Staff from Spring Hill and Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility were recognised by Corrections Minister Hon Judith Collins on Friday 12 November for their length of service in the Department.
Six staff from each of the two prisons were recognised for their length of service in the Department, which ranged from seven to 21 years.
Trish Taylor, Principal Corrections Officer in Spring Hill’s Receiving Office, received her service medal for 14 years with the Department, but in reality has spent her whole life in the prison service.
“Both mum’s father and brother were superintendents of prisons and my parents met when they were working at Mt Eden Prison. Two of my brothers have worked in the service, and one still does and the other is with Police,” says Trish.
“I learnt to walk while growing up in the Waikeria Prison Village, and I’ve been at Spring Hill since it was commissioned. It’s a brilliant job and the changing environment keeps you busy and interested.”
Ms Collins said she had been impressed by the way staff at both sites had worked together over a challenging period that included the death of Corrections Officer Jason Palmer and the temporary relocation north of several hundred prisoners following the Christchurch earthquake.
“While the preparation for double bunking meant that you had beds available to house extra prisoners, we know that safe containment is about more than just locking a prisoner in a cell.
“Following Jason’s death, the care that you showed each other and Jason’s family, while continuing to keep your site operating safely, is testament to your ability to work together and support each other.
“You should be very proud of the hard work and dedication that has brought you here. The work you do does make a difference, and our community is a safer place because of your efforts,” she said.
Length of Service wasn’t the only achievement being celebrated at the awards. Assistant Regional Manager Vicki Muir presented Reward and Recognition awards to staff who had been nominated by their colleagues for going ‘above and beyond’ across a number of areas in their work including leadership and tikanga.
“These awards are new, and were set up so that staff could acknowledge each other for contribution to creating an excellent working environment,” says Mrs Muir.
“I am really proud of all of the staff across both prisons. They have done a great job over a very busy year and it is nice to have the chance to acknowledge how very well they have done.”
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