to talk about our duality as human beings. We can harm someone and still be a good human being, we still deserve our humanity. Circles remind us of this.

“Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”

Bryan Stevenson

During a reintegration circle for a child in conflict with law and his family, the child, Ishan, acknowledged what he had done in front of his family. His family expressed shock, anger, disappointment and shame and strongly condemned his actions, while his father also said that one mistake ought not to define Ishan for the rest of his life. As we closed the circle by doing a final go-around on what we appreciated about Ishan. Circles create space to acknowledge some of our worst mistakes, while reiterating that we are much more than that, we are all beautiful human beings who have enormous potential to be whoever we want to be.

Spade work for social justice work

“We can’t change other people by our convictions, stories, advice, and proposals, but we can offer a space in ourselves where people are encouraged to disarm themselves, lay aside their occupations & preoccupations, & listen with attention and care to the voices speaking” Henri Nouwen

Circle spaces and the intertwined mindfulness go beyond the self since they teach us to listen to others, work on undoing our social conditioning and have difficult, uncomfortable conversations. In this regard, Nimisha Srivastava, Program Director, CSJ says that, “For me that has been the most powerful component of circles. Circles have pushed me very gently to recognise my privilege and how others have been impacted by not having what I have had”. And this is the spade work for doing social justice work of dismantling oppressive structures. Circles create space for us to examine and unpack power, privilege and oppression.

During circles with children in custodial settings in Rajasthan, we explored the experiences of social identity and discrimination within the circles. It allowed for creating space to talk about how social oppression impacts those already at the margins of society, and what others can do to start dismantling these oppressive structures. While the aim of circles is not to teach, preach or reprimand, by enabling honest discussion, including examining the impact on those effected, circle processes help build empathy, including in the context of systemic oppression and guide people towards undoing harmful actions. I hope and believe that we can use circles to slowly address systemic and oppressive structural harms.

Reflecting and hoping

Holding circles has been a beautiful journey for me. As I was training to be a circle keeper in law school, it was in circle that I felt I found my voice for the first time, and where I felt I really belonged. Circles give me a sense of connection and belonging. Holding circles and being a circle keeper is my way of bringing that to others around me.

Each circle is a rich experience, in all different contexts. I find it beautiful that a process as simple as a circle can be so powerful in so many different contexts: with people of different ages, social identities, and lived experiences.

As I’ve held more circles, the learning from circles have seeped into my life. Circles have guided me to focus on and value all my relationships. Through being in circle and holding circles, I’ve learned to develop the compassion that I seek to offer others for myself (on most days). Circles give me permission to be my authentic self, far from perfect, yet trying step by step to show courage through vulnerability and radical kindness.

In a world that’s hurting, we may not need armour and battles as much as we may need softness, care and vulnerability: as a way of coping with our difficult emotions; for dealing with pain, rejection, hurt, fear and uncertainty; to move beyond the worst things we’ve ever done; and to begin to address oppressive social structures, one act of vulnerability and care at a time.

Gratitude to all the beautiful people who taught me how to keep circles, to adapt them virtually, and who by being in circle with me as co-facilitators and participants enriched my practice. A special shout out to Prof. Martin Price, my first mentor on holding circles, who made me believe in the magic of circles.

Arti is the Restorative Justice Program Officer at Counsel to Secure Justice in New Delhi India. She has worked on designing and implementing a pilot restorative justice project for children in the legal system. Arti is also a lawyer and has earlier litigated for children who’ve been abused and worked with women in prison.


Indigenous and Other Discriminated Populations in Aotearoa Require Restorative Justice to Heal Wounds

Dr Lorna Dyall, Raewyn Bhana, and George Ngatai

We will share our experience in being been involved in supporting the implementation of restorative justice on the marae and in the community, working with judges, Court staff, Police, facilitators and community leaders working for change. Working from a kaupapa Maori paradigm addressing harm from a victim’s perspective has widened the lens to the ongoing victimization of Maori and vulnerable groups in the community. A joint presentation will be provided

A group presentation will be presented on restorative justice for Maori, lessons learned, vision for the future as Maori lives matter, the need for structural, social, justice and political reform required so Maori can live free lives without being victimized to become statistics for Police, Courts Judges, Corrections and providing employment to many in Aotearoa. COVID-19 and the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the Armed Response Unit placed specifically in Maori and Pacific communities with no community engagement resulting in increased criminalization of Maori, requires us to rethink and re visualise what contribution does restorative justice offer to Maori. Further, who needs justice, Aroha, compassion and a fresh start in Aotearoa?


Toi tu te kupu, toi tu te mana, toi tu te whenua

 Hold fast to your culture, for without language, without mana and without land

 the essence of being Maori would no longer exist

 Aotearoa has faced many challenges this year with issues it seems coming to a head or a tipping point for change, as the status quo or acceptance of structural racial and sexual discrimination is no longer acceptable. This view is increasingly becoming louder and clearer as people protest that black lives matter here in New Zealand and in particular indigenous peoples lives matter and are the most vulnerable and targeted by the Police, Justice, Corrections and custodial care facilities, as forensic mental health services, whom alone and together create services and workforces that meet their institutional needs. This fact is verified in New Zealand by the many recently released reports which have looked at the effectiveness of mental health and addiction services[1], the Family Court[2], our legal and justice systems[3], the quality of care and protection of those under required State Care[4] and the conduct of Oranga Tamariki, the Ministry of Children statutory required to provide protection and care of tamariki (children), mokopuna (grandchildren) and young children and adults. A total independent review of health and disability services and structural arrangements has also been undertaken and a final report released in June 2020, at considerable cost to the public, has identified that a new Maori health authority is needed to address health inequalities for tangata whenua which will be discussed later[5] .

  Oranga Tamariki

Since 2017 the Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki has had a statutory requirement to give effect in leadership and daily work full recognition of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, a requirement to support the mana and wellbeing of children and for Maori children to have regard for their own whakapapa and connections to their whanau, hapu and iwi. This agency is also required to be transparent and accountable for the outcomes that they achieve for the most vulnerable in our communities and this includes reporting and being transparent on outcomes achieved for tamariki, including outcomes specifically for Maori.  Care and protection of children and young people are also now a shared responsibility and the Chief Executive is required to enter into strategic relationships with iwi and Maori organisations, so Maori children where possible are not placed solely under state care.

Recent independent reviews of Oranga Tamariki have been critical of their relationship and interactions with Maori whanau and the taking of Maori babies from their mothers to be uplifted under the care and protection of this agency without appropriate iwi or Maori organisations involved who could assist with the development of appropriate solutions[6] [7]. These actions have and create considerable trauma for many Maori women, whanau and communities, who fear that once they are under the radar of Oranga Tamariki they are at risk of being under their ongoing monitoring and supervision and if they have had children taken previously and this will affect the wellbeing of future children they may have.

Restorative justice is also part of the responsibilities of this Crown agency under The Children and Young Persons and their Families Act 1989, now renamed Oranga Tamariki Act 1989. Family Conferences can be convened where members of a child family or whanau can attend to consider the best interests of the child in accordance with the legislation. The taking away of children from indigenous populations is a common experience globally, and is part of an ongoing process of colonisation and attempts of genocide, for the trauma of all involved is life determining and creates further trauma for ongoing generations.

This Act has paved the way for   institutionalising restorative justice into the framework, policies and processes for abuse to be addressed, for harm to be dealt with, for human rights to be considered and for Maori to become a legitimate partner in the care and protection of their taonga, (treasure) that is there children. This is a Te Tiriti o Waitangi right for Maori, but it has taken this agency almost 20 years to incorporate this fact in their work and therefore, we can ask what degree of physical, spiritual, mental, whanau and economic harm, this government agency and has created in that time span.   

This proposal is not radical but mirrors restorative justice decisions taken in Canada in relation to indigenous children abused under federal care between1960-1980[8] and $750 million was paid out as compensation for indigenous children who were denied care, protection and the right to be indigenous.

Restorative justice is a process which women, children, men, families and whanau should be able to use when they have been adversely harmed by Oranga Tamariki to seek justice and to participate in a process where they can hear and listen to the offender that is the agency and those employed by the agency, to explain their actions. Further for those who are victims, to have the power to be able speak and to outline the harm that has been created by their actions and the ongoing effects in their lives, and following generations.

Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care

 Listening to those who had the courage to speak of their adverse experiences of being under the care of Oranga Tamariki or previously the Department of Social Welfare, through the Royal Commission Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care, the ripple effects of abuse affected all areas of victim lives. Those who spoke in public and in a court situation, sought accountability from those involved in their care and protection, especially those who had lost their whakapapa connections. This was important for Maori, as this affected their cultural, self-identity and their legal right to being Maori.

They also sought access and ownership of their personal information so that they could match their memory with events that had occurred in their lives with information that they had provided previously for their protection, such as being sexually abused or subject to physical violent by those employed to care for them or others in their environment. What people often found was that the information that they had provided some time ago, generally as children or young adults, this had been taken off or misplaced from their personal files, so that now as adults there was no record of the adverse events that had occurred and the right of restorative justice was therefore challenging.[9]

 Restorative justice, this is a process which Maori individuals and whanau should now be able to utilise to address the harm that they have experienced and there is a responsibility for Oranga Tamariki as a Crown agency to be engaged as through their actions, human, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and international indigenous rights have been abused and reparation for damages incurred should now be available.

Definition of Restorative Justice 

For the purposes of this paper, restorative justice  is defined as  “a process to involve to the extent where  possible those who have a stake in a specific offence and to collectively identify and address harms, needs and obligations in order to heal and put things as right as possible”.[10] This definition is used as it included in the Ministry of Justice’s guide to best practice for restorative justice in Aotearoa and defines who can be involved,  the process to occur and outcomes that can be expected to be achieved.

Maori have paved the way for the introduction of restorative justice as it is an indigenous process of addressing grievances between kin and to restore whakapapa connections, respect mana between all parties involved and allows relationships to be healed over time. Many indigenous concepts and process are appropriated by non-indigenous institutions and practitioners and as a concept restorative justice is now incorporated in the Sentencing Act 2002, the Parole Act 2002, Victims’ Rights Act 2002 and the Sentencing Act 2014, which now requires all suitable cases to be referred for restorative justice, before offenders receive their final sentence in the District Court.

