Māori make up 51 percent of prisoners, but are just 15 percent of the population.
In an opinion piece penned by Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesperson Garth McVicar, he placed the blame not on the Government, but Māori themselves.
"The state can't be a surrogate parent - neither can Corrections," he told The Hui.
He appeared on the show with former Māori Party co-leader Sir Pita Sharples, who has a different view.
"Every year you read the same reports - that Māori are most likely to be taken in, most likely to be questioned… and you can't deny those facts."
Mr McVicar's view is that it's "pretty difficult" to get into prison.
"At present, the average offender has between seven and 17 offences, so prison isn't being used lightly."
Watch the video for the full korero between Sir Pita, Mr McVicar and host Mihingarangi Forbes.