Andrew Little has defended the government's plan to introduce 1800 new police officers over the next three years.
The Minister of Justice concluded a two-day summit in Porirua, where discussions took place on how the government can restore the criminal justice system.
The main topic of conversation was the lofty number of prisons, which pushed the budgets of the corrections to about $ 1 billion each year.
Although the top has had its critics, many have praised it because they have faced the issue of the over-representation of the Maori in prisons and have come up with a solution.
One of those solutions was to increase the number of police officers announced by Minister of Police Stuart Nash this week.
The action wheels seem to turn, but some have pointed out that more police could simply mean more arrests – and possibly more people in prison.
But Mr. Little told The Project on Wednesday that more police will prevent the crime. He said that an advisory group will prepare a package of judicial reforms early next year.
Mr. Little said too long that the solution to crime was to lock people up and throw away the key. But that has to change, he said, because the recurrence rate is the same.
"More police deployed in the right way can in the first place actually stop the crime", Mr. Little told The Project.
"If [police are] in their community and connected with their community, they know who the problem families are and they will play a big role in ensuring that those families get the help they need. "
He said that Iwi Community Justice Panels alongside Rangatahi Courts and Pasifika Courts have been effective in finding "other and more effective responses" for younger Māori and Pasikifa offenders.
But Mr. Little admits that "much more is possible, especially for Māori perpetrators who are not connected to their families or to their iwi".
Many of the speeches at the Porirua conference were about things the government can do to better connect Māori and Pasifika with their families and communities.
The idea behind this is that when they get out of jail, they will not repeat, Mr. Little said.
The police say the standard for new recruits will not be reduced to get enough new officers on the ground.