 Restorative justice processes should be utilised for Maori to be reimbursed for the intellectual capital and matauranga Maori that justice agencies have taken and used back against Maori. Gifts are given to be used and valued by all to create balance and harmony not abuse and lack of accountability.

Family Violence and Restorative Justice

Restorative justice is also incorporated in the area of family violence which is important in New Zealand as this issue has and is endemic in Aotearoa, now a core part of the work of the Police in responding to call outs, a significant impact on government spending and has a resulted in new legislation, the Family Violence Act 2018, which was enacted in 1 July 2019. This Act has been created to support consistency across agencies in dealing with family violence by the implementation of the use of a set of principles to guide decision- making.

Gender, racial and social and economic inequalities are often at the heart of sexual, domestic and family violence and as a result Maori and Maori women suffer significantly from these intersections of structural discrimination and unconscious bias which affects their opportunities and life paths which can be perused. Maori women experience twice the rate of family violence than NonMaori women and have three times the risk of being killed by an intimate partner.[11]

 Restorative justice process, decisions policies and actions need to be recreated to change structural discrimination against Maori and in particular Maori women and their children who had their own mana, authority and positions of leadership, prior to the arrival of NonMaori. The right to vote for New Zealand women in 1893 did not add mana to wahine Maori as they were already involved in key decisions affecting whanau, hapu and iwi and had their own rights and responsibilities for the care of whenua and other taonga.

Police and Restorative Justice

 Restorative justice is also part of the work of the Police in determining suitable cases for Adult Diversion in which a person may avoid a criminal offence if agreed actions are completed within a defined time frame. Police diversion of low-level offences has provided the opportunity for the establishment of “Te Pae Oranga”, where Police, Iwi and respected members of the community work together on a panel, at the marae or an appropriate venue, such as, in a community organisation, to support those referred to be given a second chance.  Offenders are required to   develop and reflect on their social, ethnic and cultural identity, to be willing to be involved in early intervention, to address troublesome behaviour, such as, uncontrolled anger, issues with alcohol or drug issues, driving offences, petty thief, wilful damage to property, and breaching trespass orders[12].

 Individuals both males and females are interviewed before meeting the Te Pae Oranga panel similar to a pre-conference, to hear the individual’s story as to the events that have occurred, underlying issues and a plan of proposed action to address harm developed for consideration later by the Police where representation is included on the Iwi Panel. Wrap around support is also provided to offenders, so that a recurrence of behaviour does not occur.

 A similar process also occurs for victims involved and a date and time is set for both parties to meet with the Police and Iwi panel leading to recommendations in which the offender is required to meet and complete within a 6 to 8-week period. Wrap around support is also offered and provided to the victim. On completion of the recommendations given by the Police and Iwi Panel, by the offender and support they have available, the matter is resolved and no criminal offence is recorded on the individual’s record.  The focus of Te Pae Oranga is to intervene early with offenders who break the rules to stop this behaviour so a pathway to involvement of Court and justice services is avoided.

The Police adult diversion scheme and Te Pae Oranga are important initiatives for Maori, as intervention can be offered early, support can be provided, whanau are engaged in the process, cultural and self-identify is strengthened and no criminal record means that future employment, study, leadership and travel opportunities are not compromised, Further  there is no involvement of Courts, justice, lawyers  Corrections personnel or agencies involved who benefit significantly economically from Maori offending.

Feedback from those who have been involved in Te Pae Oranga as offenders, victims, family supporters have been extremely positive, in that they have appreciated the process of preparation required to be done before meeting the Iwi Panel, the ability to present their story of events and changes made in their lives and to consider the wisdom and guidance of those on the panel especially Iwi members. Involvement of the Police in being represented on the Panel is seen as positive and addressing offences at a community level, without the involvement of the Court, legal and judicial panel enables more honesty, open dialogue and greater opportunity for people to learn of the consequences of their actions[13].  As a Maori developed intervention, Te Pae Oranga needs to be expanded and be operated not only on marae but in other settings which Maori are in control and can create an environment which is welcoming to offenders and victims and together both are supported through a process of healing, growth and ongoing development.

This initiative however, will likely not reduce significantly offending in the next few years, unless significant investment is made in diversion solutions which are developed by Maori for Maori and the wider community, as the Maori population is predominately young, under 30 years of age, is vibrant, fertile and unemployment for Maori across all age groups is likely to increase. This is due to impact COVID 19 and ongoing after effects, the return of New Zealanders both Maori and nonMaori from overseas and the ongoing displacement of Maori into marginal areas of employment, housing, education and access to limited effective health and social services continues on a daily basis. 

Maori are now a population under considerable stress having to make major adaptions in a local, national and global environments where we have little control and have been delegated to live on the margin, instead of being an equal partner with the Crown and this is clearly defined in Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Early research looking at the effectiveness of Te Pae Oranga as a restorative justice process has identified early gains, in that offending may continue for some clients, but the offending is at a lower level offence, and does not require imprisonment.  

A reduction of Maori in days spent in prisons and hospitals is positive and empty beds, provides the possibility of reducing infrastructure and operational costs. Savings gained provides new opportunities to divest in prisons and invest in Iwi, and Maori organisations who can operate such panels with the Police supporting Maori whanau and communities[14].

 We recommend that we develop further diversion opportunities for Maori by Maori, who criminally offend or break rules. This is often related to stress, mental health and addictions issues, developmental issues and intergenerational trauma. The pipeline needs to be strengthened to change the pathway for many Maori which leads to imprisonment.  The pathway to imprisonment largely provides employment for middle- and upper-class professionals, who are supported by academics, occupational groups and tertiary educational institutions which are invested in research, teaching and creation of new employment opportunities which contribute and support ongoing structural hierarchies at the expense of tangata whenua.

 Misuse of Drugs Amendment Act 2019

 New legislation was introduced last year, to provide an alternative to prosecution for illegal drug use and to provide provision for a person to be diverted to the health and social service sector for health centred and therapeutic care. This is considered in the public’s interest, as this approach would enable more investment in health and social services and a redirection of funding from law enforcement which currently, is funded three times more than the mental health, addiction and health sector. 

It was assumed on passing this legislative change, that this amendment in the public’s interest, would reduce the number of Maori who are criminalised for illegal drug use and would enable Maori to have greater access to mental health and related health and social services support.

Once again, this legislation change has been introduced on the assumption that this would benefit Maori. However, as Maori have not been engaged and empowered to develop their own solutions with appropriate funding and support, to build Maori individually and as members of whanau, hapu and iwi and greater leadership in their communities, this restorative justice initiative has not developed the results so far as would be expected for Maori.

At the same time New Zealanders, are shortly to go to the polls and to elect a new government and to vote on two important referendums.  First proposed is the Cannabis Legislation and Control Bill, which if supported by the public, will enable recreational use of cannabis to become legal. The second referendum is the End of Life Choice Act 2019, giving people with a terminal illness the option of requested assistance with dying. Both referendums have important consequences for Maori, they have been introduced in relation to the public’s interest, not Maori interests. Recreational legalised Cannabis will affect a young vibrant Maori population and their potential for intellectual and spiritual development and the other legislation will shorten the life course for Maori, as tangata whenua receive unequal health outcomes from all areas of the management of chronic health diseases and terminal illnesses.

 Restorative justice initiatives introduced under the disguise of diversion options to support redirection of funding for health and social services or enabling end of life choice for those diagnosed as terminally ill, will create further harm for Maori and tangata whenua again will become victims of policies and legislation created solely in the interests of the public.

 Hokai Rangi: A New Government Strategy to Reduce Maori Imprisonment

 There is now a need for Investment in Maori and how we live as members of whanau, hapu, iwi and participants in diverse communities to support the Government’s latest strategy “Hokai Rangi”. This Government strategy led out by the Minister of Corrections Hon. Kelvin Davis, aims to reduce Maori imprisonment from 52% to 16% to mirror Maori representation in the national population. 

Re investment in whanau, hapu and iwi and whanau development needs to be a number one priority, at the expense of investing in prisons, Court, judges, legal profession, Corrections. specialist mental health and social service expertise. Current investment depletes those already depleted creating a negative spiral of losses in the development of people, leading to underdevelopment of Aotearoa.

Maori women and restorative justice

Hokai Rangi as a Government endorsed strategy focuses on Maori imprisonment, but it is silent on Maori female imprisonment which currently accounts for 62% of female imprisonment in Aotearoa. Police diversion and Te Pae Oranga are important restorative processes for Maori women for wahine Maori are structured in New Zealand society to be at the bottom and to give others a chance to succeed above wahine Maori at their cost.

Restorative justice processes and criminal offending are processes that Maori women are often involved in supporting partners, members of whanau, hapu and iwi but their effectiveness in healing Maori women lives are still to be researched for the focus is generally on addressing the behaviour of men and their development.

More Maori women who come before the Police or other Crown agencies for offending or abuse, should have the opportunity of diversion, such as panels like Te Pae Oranga, which may be made up of wise and mature women of their kin and community who can understand and appreciate the challenges in their lives, where society is stacked against them and their children to achieve and flourish.

Research undertaken by the Maori Women’s Welfare League in 1984, identified that stress and anxiety was a major issue for wahine Maori and through their life they play different roles and responsibilities in the development of themselves as young women, being mothers and carers of children and family members, becoming involved in the community as they age and developing specific roles and responsibilities on the marae and in the community. Maori women play a key role in supporting the transfer of tikanga Maori and cultural knowledge from one generation to another. These roles and responsibilities are different from the roles that NonMaori women play in their communities[15].

This needs to be appreciated where conflict in identity and adaption to living in both worlds, Maori and NonMaori can create stress and behaviour which can lead to offending, abuse of drugs, problem gambling, mental health and wider family and social issues.

  There is a need for the development of diversion restorative justice processes and initiatives which are developed by Maori women for Maori women and their children to address the effects of white racism and white feminism which creates barriers for the advancement and development of Maori women, as wahine Maori have defined Te Tiriti o Waitangi rights, their own mana and their own whakapapa.

