Our structure

The Minister of Corrections Hon Mark Mitchell 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 eight 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 leaders across our 11 regions, 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.

Leigh Marsh, Commissioner Custodial Services

Leigh was appointed Acting National Commissioner in late 2022 and took up the role of Commissioner Custodial Services in April 2024.

Custodial Services focuses on the safe, fair, and humane management of those in prison. As Commissioner Custodial Services, Leigh is responsible for ensuring the effective oversight and operational delivery of the Custodial Services national network.

Our network includes 14 men’s and 3 women’s prisons and a Directorate for Persons of Extreme Risk (PERD), each with unique needs and characteristics. In addition to service delivery, Leigh is accountable for the ongoing resilience of the prison network, as well as systems enhancement and enablement.

Leigh began his justice sector career in 2005 as a Corrections Officer at Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison. During his time in the custodial environment, he has held management positions and oversaw the delivery of rehabilitation programmes across multiple prison sites.

Since then, Leigh has held roles advising on prison practice, risk management, prison safety and criminal justice system innovation. He has also held responsibility for operational teams delivering electronic monitoring, community and custodial frontline services, and incident management.

Leigh is passionate about delivering a safe and effective prison system and equitable access to justice for all New Zealanders.

Sean Mason, Deputy Chief Executive Communities, Partnerships & Pathways

Sean joined the Department of Corrections in July 2022 as Regional Commissioner for our former Northern Region, leading operational delivery across 5 prisons and 20 Community Corrections sites. In April 2024, Sean was appointed Deputy Chief Executive Communities, Partnerships, and Pathways (CPP).

He brings over two decades of leadership and experience within the corrections sector in both the United Kingdom and New Zealand. He has significant experience in frontline operational delivery within complex multi-disciplinary settings.

The Communities, Partnerships, and Pathways group is responsible for delivering our services out in the community. This includes probation, electronic monitoring (alongside New Zealand Police), and reintegration and community services. The group also provides support services to the New Zealand Parole Board.

Sean is committed to strengthening partnerships with Māori, the social sector, and others, and in   designing and delivering approaches that respond better to the needs of the community. He is passionate about improving public safety, reducing reoffending, and addressing the over representation of Māori in the justice system.

Sean holds a strong belief in the potential for people to achieve positive and lasting change in their lives.

Juanita Ryan, Deputy Chief Executive Pae Ora

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 in 2008 as a psychologist in the Waikato.  As Deputy Chief Executive Pae Ora, Juanita is responsible for the operational delivery of health, mental health, psycholological services, and 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 Pae Ora team have a clear focus and vision to transform health services to support and enable Pae Ora and achieve equity of healthcare 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.

Juanita is committed to improving outcomes for Māori and she greatly values the relationships Corrections has formed with iwi and mana whenua.

Alice Sciascia, Deputy Chief Executive Strategy and Corporate Services

Alice was appointed Deputy Chief Executive, Finance, Planning and Assurance (DCE FPA) in March 2023. In April 2024 she became Deputy Chief Executive Strategy & Corporate Services (SCS).

Alice has a depth and breadth of experience in the Justice Sector, having previously been Chief Adviser System Transformation reporting to the Chief Executive of Corrections, and Director of the Justice Cluster Budget initiative on behalf of the Justice agencies.

Alice has a passion for improving New Zealand’s social systems. Previously a consultant she spent 18 years primarily advising the government’s social sector as well as community-based and Māori organisations. She is focused on enabling citizen-centric design and fundamentally believes that empowering community-led solutions is the key to New Zealand’s wellbeing. Alice has seen how necessary it is that the voice of the community is elevated and at the forefront of policy and investment decision-making.

As DCE SCS, Alice leads a team providing specialist advice and support in a range of areas through Finance, Audit, Integrity Risk and Security, Procurement, Legal Services, the Enterprise Portfolio Management Office, Performance Analytics, and operational support to the New Zealand Parole Board.

