Community work offenders in Taupo have recently completed work restoring the outside of the old Harbourmaster’s residence in the Landing Reserve on Taupo Boat Harbour.
The ten offenders worked on the site for six weeks, supervised by Corrections staff and under the direction of Harbourmaster Phillip King.
“The surrounds had pretty much fallen into disrepair – nobody had taken much care of it for quite some time so we were delighted at the opportunity to use a community work party to help us get it cleaned up,” said Mr King.
Senior community work supervisor Russell Wineera said the offenders met with Mr King before the project got under way, to give them an appreciation of the task at hand and the background of the house and its surrounds.
“The meetings help the offenders’ understanding of the task, and giving them this sort of information really helps with the pride they take in the work.”
The offenders cleared flax, blackberry, gorse, dead trees and cleaned up the gardens surrounding the house, showcasing the mature native trees in the area.
Mr King says the area is now idea for picnics, and he’s hoping families will take advantage of what he calls 'the jewel in Taupo’s crown'.
Mr Wineera says and feedback from the community has been very positive.
“The best sort of feedback is that we’ve been offered more work – Mr King’s given us the chance to assist with another lakeside project, the details of which are being worked through at the moment. We’re hoping this is the beginning of a productive relationship,” said Mr Wineera.
Annually, New Zealand communities benefits from almost 3 million hours of labour supplied through Community Work sentences.
Community Work sentences require offenders to do unpaid work in the community for non-profit organisations as reparation for their offending.
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