Restorative Justice and Tikanga Maori

Restorative Justice as defined by the Ministry of Justice is now a process which has embraced and integrated Maori values in the process. To be a restorative justice facilitator requires the person either Maori or NonMaori to have a full understanding and ability to live and practice Maori values in their daily life. The values are:

  • Pono – to be truthful, honest and sincere
  •  Tika – to be able to things in the right way
  • Aroha– to be able to feel compassion, caring and empathy for others
  • Mana– to be able to enable people to achieve motuhake and self determination
  • Manaakitanga– to show respect and care for others
  • Aharurutanga– to be able to provide a place of warmth and safety

 These values are required to be key in the process of restorative justice as well as to utilise the following whakatauki in engagement of the process. The whakatauki is: 

He aha te mea nui o te ao

 He tangata, he tangata, he tangata

 What is the most important thing in the world

 It is people, it is people, it is people

 In adopting such values and vision for restorative justice in Aotearoa, it would be expected that these values are also an integral part of how Courts, Justice, Corrections, Police, Health, Education, Child Protection, and Social Services which incorporate restorative justice, patients’ and Maori rights in the health, disability and accident related sectors. This is important so that there is not an “us and them approach”. Instead we have an approach of working collectively together not in silos, but integrated to achieve a common vision that is the development of people, utilising the values that Maori have ancestrally learnt and transfer from one generation to another.

These values are in many respects universal and are shared across many populations and religions supporting the Te Whare Tapu Wha model which Maori have developed and now is accepted and endorsed by the majority of nonMaori living in Aotearoa as a framework to achieve and maintain good health. This model of health has been endorsed in the various mental health, justice and legal reviews which have been undertaken in Aotearoa. The model was developed in the 1980s by Maori and highlights the length of time bureaucratic institutions take to change.

This model of health is also seen as a pathway to wellbeing as people working together can nurture the growth of others and acts as kaitiaki or protectors of the whenua (land) awa, (rivers) moana (sea) and species that lives within these environments. [16] Restorative justice in New Zealand as a concept that has now moved forward to focus not only on reparation to repair the damage but to do more for both offenders and victims that is to support them to both recover and achieve wellbeing.

Our connections to each other and the wider environments we live in and are dependent upon balance and harmony. This is an ongoing process of negotiation between Maori with the Crown in different forums for restorative justice for Maori. This is an ongoing issue of healing, harmony, balance and restoration and it takes place daily in any sector of Government and Crown agencies, affecting policy development, design and implementation of legislation, resource decisions, management and governance. These relationships and interactions are underpinned by our founding constitutional document Te Tiriti o Waitangi. 

This document gives rights and responsibilities to be met by the Crown, its agencies and also for Maori as individuals and members of whanau, hapu and iwi.   To ensure that Crown agencies are Pono and Tika, restorative justice requires Crown agencies and whom they contract with to be regularly reviewed, audited and monitored independently and transparently by Maori and Iwi so that ongoing harmony, balance and appropriate development for Maori and NonMaori is achieved and maintained.

 Te Triti o Waitangi needs to be at the heart and centre of restorative justice, part of the training, skill development and knowledge of those who are accredited as restorative justice facilitators, so that Maori, Crown agencies and its agents can interact with each other as equal partners. Harm can then be addressed and resolved which builds relationships based upon Maori values which define the process and outcomes expected of restorative justice in Aotearoa.

 Crown agencies and agents that act on behalf of the Crown need to be reviewed and audited by Maori on a regular basis, to ensure that they embody all of their decisions, the vision and values of restorative justice and to achieve positive development   for all tangata so that peace, harmony and justice occurs in Aotearoa.

Public Funding and Independent Reviews

Considerable public funding has now been invested in numerous independent reviews over the past three years commissioned by the Labour and New Zealand First Government, as mentioned to provide advice and recommendations to create transformational changes, often described as “once in a generation opportunity”, to look, reflect and to create a new system. Restorative justice processes have been involved in the methodology of these reviews, seeking input from vulnerable and marginalised populations and Maori, wanting to hear their lived experience to improve the effectiveness of Crown services and achieve defined outcomes, as national targets. Those involved in conducting these reviews have been led by recognised esteemed leaders and academics in our country, utilising their professional skills, knowledge and research.

Collectively, the findings of these reviews and recommendations proposed have many similarities, in that they have all have reported that Crown publicly funded systems as Justice, Family Court, mental health and addiction services and Corrections are not operating as the public would expect and this is especially so, for Maori and other vulnerable marginalised populations creating adverse outcomes in their lives.

Despite the fact that many Crown statutory agencies are now required by statute to consider Te Tiriti o Waitangi responsibilities in all of their statutory responsibilities, meet New Zealand and international human rights responsibilities, meet expected public sector best practices and have audit systems in place. It seems that currently, Maori are invisible or ignored when key decisions are made. It is now accepted as a fact that structured racial discrimination exists daily in New Zealand. This discrimination is both explicit and implicit, the latter now called unconscious bias, resulting in adverse outcomes for tangata whenua and widening health, economic and social disparities.

Having defined legal professional and management accountabilities to be met by Crown agencies, it is disappointing that Crown agencies are not operating as required and how the public would expect. This opens the way now for Maori to seek restorative justice as victims and to meet with offenders, that is Crown agencies and its agents, to hear and listen from them first hand “Kanohi ki te Kanohi” (face to face) and to listen as to the reasons why Maori were not visible and prioritised as the population to be considered in all governance, management and professional decisions. This is important so that Maori as victims of discrimination can articulate the effects of their exclusion of not being visible or allowed to be involved in decision making to voice in their own words, emotions, feelings and actions, of the harm that has been created in their lives and will continue in future generations unless redressed.

Intergenerational trauma and post-traumatic stress, premature death mental illness and addictions, suicide are all outcomes that Maori experience from traumatic harm and which requires acknowledgement by the offender and reparation for damages occurred.

Restorative justice is a process that Maori and those harmed by Crown agencies and personnel acting outside or unconsciously of their statutory responsibilities and requirements can meet through a structured and managed restorative justice conference to hear and listen to both parties’ stories and to work through outcomes which are agreeable to both parties of the harm that has occurred and how this may be addressed as defined and articulated by the victims involved.   

This should be seen as next step and evolution of restorative justice in Aotearoa in not just dealing with the individual offender and victim who are often both victims of legislation, policy decisions and programs funded and operationalised by Crown agencies and their staff unable to meet fully their statutory responsibilities.

Policing and Armed Response Teams

The Armed Response Unit was introduced in Counties Manukau, Waikato and Canterbury, October 2019, on the rationale that it would allow high risk events to be deescalated and defused with minimum force involved.  Each unit consisted of three or more experienced officers with armed offenders’ squad (AOS) expertise and these teams were used in peak hours. They were introduced with no consultation to the communities in which they would operate, no engagement with Maori and the introduction occurred as an initiative created by the Police with no formal approval given by Government or the Cabinet process.

Having Police with arms in the community is a sensitive issue for Maori as Maori are more likely to be more adversely effective by armed Police, resulting in injury and death. The locations chosen by the Police included two areas, Counties Manukau and Waikato which Maori and Pacific populations are significantly resident and also recent migrants. These areas were chosen by the Police on the rationale that they had the highest number of firearms seized, located and surrendered. However, after reviewing the Official Information Data, it has been identified that firearms were less than 1 % of alleged assaults on Police.

For a six-month trial period Police data reported for the three areas the Armed Response Units attended, 8629 incidences have been described and defined as 3Ts- a stop, search of car or person, bail checks. Other incidences were family harm, arrest warrants and investigating suspicious people or cars and thus generally policing.

 After a change in leadership of the Police, the Armed Response Units have been disbanded and the new Police Commissioner Andy Coster has stated that ARTS are not the style of policing New Zealand want. The role of Police of enforcement and first frontline responders in relation to indigenous and other populations who experience systematic and systemic racism is now a global matter, leading to individuals, families and whanau fearful of the Police and are reluctant to seek their assistance if need is required.

 Restorative justice needs to be offered by to those who were victims of the Armed Response Units as they were created with no formal Cabinet approval by the Government and the initiative was implemented by the Police and no consideration was given of this Crown agency’s responsibilities Te Tiriti o Waitangi responsibilities and Maori national international human rights.

 COVID- 19 Public Health Response Act 2020

 The law enforcement role of the Police is now broadening in communities following COVID- 19 and the development of new legislation giving the Minister of Health, Director- General of Health and other Ministers considerable powers to manage further waves  of possible transmission of COVID- 19, or any threat to the health and wellbeing of the population, such as the flow on effects of  a country where the political, economic and social infrastructure is increasingly becoming unstable and access to resources as food, water, shelter and  health and medical services is constrained created by racism, sexism  class discrimination and rapid  increase of migrants to this country.

In responding to the threat of COVID- 19 infection, Maori have been criticised for being proactive in taking a leadership role in their communities and tribal boundaries protecting those in their whanau, hapu and communities and determining who can enter into their rohe (tribal area). The legislation has totally ignored Maori in Aotearoa, there is no mention of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, or Maori statutory bodies as Te Kaunihera o Aotearoa  ( New Zealand Maori Development Council ) or Te Puni Kokiri, the Ministry of Maori Development, legally responsible to facilitate  Maori achievement in health, education, employment and other areas and to ensure Crown delivered and purchased services are adequate and suitable for Maori, being involved in a leadership role of determining  rules for public health protection and Maori protection.

The new Act is now waiting to be used as COVID-19 spreads globally creating community transmission, infection and deaths at a level not experienced since the global flu endemic in 1918 and onwards. New Zealand borders are currently closed other than for New Zealanders requesting to come home and to comply with quarantine requirements.   Looking back and forward, this new legislation is another form of the Government developing legislation for the protection of the public and the right to use the Police to enter people’s home without a warrant and impose infringement orders, which can result in a person   having a criminal record, affecting their future life course. 

The Act gives considerable power to the Police in how they interact in a community, neighbourhood and in a family situation. Maori are invisible in this Act, so no consideration has been given to the effects of this power on tangata whenua who are over policed as we are seen always as potential offenders. The drafting of this legislation and approval of it by the current Government and then hearing submissions from the public during lockdown, highlights that Maori are constantly in a position to having to educate and inform politicians and senior public servants of their legal responsibilities to tangata whenua.

 Restorative justice needs to be undertaken with Maori statutory and Crown agencies as well as Iwi leaders as to how do we manage our boarders as a country and within Aotearoa, to ensure protection and safety for health and wellbeing of tangata whenua and the general public. Maori are innovative and understand a public health approach and management of global and national crisis matters, such as a threat of communicable and non-communicable diseases and water.

