The Te iti o Haua Marae (Tauwhare) in the East Waikato has seen a new lease of life thanks to labour provided by offenders serving community work sentences in the region.
Over the last couple of months, the Department of Corrections has supplied community work parties of up to 10 offenders at a time to help completely refurbish the Marae buildings and grounds.
The offenders have been hard at work rebuilding the fence that surrounds the Marae, putting new paving under the paepae, building seating, putting pillars at the gate and box fencing along the front of the Marae for shrubs to grow in, building shelters, laying blocks and repainting the Marae inside and out.
Community Work Supervisor Wayne Tukiri says that doing the work has meant a lot to both the Tauwhare community and to the offenders themselves.
“The Marae has mana, and the offenders respect that. They work hard and the result of that work is obvious. They can be proud of what they have done here, and what they have achieved for the local community.”
Lance Rapana, the Chairman of Te iti o Haua Marae Trust, says that the labour provided by the Department of Corrections has been greatly appreciated.
“I have witnessed the respect each of the workers has for the Marae, many of the jobs undertaken by the workers have actually come from them wanting to add a bit more because they started to develop a bit of pride in their work, and that was really great to see.”
“I really can’t say enough to acknowledge the Department of Corrections for their support. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many supervisors who have worked at the Marae as well as the workers - this Marae will always welcome you with open arms and the hau – kainga appreciate both the small and large contributions that have been made by each of you, ma te Atua hei maanaki hei tiaki i a koutou katoa (may God bless and protect all of you)”
The sentence of community work requires offenders to do unpaid work in the community for non-profit organisations as a way of making up for their offending.
Last year New Zealand communities benefited from almost 3 million hours of free labour supplied through community work sentences.
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