Porirua has a new, purpose-built Community Corrections site that will benefit staff, visitors and the wider community.
Around 100 people attended the official opening of the building on Thursday 15 August where local MP Kris Faafoi unveiled a plaque and planted a kahikatea tree. The tree represents “Tu Kahikatea”, the name local iwi Ngāti Toa gifted to Ara Poutama Aotearoa Corrections for the site.
Corrections’ National Commissioner Rachel Leota says the new building brings two sites together.
“Previously our Porirua team worked across two sites but now they are united under one roof,” says Mrs Leota.
“This benefits not only the people working here, but the people in our care and those we work with.
“The site provides a safe working environment for staff and visitors alike. It is also designed to deliver improved community work and intervention programmes to reduce re-offending.”
The building includes enhanced security features, CCTV monitoring, remote locking, glazed interview rooms with duress alarms and swipe-card access to staff-only areas.
A new feature includes Audio Visual Link (AVL) capabilities allowing whānau to have virtual visits with their family members in prisons around the country without having to travel.
The site at 7 Prosser Street accommodates around 30 staff, and manages people on 558 court-imposed sentences and orders in the community.
Prior to the move, excess office furniture from the two former Porirua sites was donated to Ngā Manu Nature Reserve in Waikanae.
Nga Manu’s café area has been refreshed with tables and chairs and the office area has much-needed equipment.
People managed by Porirua Community Corrections contributed to more than 15,000 hours of community work labour to projects in the Porirua area in the last financial year.
Projects supported include:
- Working alongside bowling club members and resurfacing the greens at Titahi Bay Bowling Club
- Tidying up the gardens and doing grounds maintenance at Papakowhai Kindy
- Refreshing Postgate Primary School’s junior playground area
- Helping Windley School with grounds maintenance, clearing gutters, cutting back flax, weed-eating and filling in divots for an even playing field, and
- Annually laying poppies at the graves of fallen servicemen and women at Whenua Tapu Cemetery for Anzac Day services
Corrections commenced an extensive upgrade of 70 percent of its Community Corrections sites in 2013. These upgrades are ongoing and are intended to create a more open, welcoming environment and improve safety and security. The capital spend of the upgrades is approximately $80 million.