  Purongo Whakamutunga: Health and Disability Review

 The New Zealand health and disability system and our Accident Compensation Corporation are often envied by other countries and people who do not have access to[LD1]   primary medical, hospital, disability, mental health and rehabilitation services significantly funded by publicly or by indirect taxation.   New Zealand’s health and disability services has evolved over time with inequalities increasingly now becoming visible for Maori and those who are unable to speak or heard when they advocate that health, disability and accident related services are no working for them and they need to be co designed with individuals, families and whanau as a one size fits all no longer works.

The release of the review of findings of the expert group established to provide advice and direction of the next stage of evolution of health and disability services has found that current structural arrangements of district health boards across the country are no longer appropriate. Further, that there is a need to having professional management and governance of services of district health boards, rather than elected community leaders and a reduction in number of boards. If the findings of the review team are implemented as planned over a 5 to 20 year time period for the next generation, we can expect to see greater centralisation, less bureaucracy, ring fenced funding for defined services, for the Ministry of Health to be reduced in function, a public health advisory committee to be established to ensure public health matters are not lost sight of in the provision of medical and related health services and the establishment of a Maori Health Authority. It has also been recommended that a charter be established with defined values and principles to shape and form a shared culture across the health and disability sector, to address racial, sexual and employment abuse in the health and disability sector.

The review team has also recommended that Te Tiriti o Waitangi in the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000, be reviewed to keep abreast with recent Waitangi Tribunal decisions in the health and related sectors, the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and other human rights which apply to tangata whenua.

The release of the report, findings and recommendations proposed by the Review Team are important for Maori as they provide the foundation and the evidence to support the implementation of restorative justice in the health and disability and also the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) although not the review, but Maori are affected by ACC services purchased and delivered in the public health sector.

The Review team has made a clear statement that “Maori health outcomes are significantly worse than those for other New Zealanders and reflects a failure of the health and disability system and does not reflect Te Tiriti o Waitangi commitments”. The review team also accepted that racism and sexual structural discrimination operates in the health and disability system to the disadvantaged of Maori and many are harmed or wounded by this system. This fact and the findings of the review team have been accepted by the current Labour and NZ First Government that significant changes need to be made in the New Zealand health and disability sector to address and redress structural inequalities that affect Maori throughout their life course. It is recognised that the structural inequalities affect other marginalised and discriminated populations but for Maori the health, disability and accident related sectors, they have specific legal responsibilities to be met for tangata whenua. To move forward the harm created of the abuse inflicted on Maori needs to be addressed through restorative justice and reparation provided by the offender, that is the Crown, for its intergenerational trauma and the cost of not actively preventing the transfer of this trauma to the future generations net yet seen.

  Restorative justice as a process and is legal right for Maori to enter into as a process of restorative justice with the Crown as the offender for its ongoing abuse of maintaining structural discrimination against tangata whenua.

 Restorative justice process can also be utilised by other populations if they are affected by abuse created by the Crown.

Maori Health Authority

 The Maori Health Authority was proposed but not endorsed by all members of the Review Team. This typifies the general views of New Zealanders, that we should not treat or have separate arrangements for tangata whenua despite their advocacy and desire for a system that works for Maori. This is important for the current generation of Maori who are are young, vibrant, many are educated, many want to return home and they do not want to live the lives of their parents or relatives that have been abused and mistreated by Crown agencies on the assumption that they know what is best for them.

The   proposed Maori Health Authority as proposed by some members of the review team can be seen as an olive branch to tangata whenua and acknowledgement that the current system is not working and to accelerate change a new body governed and directed by Maori is required.  It is proposed that this body should have multiple roles on establishment  access to Vote Health and ACC funding, the ability to purchase and co design service  for Maori with mainstream service providers, establish their own public health infrastructure as a Maori Public Health Advisory Body, undertake independent auditing and monitoring of services to assess their effectiveness for Maori, be involved in policy and legislation design and implementation so that unintentional consequences which are adverse for Maori are reduced as far as possible. The Maori Health Authority should also be able to receive funding from other Crown agencies as Oranga Tamariki, Police, Justice, Corrections and Ministry of Primary Industries for any decisions made in any sector of Government policy and purchasing has flow on effects for tangata whenua.

This realisation has become visible in the prevention of community transmission of COVID- 19 and the management of our national borders and the question when do we open, with whom and what possible cost to human health, health of the environment and overall economy.  

 The Review Team reviewing New Zealand’s health and disability system has provided useful evidence for change, structural changes cannot be made without policy, legislation and funding changes. Maori no longer  should  be asked or segregated  to sit on the side line and watch and wait for Cabinet decisions to be made instead, the first step before any wider structural changes are made should be to create the Maori Health Authority  representing Maori interest to have a direct input and  to have the same status as the Ministry of Health in providing expert policy advice and legislative design in the reengineering  of our New Zealand public health and disability system following the complex review undertaken and COVID-19 experience so that both Maori and the Crown are fit for purpose to address any other issues which occur expected or unexpected.

 The Maori Health Authority should be established as the first step to address and create new structural changes in the health, disability and accident related sectors and to be involved as   an equal partner as the Ministry of Health in provision of expert advice, in policy, legislative design and resource decisions to create a future health service fit for purpose for Maori and NonMaori.


This paper has been prepared to provide voices on the importance of restorative justice to address harm that has occurred intentionally or unintentionally by Crown agencies that have acted illegally or ignored the significance of their statutory responsibilities. Restorative justice as a process needs to evolve further in New Zealand to be of relevance to tangata whenua, to address and redress the big issues in their lives to prevent ongoing trauma for future generations.

We have an infrastructure in place and Maori now trained and experienced and recognised as restorative justice facilitators. They now need to be engaged by the Crown as being independent to facilitate a process between offender and victim to have pre-conferences and restorative justice conferences to address harm occurred, reparation required to address harm and outcomes to be achieved for the offender to address taking responsibility for behaviour, and lastly, the process to be documented for openness and transparency.   Furthermore, the offender needs to be held accountable for delivery on outcomes to avoid legal prosecution and an ongoing criminal record.

Ehara taku toa te toa takitahi engari

 he toa takimano

 My strength is not of an individual but that of the collective


Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction ( 2018) He Ara Oranga,

Lunggen D. (7 October 2017). Canada to compensate aboriginal children removed for families. ttps://

Ministry of Justice. (2015). Strengthening New Zealand’s legislative response to family violence A public discussion document. Wellington: Ministry of Justice

Ministry of Justice ( 2019) Te Korowai Turea Whanau The final report of the Independent Panel examining the 2014 family justice reforms

Ministry of Justice ( 2019)  Turuki Turuki Moving Together

Morris A (2002) Critiquing the Critics: A Brief Response to Critics of Restorative Justice, British Journal of Criminology,42,596-615,

Ministry of Justice (2011) Restorative Justice Best Practice in New Zealand, Ministry of Justice

New Zealand Health and Disability Review ( 2020)” Health and Disability System Review Final Report  Purongo Whakamutunga”,

Office of the Children’s Commissioner (2020) “Te Kuku o Te Manawa”, Office of the Children’s Commissioner

Pahi C   (August 2020 ) More  re- offending but less harm from marae based justice

Pitama, S Huria T, Lacey C ( 2014) Improving Maori Health through Clinical assessment Waikare o te Waka o Meihana y 2014, Vol 127 No 1393; ISSN 1175 8716, pg 107-144. ©NZMA

Tokalau T (2019) Human barricade protecting uplift at Waitakere Hospital, June 13, 2020

[1]  Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction ( 2018) He Ara Oranga,

[2]  Ministry of Justice ( 2019) Te Korowai Turea Whanau The final report of the Independent Panel examining the 2014 family justice reforms

[3]  Ministry of Justice ( 2019)  Turuki Turuki Moving Together

[4]  The  Royal Commission of Inquiry Into Abuse in Care is ongoing and has not reported

[5] New Zealand Health and Disability Review ( 2020)” Health and Disability System Review Final Report  Purongo Whakamutunga”,

[6]  Tokalau  T ( 2019)  Human barricade protecting uplift at Waitakere Hospital, June 13 , 2020

[7]  Office of the Children’s Commissioner ( 2020 ) “Te Kuku o Te Manawa”, Office of the Children’s Commissioner

[8]Lunggen D. (7 October 2017). Canada to compensate aboriginal children removed for families. ttps://

[9]  L Dyall attended the public hearings of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care, held in Auckland 29 October-8 November 2019 and witnessed survivors of abuse present their evidence of abuse and impact on their lives.

[10]  Morris A (2002) Critiquing the Critics : A Brief Response to Critics of Restorative Justice, British Journal of Criminology,42,596-615, pg 60 ,  cited in the Ministry of Justice ( 2011) Restorative Justice Best Practice in New Zealand, Ministry of Justice

[11] Ministry of Justice. (2015). Strengthening New Zealand’s legislative response to family violence A public discussion document. Wellington: Ministry of Justice

[12] Panels now operate in Auckland City, Waitemata, South Auckland, Hamilton, Whakatane, Rotorua, Gisborne, Hastings, Lower Hutt, Nelson, Christchurch and Invercargill.

[13]   Dyall L (2020) has reviewed internally the feedback from offender, victims that have utilized Te Pae Oranga at Orakei Marae or the Whanau Ora Clinic, Manukau on their feedback and satisfaction with the process from Police diversion to completion of the process and  completion of outcomes agreed to avoid sentencing.

[14]  Pahi C More  re- offending but less harm from marae based, 10 August 2020, justice

[15] Murchie, E. (1984). Rapuora Health and Maori Women, Maori Women’s Welfare League, Maori Women’s Welfare League

[16]  Pitama, S Huria T, Lacey C (2014) Improving Maori Health through Clinical assessment Waikare o te Waka o Meihana y 2014, Vol 127 No 1393; ISSN 1175 8716, pg 107-144. ©NZMA


Trauma and Restorative Justice : 8 specialists to learn from

Trauma awareness is important to restorative responses but there is less understanding on how to formally integrate it into practice. These eight RJ World speakers shed light on ways to work with individuals and communities facing trauma.

Kerri Quinn (USA)

Kerri Quinn has been a mediator, facilitator and peace weaver for 15 years. Concurrently an adjunct professor of organizational conflict resolution and leadership at Creighton University Law School and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, she is also partner and consultant for Restorative Way based in Colorado. The organization she passionately works for believes in weaving elements of empathy and accountability in a variety of settings ranging from schools to workplaces.

