Four prisoners from Tongariro/Rangipo Prison have carved out a partnership with local community group Literacy Turangi after producing and presenting them with four unique carvings.
The carvings were designed and produced by four prisoners from Tongariro/Rangipo’s West Unit after the Literacy Board approached the Prison asking if they would be interested in taking on the project.
The Prison worked closely with Literacy Turangi to produce the carvings that were designed to depict the work of Literacy Turangi and also to incorporate Ngati Tuwharetoa ancestral history.
The carvings will be hung throughout the Literacy Turangi building where they will be seen by those who take up the challenge to improve their literacy skills.
“This initiative was a fantastic opportunity for the prisoners involved to positively give back to the community while learning and developing new skills. The carvings will be seen by those who take up the programmes offered by Literacy Turangi and I hope they will act as source of inspiration to those people,” says Acting Prison Manager Steve Greer.
“I am extremely proud of the prisoners who were involved in this project. The carvings are impressive and show a lot of skill and I know that Literacy Turangi were very pleased with the end result.”
"Literacy Turangi would like to give a special thanks to all the prisoners who were a part of creating these beautiful carvings and to Corrections Officer George Jensen and Principal Corrections Officer Shirley Wood who were instrumental in setting up this project. These carvings contain indescribable meaning and when brought here will bring a lot of mana to Literacy Turangi,” says Margaret Mohi, Literacy Turangi.
The Four Carvings, each depict a kawa (story) based on the Literacy Turangi Mission Statement which is 'Literacy Aotearoa is Choice, Change & Freedom'. The carvings also incorporate the local Ngati Tuwharetoa Maunga (Ancestoral mountains), Lake, Awa (Tongariro River) and Myths. The carvings took around three months to complete.
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