Our structure

The Minister of Corrections Hon Kelvin Davis is responsible for determining policy and exercising statutory powers and functions related to the Corrections portfolio.

The Minister is also responsible to Parliament for ensuring Corrections carries out its functions properly and efficiently.

Powers and functions of the Minister of Corrections

The Corrections Act 2004 creates several powers and functions such as:

  • Giving general directions to the Chief Executive relating to the exercise of their powers and functions (Section 7)
  • Any other powers and functions conferred under the Corrections Act 2004 or regulations made under it (Section 7)
  • Setting pay rates for part-time Probation Officers
  • Declaring land or buildings to be a prison or community work centre (Section 30 and Section 32)
  • Requisitioning land and buildings in an emergency (Section 191)
  • Approving pay rates for working prisoners (Section 66)
  • Setting the cost of imprisonment so it can be deducted from the earnings of prisoners on Release to Work (Section 68)
  • Consenting to the Chief Executive contracting out escort and courtroom custodial services (Section 166 and Section 170)

Chief Executive and leadership team

Jeremy Lightfoot is Chief Executive. Corrections operates six groups led by the chief executive and executive leadership team. Our one team approach ensures teams work together effectively.

The executive leadership team provides a clear and unified vision for Corrections. They lead our priorities and provide visible leadership. Working with four regional commissioners, the executive leadership team sets direction and develops our strategy and business plans.


Jeremy Lightfoot, Chief Executive

Appointed as Chief Executive in February 2020, Jeremy leads a workforce of nearly 9,000 people who manage around 10,000 people in prison and 30,000 people serving sentences or orders in the community.

He played a critical leadership role in developing Hōkai Rangi, Corrections’ five-year strategy setting out our commitment to eliminating the over representation of Māori in the criminal justice system. Hōkai Rangi seeks to create safer environments and communities for everyone by placing wellbeing at the heart of everything we do, developing positive relationships and showing manaaki.

Jeremy has held numerous roles since joining Corrections in 2010 – including Deputy CE, General Manager of Finance, Technology and Commercial, and National Commissioner.  He was also the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Director for the Wiri Prison Project (Now Auckland South Corrections Facility) overseeing the country’s first PPP to combine design, build, financing and operation of a prison.

Jeremy has extensive public sector, commercial and contract management experience both in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, with a strong focus on PPPs and Public Finance Initiatives.


Richard Waggott, DCE People and Capability

Ko Cheviot te maunga, ko Tyne te awa, ko North Sea te moana, ko Ingarihi te iwi, ko Richard Waggott toku ingoa. Tēnā koutou katoa.

Richard Waggott became DCE People & Capability in August 2020, making him responsible for delivering all People services, and Health & Safety services to over 9,000 staff across 17 prisons and 150 Community Corrections Sites.

He leads the ministerial, media, and organisational change teams for Corrections, and a Justice Sector wide team that delivers innovative approaches such as Bail Support and Pre-Trial Services.

Richard has been with Corrections since 2004 in a number of roles including DCE Corporate Services, DCE Service Development, General Manager Human Resources and Director of Learning and Development.

He has over 20 years’ experience across the public and private sector and is passionate about delivering better and fairer social outcomes through the growth and development of people.

Kei te tika te korero, Ma pango, ma whero ka oti te mahi
The saying is true, when we come together, the work gets done.


Juanita Ryan, Deputy Chief Executive Health Services

Ko Moehau te maunga, ko Waihau te awa,  ko Te Kapakapa te moana,  ko Tainui te waka,  ko Ngāti Maru, ko Ngāti Airangi, ko Ngāti Kotemana ngā iwi, no Hauraki ahau,  ko Juanita Ryan toku ingoa

Juanita joined Corrections 12 years ago as a psychologist in the Waikato.  As Deputy Chief Executive Health Services, Juanita is responsible for the operational delivery of health, mental health, addictions and disability services for people on remand or serving sentences.

She’s worked as a principal psychologist, Director Programmes and Interventions, and Chief Psychologist. Frontline experience seeing and treating people in care has given Juanita a good understanding of the challenges and opportunities we now face.

In her present role Juanita has worked to strengthen leadership and service delivery within the Health Rōpu.

The Health Services team have a clear focus and vision to transform health services to support and enable Pae Ora and achieve equity of Health care for Māori health. Four key priorities sit under this objective.

The priorities are developing a kaupapa Māori Health Service, developing a Health Services Governance Framework and an Outcomes Measurement Tool, and strengthening and expanding mental health and addiction services.