Recognizing the dire need for trauma-responsive restorative communication practices, she has developed specialized training for schools and victim advocates.

In her FIRST presentation she focuses on the underlying dynamics of conflict and language tools to pivot a conflict conversation to focus on the needs of the parties, understand the impact of conflict, and ultimately create lasting resolution. Her core area of trauma responsive restorative communication tackles conflict in a novel way.Viewing “conflict as an opportunity for rebuilding trust, mutual respect, and accountability” her work has been used throughout the USA in schools, correctional facilities, families for profit and non-profit victims’ organizations.

Her SECOND presentation explores the “unwanted bond” created when a person is harmed by another individual, the implications of such a bond and stages of trauma experienced by and offenders. Her captivating stories from high risk victim offender dialogues

Stories are shared from (murder and vehicular homicide cases) that successfully broke this bond and allowed for restoration and healing.

Kerri has facilitated over 1000 restorative intervention dialogues. Her work in building successful restorative justice programming has established her as a “restorative thought-leader” in the state of Colorado.

She is also the co-author of the book “Building Trauma-Responsive Restorative Cultures” (2018)

Leaf Seligman (USA)

Leaf Seligman is an author and restorative justice practitioner with a teaching experience of over thirty years. Moved by the feeling of disconnection, Leaf connected with the invisible in the society from a tender age and has since worked towards making the stories of the marginalised – prisoners be heard. Taking up teaching and writing to prisoners which has changed many lives.

Seligman takes us through her journey of disconnection and connection in this moving talk:

Seligman is a Trauma-informed, Empathy-based, Whole-self care practitioner and a co-founder of Monadnock Restorative Community and Cheshire County Restorative Justice Program. She has extensively published, one of her noted works being ‘From the Midway: Unfolding stories of Redemption and Belonging’ published in 2019. Here is an interesting video of a musically infused dramatic reading:

In her presentation, Seligman will be talking about The Importance of Tenderness: Cultivating Accountability and Community through trauma-informed, self-compassion. She will be addressing the critical need for a practical and compassionate approach to cultivate accountability, factoring in the widespread effects of trauma and the errant approach to justice that seeks to punish rather than understand. She will invite listeners to reflect on the challenge of developing compassion for self and others in the context of polarization, marginalization and collective anxiety. With warmth, humor and pragmatic tools, as an author, minister, educator and restorative justice practitioner, she wills to offer a pathway to greater connection, compassion and accountability necessary for a community restored to wholeness where everyone can flourish.

To know more about Leaf, visit

Dr. Colleen Pawlychka (Canada)

Representing Canada, Dr. Colleen Pawlychka is a faculty member at Douglas College, New Westminster, BC. She is also an affiliate of Restorative Justice International and a member of its Global Advisory Council. Her scholarship and research are interdisciplinary and are informed by practical experience in the fields of restorative justice and corrections.

Her presentation she discusses the phenomenon of Childhood Psychological Trauma (CPT). Often individuals carry their childhood emotional wounds with them into adulthood which may continue throughout their lifetime. She proposes healing CPT as essential for rehabilitation.

Through a series of in-depth interviews with former Canadian federal male prisoners who self-identified as having experienced CPT, she not only examines their experiences and highlights their voices but also emphasizes the critical role of community members in the rehabilitative process and the destructive impacts of excessively punitive correctional tactics. She has observed through her research that community-prisoner connection is integral to healing childhood psychological trauma, reflects trauma-informed, gender-responsive care, and constitutes a powerful, positive connection that should be encouraged as a rehabilitation strategy.

Colleen also facilitates experiential conflict resolution workshops and participates in weekly restorative justice circles in a BC federal prison. She also bridges the gap between community and prisoners, providing opportunities for criminology students and those who have experienced incarceration to learn directly from one another.

Urvashi Tilak (India)

Urvashi Tilak is the Director of the Restorative Justice Team at Counsel to Secure Justice (CSJ). She oversees the implementation of restorative justice work and practices of the organisation. CSJ, a non-profit based in India, serves and supports individuals and communities that have experienced trauma to ensure they are safe, heard, and receive true healing and justice. Counsel to Secure Justice (CSJ) is one of the few organisations working on developing restorative justice and practices in India.

Visit the CSJ website here to find out more:

CSJ works with children who have caused harm, providing psycho-social support and restorative talking circles in protective and custodial child care institutions. CSJ offers restorative justice and reintegration and healing processes for children. So far, CSJ has worked with 250 children in institutions, facilitated two restorative justice processes and held three reintegration processes for children who caused harm.

In her presentation, Urvashi proposes to discuss the journey of the Counsel to Secure Justice in establishing restorative practices in India. It will also discuss how CSJ has facilitated Restorative Justice processes and the learnings and challenges of offering restorative practices within Indian legal system.

Check out her take on Healing through Kindness here:

Anna De Paula (Brazil)

As a Public Prosecutor from Brazil, Anna De Paula introduces us to peacemaking circles employed by her and her team to pay special attention to crime victims. Her presentation gives us valuable insights as to how to help and support crime victims even with budgetary restrictions. She also informs us about the importance of trauma awareness.

Geovana Fernandes (Brazil)

Geovana Fernandes holds a Masters in Law focusing on Restorative Justice. She is a Circles Facilitator, Mediator, Federal Justice Public Servant and Director of ADR’s Center. She discusses restorative justice from the lens of alternative dispute resolution. She proposes that restorative justice emerges as a new legal concept to mobilize a diversity of issues and knowledge.

Her present study aims to critically analyze the restorative approach in the context of the multi-door courthouse and from the inflows of the holistic paradigm, as an adequate method to solve conflicts that have generative potential due to traumas and sufferings, in order to allow the interruption of the destructive spiral and thus prevent the emergence of new conflicts.

Some foundations and goals of restorative justice are also going to be addressed, along with the role of narratives in the re-signification of traumatic experiences and how they can be used in restorative circles.

Finally, the potential of restorative justice for the development of mutual recognition will also be evaluated by her.

Claudia Christen-Schneider (Switzerland)

Claudia Christen-Schneider is the Founder and President of the Swiss RJ Forum. She is very active in promoting, developing and implementing restorative justice in Switzerland and also involved in the EFRJ’s values & standards committee.

For more information about Restorative Justice in Switzerland, please visit her website:

Her presentation puts forth the idea that trauma-healing should form part of RJ’s practices. According to her RJ shares several commonalities with the concept of ‘trauma-informed care’, which aims to create an environment where professionals know about trauma and adapt their practice according to this knowledge. Both trauma-informed care and RJ seek to promote healing in trauma-survivors through empowerment, story-telling, building healthy and secure relationships and stimulating reconnection. However, according to available literature and conducted research, many RJ programs seemingly lack a trauma-informed approach.

She raises and addresses the question if RJ fails to live up to its own goals of providing a needs-based and healing form of justice. She also explains what it means to work trauma-informed with all stakeholders in a restorative process.


Frauke Petzold has been a practitioner of Restorative Justice in Germany for about 28 years. She served as the Board member of European Forum for Restorative Justice for 6 years. Frauke works with WAAGE Hannover E.V.. She supervises and coaches by training on Restorative justice mediation, conflict management and conflict resolution in Germany and all over Europe. Her focus areas are victim-offender-mediation in domestic violence cases.

Frauke believes that domestic violence cases need significant consideration to be given to the interests of victims which are worth protecting. These victims not only include direct victims of the violent act, but also children involved. In her presentation she will be discussing perspectives of the victims of domestic violence on dealing with trauma.

Here is Frauke’s take on future of Restorative Justice:

Written by RJ World guest authors Konina and Anwesha

Konina Mandal is an Assistant Lecturer at Jindal Global Law School, O.P Jindal Global University, India. Her research interests include criminology and criminal justice, criminal laws and corrections. She will be co-presenting with Anwesha Panigrahi, Assistant Professor at ICFAI Law School,Hyderabad, India.

Anwesha Panigrahi is presently positioned as an Assistant Professor at ICFAI Law School, Hyderabad, India. She has an LLM in Criminal Justice, Family and Social Welfare. Her research interests include criminal justice, prison jurisprudence and prison laws, corrections, criminal laws and procedure. She will be co-presenting with Ms. Konina Mandal.

Restorative cities: Perspectives on current models at RJ World

Two of our speakers examine the progress in restorative cities.

Prof. Grazia Mannozzi

Grazia Mannozzi is professor of “Criminal Law” and of “Restorative Justice and Victim-offender Mediation” at the University of Insubria (Como – Italy).She is the Director of the Restorative Justice and Mediation Study Centre (CeSGReM) at the same University her research activity, she has mainly focused, always from a comparative perspective, on sentencing system, restorative justice, economic crimes, corruption, corporate liability, law and language. From speaking at several national and international conferences to working as honorary judge at the Court for the Enforcement of Sentences of Venice and Milan, her numerous accomplishments speak for her incredible work.

In the field of Restorative Justice she coordinated the thematic table on “Restorative justice, victim protection and mediation” as part of the General Assembly on enforcement of sanction instituted by the Italian Minister of Justice Andrea Orlando She is also a Member of the Legislative Commission to reform the enforcement of punishment and establish a normative frame for restorative justice

Her main publications, translated in several language, are on restorative justice, sentencing and corruption. In 2017, she published the first Italian handbook of restorative justice, titled “La giustizia riparativa. Formanti, parole e metodi”, Giappichelli, Torino (with Giovanni A. Lodigiani).

You can read her article titled “The emergence of the idea of a ‘restorative city’ and its link to restorative justice” in the International Journal of Restorative Justice here –

As former Chair of the EFRJ Working Group on ‘Restorative City’, her presentation is a dialogue on “restorative cities” in an ideal passing of the baton between the first Chair of the EFRJ Working Group on Restorative Cities and the current one. The conversation focuses on: a) the conceptual transition from restorative justice theory to the elaboration of the idea of “restorative cities”; b) the reasons for the “restorative cities” issue has become a pivotal theme in the action of the EFRJ and has led to the foundation of a Working Group (which has brought together experts from different disciplines and restorative cities realities).