Alice is from Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga and grew up in the Horowhenua, then Hawke's Bay. She lives in Wellington with her husband and two young children.

Alastair Turrell, Deputy Chief Executive Infrastructure and Digital Assets

Nō Kotirana ōku tipuna o tōku mama, nō Ingarangi ōku tipuna o tōku papa, ko Devon te awa e rere atu ana, ko Te Nebit te Mauao e tū kaha, ko Stirling te rohe e noho whakahīhī ana, ko Campbell te iwi, ko Weir te hapū e manaaki ana, i tipu ake ahau i Waihopai, engari, kei Te Whanganui a Tara ahau e noho.

Alastair was appointed as Deputy Chief Executive in June 2022 and leads the Infrastructure and Digital Assets (IDA) team.  IDA’s responsibility is to ensure the effective provision of infrastructure and systems to enable our front-line staff and partners across the custody, community and corporate environments.  The IDA group includes National Property, Information Systems (IS), Electronic Security (ES),  National Procurement, Commercial/contracts management, and the Departments PPP commercial partnerships.

Alastair joined the Department in 2018 as Chief Digital Officer. He has led the transformation of our digital and business teams toward product-oriented working, and to enable a step change in how the Department manages and uses secure, mobile, cloud-based technology products and services.

Before joining Corrections Alastair had a career in engineering and in senior roles with NZ and international technology firms.  He has experience with large scale commercial and contract relationships, with scale build programmes and in building and deploying complex digital systems.

Herewini Te Koha, Deputy Chief Executive Māori/Tumu Herenga

Herewini Te Koha joined Corrections in May 2024 as DCE Māori / Tumu Herenga. He is of Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Tamatera and Ngāpuhi descent.

Herewini brings a vast range of experience to Corrections from within the public sector and with iwi. His management career includes Tier 2 executive roles at Te Puni Kōkiri, Auckland Council, the (former) Office of Treaty Settlements and, most recently, the Cyclone Recovery Unit attached to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. He is also a former chief executive of Te Māngai Pāho and Te Runanganui o Ngāti Porou and has held governance roles with Crown agencies and the voluntary sector. In 2022 Herewini was appointed to the Waitangi Tribunal.

Herewini says that Ara Poutama Aotearoa has built good foundations for better reintegration of Māori people back into their whānau and communities. The DCE Māori/Tumu Herenga and team will build on this through use of Māori-focused knowledge within the Department’s service optimisation work, people capability and practice development, and partnering with whānau, iwi and Māori communities.

"Through Hōkai Rangi we have a focus on performance for Māori, purposeful partnerships with iwi and Māori communities, and on fostering our capabilities to deliver better results. I’m looking forward to furthering that good work."

Richard Waggott, Deputy Chief Executive Organisational Resilience & Safety (Acting)

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 People services to over 9,000 staff across 17 prisons and 150 Community Corrections Sites.

As of April 2024, Richard is the acting DCE Organisational Resilience & Safety. The focus for this role is to support safe and resilient operations through streamlining procedures, stewardship of practice standards, supporting a learning culture of continuous improvement, and better anticipating, monitoring, managing and responding to critical operational risks.

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.

Deputy Chief Executive People & Capability

Rebecca Powell is acting in Richard’s substantive role of Deputy Chief Executive People & Capability.

Quick list

  • Chief Executive Corrections – Jeremy Lightfoot
  • Commissioner Custodial Services – Leigh Marsh
  • Deputy Chief Executive, Communities, Partnerships, and Pathways – Sean Mason
  • Deputy Chief Executive, Pae Ora - Health – Juanita Ryan
  • Deputy Chief Executive, People and Capability – Rebecca Powell (Acting)
  • Deputy Chief Executive, Māori / Tumu Herenga – Herewini Te Koha
  • Deputy Chief Executive, Organisational Resilience & Safety – Richard Waggott (Acting)
  • Deputy Chief Executive, Strategy & Corporate Services – Alice Sciascia
  • Deputy Chief Executive, Infrastructure and Digital Assets – Alastair Turrell