Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell's strategies to stem high rates of Māori in jails

Trades training for prisoners and more involvement by hapu and iwi are the strategies proposed by Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell to stem the high rates of Māori in jails.

Mitchell told The Hui host Julian Wilcox there needed to be a genuine partnership between Corrections and iwi and hapu leadership to help rehabilitate and reintegrate Māori prisoners as they came out of the Corrections system.

"The talks that I'm having with iwi leaders that I meet with is quite simply, 'we cannot do this without your leadership. We cannot do this without you putting a line in the sand also, and saying that there's been too much inter-generational harm'," he said.

He said prison presented an opportunity for inmates to gain valuable skills.

"I've got a very big focus on trades training and giving them real-life skills so that when they leave prison, they've got a much better chance of going into some meaningful employment where they are getting paid well."

Getting a learner's driver's licence or even a heavy vehicles licence where inmates could go straight into employment would be a huge enabler, he said.

Mitchell said New Zealand needed to decide on its level of social investment in people's lives.

"Do we invest much earlier? Do we stay with them much longer to try and break the intergenerational harm?"

Watch the video for the full interview.