Research Fellow on Restorative Justice Programme, Gian Luigi Lepri and Chiara Perini,associate professor of Criminal law and Restorative Justice at University of Insubria (Italy) will be presenting with her.After presenting the main examples of “restorative cities” that have developed concretely in Europe, the speakers will try to apply the SWOT Analysis to the “restorative cities” projects, evaluating their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The goal is to contribute to the work planning of the EFRJ Working Group and all those involved in promoting “restorative cities

To find out more about their interesting mission visit

This video sums up EFRJ’s agenda on Building Restorative Cities

Chris Straker

Co-founder of the Hull Centre for Restorative Practice in 2007. During his leadership there, The Hull Centre became known nationally as ‘progressive’ in restorative practice and its application across agencies working with families and young people.

Chris has drawn on this experience to develop training in restorative practice. He is also the Director, Lead Trainer and Consultant atRestorative Thinking Limited, UK. Chris is co-author of Restorative Thinking’s Secondary Curriculum Programme. As a Director with Restorative Thinking Limited, Chris supports Restorative Thinking’s strategic direction. He is the Lead Trainer and supports all of Restorative Thinking Limited’s work strands. In addition to multiple responsibilities and talks nationally and internationally, he has worked with cities on strategic, city-wide, implementation. He has written two chapters for the recent publication by EFRJ on restorative cities.

Exploring the myths behind the restorative city concept. Chris will use the UK as a backdrop for participants to explore their own ideas on what a restorative city means for them. Context is everything but there are some models he will use to create the opportunity for dialogue.

He addresses the question “Is the restorative city concept a move towards a new paradigm or just Emperor’s new clothes?”

His workshop explores the concept of right relationships (between professionals and professionals, and the professional and families they work with) and how best to develop these by an explicit dialogue; not only around our areas of agreement, but also our areas of difference. It will look to see how restorative processes can be used to deepen relationships at a city-wide level by an explicit and shared understanding of behaviours and language.

You can follow Chris on Twitter @strakerchris and know more about his work at

Written by RJ World guest authors Konina and Anwesha

Konina Mandal is an Assistant Lecturer at Jindal Global Law School, O.P Jindal Global University, India. Her research interests include criminology and criminal justice, criminal laws and corrections. She will be co-presenting with Anwesha Panigrahi, Assistant Professor at ICFAI Law School,Hyderabad, India.

Anwesha Panigrahi is presently positioned as an Assistant Professor at ICFAI Law School, Hyderabad, India. She has an LLM in Criminal Justice, Family and Social Welfare. Her research interests include criminal justice, prison jurisprudence and prison laws, corrections, criminal laws and procedure. She will be co-presenting with Ms. Konina Mandal.

Environmental justice and community building

Meet three RJ World presenters who are speaking on the use of restorative justice in environmental matters and community building.


Razwana is the Head of the Public Safety and Security Programme at Singapore University of Social Sciences. She holds a PhD in business ethics and restorative justice from Monash University, Australia, as well as post-graduate qualifications in social work, criminology, and counselling. She has 20 years of experience working with criminal justice in Singapore.

Check out her take on Sexual Misconduct on Campus here:

Razwana has been promoting restorative justice practices in various contexts. Prior to joining SUSS, Razwana spent 18 years with the Ministry of Social and Family Development, where she worked directly with children and individuals in contact with the Criminal Justice and Child Protection systems. She is also a member to various respectable organisations such as Asia-Pacific Council for Juvenile Justice, the Community of Restorative Researchers and an advisory board member to the Luthrean Community Care Services Ltd.

Her latest research interest is on the use of restorative justice in commercial organisations.

In her presentation she will be introducing the potential application of restorative justice in environmental justice. She will be referring to a research study in analysing novel approaches to the management of environmental corporate crime. Rezwana’s presentation will give us alternative lookouts in corporate governance in order to impact the activities of commercial organisations to keep up environmental justice.

Check out the kindle edition of her publication here :


Dr. Brunilda Pali is a senior researcher at the Leuven Institute of Criminology, KU Leuven, Belgium. She is currently also Secretary of the European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ). Her areas of interest are gender, critical social theory, restorative justice, cultural and critical criminology, environmental justice, and arts.

Her research website is

Her research explores in particular the shaping of restorative justice within the European penal systems, policies, and practices and seeks to reimagine restorative justice under the current penal dystopias.

Brunilda believes that restorative justice presents a great opportunity to bridge the ineffectiveness of existing environmental responses and the pressing need to stop existing harmful practices, repair harms made and prevent future environmental damage. In her presentation, she will focus on the theoretical and conceptual alignments that are necessary to make in setting the agenda of environmental restorative justice. In addition, she will be illustrating with some past, present, or emerging worldwide initiatives on the field the possibilities and limits of the restorative engagement with environmental justice issues.

Check out her talk about Art, as a catalyst for Restorative Justice:

Here she talks about Environmental Restorative Justice on the occasion of International Restorative Justice Week 2019:


Zulfiya is an experienced Assistant Professor in Peace and Conflict Studies at Guilford College, North Carolina, with a demonstrated history of working in higher education and international development. She focuses her teaching and research around restorative justice, community-based peacebuilding, Indigenous research methods, food sovereignty and health justice.

Meet Professor Tursunova here:

Zulfiya believes in a holistic teaching approach. She helps students understand that the power of learning comes from the mind — and from the heart — especially when she’s teaching them about the experiences of marginalized people around the world.

Zulfiya facilitates workshops on restorative justice as a part of the Conflict Resolution Resource Centre. She has facilitated a series of workshops in Europe and North America for community leaders from 45 countries of the world on community-based peacebuilding, transitional justice, reconciliation, immigration and sanctuary spaces, food justice and human rights as countries transition to democracy.

In her presentation, she will be describing how indegenous social and economic network of gap of rural women in Uzbekistan functions as a collective action for social and economic empowerment since 1991 till date. She will be deliberating on the fact that these community-building circles create relationships among women and support collective action and mutual responsibility by creating spaces for women’s empowerment, power and knowledge to reorganize male-dominated gendered space. These peacebuilding practices and structures function for social justice, redistribution of resources, healing, meaning making, voice, knowledge, agency and conflict resolution.

You can find her research here:

Written by RJ World Guest authors Konina and Anwesha

Konina Mandal is an Assistant Lecturer at Jindal Global Law School, O.P Jindal Global University, India. Her research interests include criminology and criminal justice, criminal laws and corrections. She will be co-presenting with Anwesha Panigrahi, Assistant Professor at ICFAI Law School,Hyderabad, India.

Anwesha Panigrahi is presently positioned as an Assistant Professor at ICFAI Law School, Hyderabad, India. She has an LLM in Criminal Justice, Family and Social Welfare. Her research interests include criminal justice, prison jurisprudence and prison laws, corrections, criminal laws and procedure. She will be co-presenting with Ms. Konina Mandal.

Free Issue: The International Journal of Restorative Justice

All attendees will receive online access to the the full issue of  The International Journal of Restorative Justice (TIJRJ).

TIJRJ features articles about restorative justice. Each issue starts with an ‘Editorial’ by a leading restorative justice expert, followed by academic peer-reviewed articles concerning original and current research on theoretical, practice and policy developments. In addition, the journal contains ‘Notes from the Field’, in which experts representative of their respective fields and countries debate practices, models or recent innovations. Then there are ‘Conversations’ with prominent figures known globally for their contributions to the field. Finally, a stimulating book review section examines the most recent or important restorative justice publications.

For queries about subscriptions, please contact:
Eleven Publishing/ Boom uitgevers Den Haag

Restorative schools: Hear leaders from 7 countries

RJ World 2020 Schools Channel – Learn from 25 world leaders in school culture, transformation, communication, relationships, behaviour. Hear the latest research and case studies from Northern Europe, Australasia and the United States.

Tom Shaw


BIO: My current role includes being a teacher, researcher and senior leader. I lead on developing character, restorative approaches and peace education at Carr Manor Community School in Leeds, UK. In addition I have recently been part of developing the project and also work with others schools in the UK to develop their relational and restorative practice.

TOPIC: Examples of embedded whole school restorative practice are not as common as they should. The model at Carr Manor Community School began 14 years ago with a commitment to zero permanent exclusions and to build community by creating circles of the smallest possible unit of children using all the adults in the organisation. This became an example of investing in peace building that delivers the best person-centred practices. 8 years ago restorative practices helped develop peace-making practices. Alongside this CMCS maintained its commitment to robustly challenge behaviours in order to maintain equal rights, social justice, safety and respect. CMCS now bucks several national and local trends. It has had zero permanent exclusions for 14 years, consistently has the lowest rate of fixed term exclusions in Leeds, high staff retention and the lowest staff absence for stress in Leeds. Pupils self-report higher than city-wide measures on the annual well-being survey.

Dr Angela Monell

United States

BIO: Dr. Angela Monell is a native of Prince George’s County Maryland and has resided in Winston Salem, NC for six years. As an educator, her passion for students is evident in her daily work as an Assistant Principal. She believes that when given the opportunity and coaching, students will gain invaluable skills in restoring, rebuilding, and effectively communicating. As she works with students on a secondary level, she believes this is a game-changer for students’ social-emotional growth.

TOPIC: Co-Presenter with Eric Rainey This dynamic session will detail the mindful and transformative process of moving from the traditional punitive In-School Suspension model to the powerful Restoration Station model. Dr. Angela C. Monell and International Institute of Restorative Practices trained Eric Rainey will lead you through the step by step process of re-imagining space for consequences to space for support and skill-building. Attendees will leave this session with a clear understanding of the educational, social, emotional, and psychological benefits of transitioning to this new model. Attendees will gain valuable insight from a school administrator’s perspective, understand the importance of human capital, social-emotional learning, and the many facets of restorative practices that are necessary within the daily wrap-around model to build the capacity of students beyond the classroom.

