Howard League Driving Instructor Shane Clarkson (left) and Probation Officer Justin Fleet at Kaitaia Community Corrections.A recent case study in Kaitaia illustrates how working collaboratively with our providers, helps provide better outcomes for the people we manage.

Kaitaia Probation Officer Justin Fleet has been managing John*, while he was on a Home Detention sentence. During 2023 John was living in Kaitaia with his partner and working for a local company as their mechanic.

John wanted to move into a vacant family house about 1.5 hour drive from Kaitaia and benefit from rent-free accommodation in exchange for completing maintenance work on the house.

John then approached his boss and informed him about the move. At the time, it was agreed that John could take a company vehicle home to help with travel costs. Also, this would mean the business could hold on to a good mechanic.

However, his boss didn’t realise John only had his learner licence and had to decline his request for the vehicle, due to their insurance not covering him on this type of licence.

As a result, John quit his job and moved anyway. But John then came into the Kaitaia office and, working together, Justin and Shane Clarkson from the New Zealand Howard League put John through his driver training and helped him obtain his restricted driver licence.

This meant than when John’s former boss phoned him recently, asking if he had obtained his licence yet, John could say ‘yes!’ As a result, he was offered his job back and provided with a work vehicle and fuel card (all insurance covered).

“He thanked Shane (New Zealand Howard League’s Shane Clarkson) for helping him get his restricted licence, as it has helped him get employment. Plus, he is now able to use a work vehicle to get to and from work, which is easily an hour each way,” says Justin.

“This just reinforces the collective result because (Probation Officer) Justin was awesome with John, and at keeping him on target too. John was going to back out of the test, and Justin spoke with him and reassured him. Without Justin, John wouldn’t have passed, which is why it’s so important that we work as a team,” says Shane.

Kaitaia Service Manager Steve Harris says Justin’s work with John was exactly what's required from a probation officer;  management from both the ‘head and the heart'.

Justin and Shane, working together, are changing people’s lives for the better.

* Not his actual name