She is committed to working towards social justice and equity of outcomes for Māori and she greatly values the relationships Corrections has formed with iwi and mana whenua.


Jo Perez, Deputy Chief Executive Finance Planning and Assurance

As DCE Finance Planning and Assurance, Jo leads a team providing specialist advice and support in a range of areas through Finance, Audit, Integrity Risk and Security (AIRS), Legal Services, the Enterprise Portfolio Management Office (EPMO), and operational support to the New Zealand Parole Board.

Joining Corrections in 2018 as Chief Financial Officer, Jo has played an important leadership role through her involvement in the Investment Committee, Organisational Performance Committee and the Audit and Risk Committee. She also co-led the development of our Outcomes-Led Performance Framework and the establishment of integrated performance reporting.

Her diverse background in financial, commercial and corporate roles in the private sector includes Trade Me, OSPRI, Merck, AXA, Spark and KPMG Assurance.

Jo believes in building knowledge and insights to aid great decision making and making sure limited resources are used to deliver the best value and outcomes.


Andrew Robertson, Deputy Chief Executive Infrastructure and Digital Assets

As our DCE Infrastructure and Digital Assets, Andrew Robertson is responsible for end-to-end planning and delivery for ICT, property and infrastructure, procurement, and major contract management (including PPPs), and the major capital works programme.

He joined Corrections in 2013, with a background in finance, strategy, commercial management, and asset delivery - formerly in the electricity industry. More recently he was involved in the delivery of Corrections’ Private Public Partnership programme.

Andrew’s focus is on improving the quality of planning and investment so that the technology, physical environment, and services available to front line staff properly support the great work they do.


Topia Rameka, Deputy Chief Executive Māori

Topia Rameka was appointed Deputy Chief Executive Māori at Ara Poutama Aotearoa in October 2019, after over 10 years as the Chief Executive of Tuwharetoa Iwi Trust.

He had been a member of Corrections' Māori leadership board, Te Poari Hautū Rautaki Māori, which worked alongside frontline staff, service providers, academics and other Māori experts to assist in the development of the final Hōkai Rangi 2019 – 2024 strategy.

The DCE Māori role was created as one of the first actions in Hōkai Rangi, focussed on maximising positive outcomes for Māori in the corrections system. Now, the DCE Māori business group has been resourced to include a Rautaki Māori Strategy & Partnerships team as well as key organisational functions including Policy, Research & Evaluation, Psychology & Programmes, Reintegration & Housing, critical change portfolios and the Māori Pathways Programme.


Rachel Leota, National Commissioner

Ko Kaunitone tōku waka, ko Kiwa tōku moana, ko Aoraki tōku maunga, ko Waimakariri tōku awa, Ko Ngāti Whītī ma Ngāti Pākehā ōku iwi, ko Rachel Leota tōku ingoa.

As National Commissioner, Rachel leads Corrections Services – our operational arm of front line services across four regions, which encompasses 18 prisons and 120 Community Corrections sites.  She is also responsible for specialist national services such as electronic monitoring and tactical and emergency operations.

Rachel joined Corrections in 2004.  She has held numerous roles including the Director of Service Design and Implementation and Deputy National Commissioner.  She has played key roles in developing and implementing policy initiatives across Corrections and the wider justice sector. This has included drug treatment programmes, electronic monitoring, reintegration services, court audio visual links, international programmes of assistance to the Pacific, and overseen significant emergency responses. She has led major IT programmes of change, commissioning of new facilities, mana whenua partnerships, staff and prisoner safety initiatives, employment and training programmes and the introduction of smoke-free prisons.

Rachel cares deeply about leading Corrections Services to fully realise the goals in Hōkai Rangi - to reduce the over representation of Māori in the criminal justice system and to deliver safer and effective environments for all people.


Quick list

  • Chief Executive Corrections – Jeremy Lightfoot
  • National Commissioner Corrections Services – Rachel Leota
  • Deputy Chief Executive, Finance, Planning and Assurance – Jo Perez
  • Deputy Chief Executive, People and Capability – Richard Waggott
  • Deputy Chief Executive, Infrastructure and Digital Assets – Andrew Robertson
  • Deputy Chief Executive, Māori – Topia Rameka
  • Deputy Chief Executive, Health – Juanita Ryan

Regional Commissioners

  • Northern Region – Lynette Cave
  • Central Region – Terry Buffery
  • Lower North Region – Paula Collins
  • Southern Region – Ben Clark

Within each region, a number of districts and a local management team work to find solutions for local issues. Frontline staff make sure that every interaction with offenders helps them to break the cycle of offending.