Lee Rush

United States of America

BIO: Lee Rush, M.Ed. Lee is the Executive Director of justCommunity, Inc. a non-profit organization based in Quakertown, PA. justCommunity provides training and consultation services to communities, schools and organizations in the area of youth development, community mobilization strategies, student assistance programs and restorative practices. Lee also serves as a consultant with Designed Learning, Inc. and has studied with Designed Learning’s founder Mr. Peter Block to learn facilitative skills using A Small Group methodology. Lee is also a certified trainer for

TOPIC: CHANGE THE CONVERSATION- CHANGE THE CULTURE- Based on Peter Block’s work, this presentation introduces critical essential conversations in creating restorative schools and communities. Areas covered are 1) the power of invitation and why choice always trumps mandates, 2) the power of possibility and why we need to stop worshiping at the alter of problems, 3) the power of refusal and to grasp the fact that if we cannot say no to something our yes means nothing and finally 4) the power of gifts and why when we start to focus on gifts rather than deficiencies everything changes. Termed “A Small Group”, this methodology has been used across the world in business sectors, restorative educational settings, faith community gatherings and recently in cities exploring the development of “economies of compassion”. My approach to building “restorative communities” is centered on the belief that global change occurs at the local level.

Kerri Quinn

United States

BIO: Trauma Responsive Restorative Communication: Understanding the impact of trauma and language when facilitating restorative practices./U.S./Colorado Restorative Justice

TOPIC: Trauma Responsive Restorative Communication: Understanding the impact of trauma and language when facilitating restorative practices.
Attendees will learn
– trauma responsive skills that can be used in the moment to create
safety and hold space for dialogue
– the dynamics of conflict
– specific language tools facilitators can use to deescalate tension,
encourage accountability and enhance listening

Kristy Elliot


BIO: Kristy Elliott holds a Bachelor of Teaching, is founder and director of Restorative Pathways and is currently working towards a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology. Kristy is a passionate, experienced and engaging presenter having worked with schools for two decades as a teacher, a consultant and trainer in field of restorative practice and more recently positive education and leadership.

TOPIC: Teachers make decisions about how best to respond to their students in the classroom minute by minute. Many disruptive or low-harming student behaviours are often unintentional or reactionary to the environment or learning activity. Low-level disruptive behaviour requires a low-level response, that is, one that promotes self-reflection, offers choice, and has minimal impact on the learning community. This presentation examines student behaviour in context to determine an appropriate response. Three levels of a response continuum will be explored including, positive corrections, affective statements and conversations, and individual restorative chats. An overarching concept of these responses is a strength-based approach to student management. Working with students to uncover their strengths and supporting them to use strengths successfully at school contributes to forming positive relationships. Strength overuse and underuse is examined as a contributor to negative behaviour and relationship outcomes.

Anna Gregory

United Kingdom

BIO: Anna is a Director at The Restorative Lab – a company at the forefront of conflict transformation research and restorative practice. Anna is a dynamic facilitator with on the ground experience of leading culture change programmes. Anna provides support, training and development to communities to promote the foundational skills needed for conflict transformation. Anna uses Theatre of the Oppressed techniques to explore how research can be more participatory, visual and creative.

Anna will share the results of her PhD research. Specifically, a participatory action research project underpinned by a restorative approach. Working with 12 child co-researchers Anna explored how we might better experience, know and transform conflict. Through a collaborative inquiry that sought transformative solutions to complex relational and systemic problems, the group co-created a more inclusive, just and peaceful research experience. In her work, Anna challenges the pathologizing of children and develops as egalitarian (as is possible) researcher relationships. This project used the philosophy of a restorative approach, the methodology of participatory action research and the methods of the Theatre of the Oppressed to produce unique and surprising findings.

Terence Bevington

United Kingdom

BIO: I am a restorative researcher and consultant based in the UK and working internationally, specialising in education and workplace settings.

TOPIC: My recently completed doctoral research explores what ‘everyday peace’ means to students and staff in English secondary schools. The findings from the study shine light on the ways in which a restorative approach in schools can help to promote personal, relational and institutional peace. I will share these hot-off-the-press findings by means of an Everyday Peace in Schools framework. Using this framework, schools will be able to map out how their restorative practice does and could contribute to building a culture of positive peace.

Anna Gregory

United Kingdom

BIO: Terence is Director of Conexus Conflict Consultancy, UK and is a critical and committed restorative trainer, consultant and researcher working with schools to develop their conflict competence and peace-building capacities. Anna is a Programme Director for Peacemakers – an educational charity in the UK. Anna provides support, training and development to school communities to promote the foundational skills needed for positive peace. Anna and Terence are both PhD candidates contributing to the fields of peace education in schools.

TOPIC: Restorative Practice as Peace Practice: How might peace be a useful lens from which to view restorative practice? Anna and Terence present their chapter in ‘Getting More Out Of Restorative Practices in Schools’. Their framework contributes to the work of Kathy Evans and Dorothy Vaandering’s who present a progression of restorative practice as something to help with behaviour management through to its potential to build culture. Anna and Terence expand the continuum to explore a transformational element when restorative is framed as peace. This conceptualisation of restorative work in schools is informed by their research and grounded in their practical engagement with peace education and restorative approaches in schools. Building on the work they’ve done in the UK and internationally to help them frame restorative-work as peace-work, Anna and Terence offer educators an expanded view of what’s possible when it comes to restorative approaches in schools.

Dr Belinda Hopkins

United Kingdom

BIO: I founded Transforming Conflict, National Centre for Restorative Approaches in Youth and Community Settings 25 years ago. I am a restorative practitioner, a trainer and consultant, and a published author. I pioneered the concept of a whole-school restorative approach across the UK in the early 2000’s. Transforming Conflict now also works with staff in children’s residential care, youth organisations and community care. I have been on the EFRJ Values and Principles Working Party and is currently on their Training Committee.

R.E.S.T.O.R.E. our schools Worldwide, school communities are facing a ‘new normal’ – after months of isolation TOPIC: and frightening news bulletins – returning to strange new environments facing guidelines that keep people at a distance, hidden behind masks, unable to socialise. There is huge pressure to make up for lost time academically. Schools may be tempted to become even more authoritarian to bring students back in line after months away from the routines and rhythms of their school community. Belinda Hopkins and Monica Alberti will present a package of resources designed by UK restorative practitioners to support the mental and emotional health of the whole school community at this time of crisis. ( Belinda was part of the original collective. Monica has been using the materials in Catalonia, working with the Catalan Department of Education to implement a restorative approach in schools not just as crisis intervention but for every day.

Pia Slögs


BIO: Lawyer Pia Slögs is the director of community mediation centre in Finland. She is a restorative trainer and mediator. She has completed her studies on restrorative justice at Univ Hull, UK. She has worked earlier at victim-offender mediation services for 15 years. Pia is a co-trainer in VERSO-programme especially in Swedish spoken schools in Finland.

TOPIC: Pia Slögs is a co-presenter with Maija Gellin. See the abstract in Maija Gellin’s application: How to create a restorative school culture.

Dr Maija Gellin


BIO: Dr Maija Gellin is the director of the programme for restorative approach in education and schools (VERSO-programme) in Finland. She has also worked as a mediation officer under the victim-offender mediation service. She is giving lectures on restorative approach at Univ Helsinki and Univ Lapland as well as in many institutions in Finland and other countries. She is a board member of Finnish Forum for Mediation and a member of Finnish women peace builder’s group and Nordic mediation researcher’s group.

TOPIC: How to create a restorative school culture
Restorative values such as respect, sense of community and participation as well as the rights of the child are more important than ever from the perspective of global health and well-being threats. Implementing the restorative approach in schools and day care is focusing not only giving restorative methods to school staff members but more to change the whole school culture to a restorative one. Based on 20 year experience in Finnish schools and the results of PhD research, this session is opening the key concepts of a restorative school community. Including restorative attitude, restorative participation and restorative mediation as basics for daily work in schools and kindergartens strengthens the positive identity of children as well as the wellbeing of whole school community and families. When the skill of restorative encounter is learned already in a school, this ability provides know-how throughout the life.

Gail Quigley


BIO: I am an experienced Principal of an elementary school based in Australia I have a passion for social justice and giving the child a voice in a mostly adult dominated environment based on behaviourism

TOPIC: I believe RJ is the golden ticket to overcoming inequality the world faces today. Schools are ideally placed the mould the development of our future citizens This presentation will cover how I have implemented RJ in a school both the successes and challenges Case studies showcasing a range of marginalised groups and the power of RJ in developing true understanding will be highlighted Target audience .. anyone working with or in schools

Adam Voigt


BIO: I’m a former School Principal who has spent the last 8 years as the CEO of Real Schools. I partner with schools to build strong, relational and sustainable cultures through Restorative Practices. I speak widely in the media and am the Education Expert for Channel 10’s ‘The Project’ and I’m a regular columnist for major newspapers in Australia. In just a few weeks, my book ‘Restoring Teaching’ will be released.

TOPIC: – The Restorative School Culture

Description – Almost everyone agrees that the culture of a school is important. And yet, almost nobody can define what culture really is, beyond a feeling or a vibe. It raises a critical question … ‘How do we work on the culture of a school if we’re not sure what it is?’

This presentation provides a roadmap for School Leaders and Teachers who see the potentials and benefits in theirs being a truly restorative one. Presented by somebody who has led this work in his own schools and in through countless consultative school partnerships, it highlights what works in restorative cultures, what the pitfalls are and what the boundless possibilities are.

This presentation is peppered with inspiring stories and case studies from schools who have already completed restorative transformations and are reaping the rewards of working in a connected and supportive community culture.

Eric Rainey

United States

BIO: After 21 years in education, training and coaching was a natural progression for Eric, combining the powerful concepts of restorative practices and his natural leadership ability has proven to be a dynamic and results driven endeavor. His training and coaching has been described as “powerful”, “insightful”, “passionate” “educational”, and “inspiring”. Eric’s sincere desire to serve others and positively impact those he encounters is refreshing and evident to those who experience him.

TOPIC: This dynamic session will detail the mindful and transformative process of moving from the traditional punitive In-School Suspension model to the powerful Restoration Station model. Dr. Angela C. Monell and International Institute of Restorative Practices trained Eric Rainey will lead you through the step by step process of TOPIC: re-imagining a space for consequences to a space for support and skill-building. Attendees will leave this session with a clear understanding of the educational, social, emotional, and psychological benefits of transitioning to this new model. Attendees will gain valuable insight from a school administrator perspective, understand the importance of human capital, social emotional learning and the many facets of restorative practices that are necessary within the daily wrap-around model to build the capacity of students beyond the classroom.

Mark Goodwin

United Kingdom

BIO: I am a UK freelance teacher, trainer & coach with 20 years experience working across phases in a number of schools. I currently work in Alternative Provision with kids who are permanently excluded from school or at risk of exclusion, delivering a solutions focused coaching programme alongside key curriculum. I also work to prevent kids being excluded by training staff in restorative and relational teaching approaches. My work has been published in the TES & the Chartered College Impact magazine.

TOPIC: Reconnecting with young people after Covid

After recent events there will be hundreds of kids who feel disconnected from school, learning and even themselves. This will most keenly be felt by those who are already disadvantaged and marginalised. Drawing on my experience and expertise in reconnecting excluded kids to learning, I will present what is needed in the coming weeks and months to support a successful reconnection….the mindset teachers need; the learning kids can do; the relationships that will be needed to be built. I will explain my approaches – Meet the kids where they are; Throw a wide circle; I see you; See the Best Part and Check Yourself. The talk is full of practical advice and approaches that anybody working with young people can take away and use.

Anooj Bhandari

United States

BIO: Anooj Bhandari is a transformative justice practitioner focusing on the relationship between the intimacy of creative expression in communities and the abolition of retributive tactics across and between boundaries and borders. His work is largely based in the United States but has worked on Restorative Justice related projects around the globe, including youth justice programs in India and Thailand. He has worked as the Restorative Justice Coordinator with Make the Road NY, and is a performer with the NY Neo-Futurists.

TOPIC: I am interested in exploring youth justice, particularly what it means to create spaces of education through a Restorative Justice lens that is alternative to traditional classroom and pedagogically didactic spaces. This session will explore personal shifts from Retributive to Restorative to Transformative Justice through a creative arts lens, and will imagine community education spaces as microcosm for larger society as we explore how our intimate relationships can shape how we view the structure of spaces in which we seek to carry out Restorative Justice. This session will be oriented towards community educators of all kind who are interested in Restorative Justice as praxis, and working on RJ from a framework of transformative systems change for cultivating a more liberatory future for youth.

Graeme George


BIO: A teacher of 38 years; 18 years in school leadership; restorative practitioner, trainer, facilitator for 16 years, I am currently again a classroom teacher in Brisbane, Australia. I run

TOPIC: Many schools become interested in RP initially as a ‘behaviour management’ tool, but my own experience in the classroom, and my work with many schools and teachers over the past decade confirm that the true power of restorative work in schools can best be seen through the local development of a relational pedagogy that infuses and informs all aspects of a school’s operation. Through developing a truly relational pedagogy around the school values, the community’s guiding values can be brought to life – and to bear – in the students’ and teachers’ lived experience. This presentation explores the development of such a relational pedagogy in order to integrate practice in the classroom more fully with the mission and vision of a school.

Dr Lindsey Pointer & Kathleen McGoey

United States

BIO: Dr. Lindsey Pointer is an internationally recognized expert in restorative practices education and implementation. She has a PhD in Restorative Justice from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, where she designed and implemented the Restorative University initiative. She is a former Fulbright Fellow and Rotary Global Grant recipient and has completed extensive research on restorative justice best practices. She is passionate about building more connected and caring communities. She currently lives in Colorado.

TOPIC: Grounded in an understanding of restorative pedagogy, a paradigm of teaching in alignment with restorative values and principles, this presentation will share games and activities for teaching restorative practices. Games and activities provide a way for learners to experience and more deeply understand restorative practices while building relationships and skills. These games can be used in facilitator or community trainings, with youth in schools, or in the classroom to develop and encourage skills and principles related to restorative practices. In addition to being fun and decreasing resistance to new ideas, game-based learning allows a safe environment to test out new skills, make mistakes, or create a microcosm of a larger social issue. Teaching in a restorative way also redistributes power and truly honors learners’ voices, experiences and perspectives. This presentation will introduce participants to games and activities to take back to their organizations, classrooms, or trainings.

David Vinegrad


BIO: I work mostly as a trainer and conference facilitator in teacher education in a wide range of Australian and International Schools.

TOPIC: Random acts of Restorative Practices – Developing an integrated model of behaviour management in schools.

Margaret Thorsborne


BIO: Marg, Sue and Bev are the Ready4RP team. They are based in Australia and have a long and varied history implementing and supporting RP across a variety of settings and countries including Australia, US, UK, SE Asia and NZ. This has led them to develop a framework which can maximise the likelihood of implementation success.

TOPIC: Leading Restorative Culture Change: a relational approach to assessing and supporting implementation of Restorative Practices in organisations such as schools, government departments, NGO’S, the Not for Profit sector and community groups.

The session will cover:
* The complex issues of deep culture change
* Assessing readiness using a relational approach
* Key findings from our experiences supporting a variety of organisations in their efforts to implement RP

Tonya Covington

United States

BIO: I have been doing RJ for 30 years and in particular working and teaching people of color

TOPIC: I will present about a recent experience of training a group of young men of color in Restorative Justice and the unique experiences they bring to the work.

Chris Straker


BIO: I co-founded the Hull Centre for Restorative Practice in 2007. I offer consultancy to all agencies working with young people, families and communities across the UK. I have drawn on my experience to develop training in restorative approaches to strategic leadership; I have also worked with cities on strategic, city-wide, implementation. I wrote two chapters for the recent publication by EFRJ on restorative cities. I have been a speaker at national conferences across the UK; and internationally.

TOPIC: Exploring the myths behind the restorative city concept. Christopher Straker will use the UK as a backdrop for participants to explore their own ideas on what a restorative city means for them. Context is everything but there are some models Chris will use to create the opportunity for dialogue. Is the restorative city concept a move towards a new paradigm or just Emperor’s new clothes? This workshop explores the concept of right relationships (between professionals and professionals, and the professional and families they work with) and how best to develop these by an explicit dialogue; not only around our areas of agreement, but also our areas of difference. The workshop will look to see how restorative processes can be used to deepen relationships at a city-wide level. by an explicit and shared understanding of behaviours and language. Sometimes our best intentions and goals are undermined by the methods chosen to

Laura Mooiman


BIO: An American based in The Netherlands, Laura is an international educational consultant specializing in school culture, safety, and student behavior. Most recently she was the Project Director for the Wellness Program and PBIS at Napa Valley Unified School District for 10 years where all 30 schools in the district achieved the highest school climate scores in the state after implementing Restorative Practices and PBIS.

TOPIC: Integrating Restorative Practices and Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (PBIS): How to Create Safe, Positive, and Restorative School Culture That Stustains
Laura will share lessons learned in her 10 years implementing PBIS and Restorative Practices in all 30 Napa Valley TOPIC: schools which required all schools to build restorative systems to build community, address student behavior and to respond to school and community crises including earthquake, multiple student suicides, Napa wildfires, and student protests. PBIS is foundational to creating systems and structures to prevent problem behavior, make students and staff feel safe, and shift staff mindset toward positive approaches to managing student behavior. Without PBIS schools often do not have the capacity to manage all the restoration that would be required in a reactive mode. Restorative Practices provides tools for staff to create community and work meaningfully with students to repair harm.

Michelle Stowe


BIO: I taught Eng & Span for 16 years and am still a teacher at heart; and now a restorative practitioner, lecturer, trainer, consultant and director of Connect RP. I support organisations and schools eager to realise their potential individually and as a community to grow restorative school communities. I facilitate on-site training and have developed a restorative e-learning platform called, Ubuntu Learning. I am passionate about moving conversations beyond ‘behaviour management’ and towards growing relational learning communities.

My presentation will focus on RP from the perspective of the internal landscape, exploring the concept of leadership as modelling; informing how we think, speak, share, listen, ask and show up, all day every day in our classrooms and beyond! I am passionate about moving conversations in schools beyond ‘behaviour management’ and towards creating restorative classrooms and pedagogy. Connecting to the principles of this philosophy, reflecting on how this informs our own values and teaching practice, and identifying ways to model our values in our everyday teaching. This can be especially necessary in times of challenge when we can armour up. Our workshop seeks to identify success criteria not as conformity ‘do what `I say but I’ll as you nicely’ as sometimes RP can be misidentified as, but instead that I like who I am. My TEDX 2017 offers a taster Watch now

Prof. Ivo Aertsen: using restorative justice for serious crime

Belgium / Adult justice and prisons / Victim support / Academic

Professor Ivo Aertsen is Emeritus Professor of Criminology at the University of Leuven (Belgium). He holds degrees of psychology, law and criminology from the same university. At the Leuven Institute of Criminology (LINC) he has been leading the Research Line on ‘Restorative Justice and Victimology’. He was the first chair of the European Forum for Restorative Justice, from 2000-2004, and coordinated various European research projects in the field of restorative justice. He is Editor-in-Chief of ‘The International Journal of Restorative Justice’.

Topic: The history of the RJ movement and the potential of RJ in serious crime

“In this presentation, I will look back at the recent history of restorative justice and will discuss the role of doing restorative justice in serious crime in the development of the movement. In particular, I will focus on the relationship with criminal justice and furthermore will reflect on the causes, consequences and challenges of restorative justice developing away from criminal law.”

Restorative school culture in Finland – Dr Maija Gellin

Finland / Youth justice / Schools

Dr Maija Gellin is the director of the programme for restorative approach in education and schools (VERSO-programme) in Finland. She has also worked as a mediation officer under the victim-offender mediation service. She is giving lectures on restorative approach at Univ Helsinki and Univ Lapland as well as in many institutions in Finland and other countries. She is a board member of Finnish Forum for Mediation and a member of Finnish women peace builder’s group and Nordic mediation researcher’s group.

Co-presenter, Lawyer Pia Slögs is the director of community mediation centre in Finland. She is a restorative trainer and mediator. She has completed her studies on restorative justice at Univ Hull, UK. She has worked earlier at victim-offender mediation services for 15 years. Pia is a co-trainer in VERSO-programme especially in Swedish spoken schools in Finland.

Topic: How to create a restorative school culture Restorative values such as respect, sense of community and participation as well as the rights of the child are more important than ever from the perspective of global health and well-being threats. Implementing the restorative approach in schools and day care is focusing not only giving restorative methods to school staff members but more to change the whole school culture to a restorative one. Based on 20 year experience in Finnish schools and the results of PhD research, this session is opening the key concepts of a restorative school community. Including restorative attitude, restorative participation and restorative mediation as basics for daily work in schools and kindergartens strengthens the positive identity of children as well as the wellbeing of whole school community and families. When the skill of restorative encounter is learned already in a school, this ability provides know-how throughout the life.