Corrections Works December 2014 (special Maori services edition)

From our Chief Executive

Tena koutou katoa

Welcome to this special edition of Corrections Works, which focuses on our work with Maori offenders, whanau, and providers to achieve positive, lasting change.

Chief Executive Ray Smith

For the last three decades people who identify as Maori have been disproportionately represented among the offender population; 43.9 percent of offenders in the community and 50.7 percent of those in prison.

We know that reducing the likelihood of someone re-offending can have far-reaching benefits for them and their family. At the same time, failing to address the causes of offending can have dire consequences for those around them for many years to come.

Every time we steer someone away from offending, we spare their partners, their children, and their communities more harm. That’s why our work is so important.

In this issue you will read about some of the many ways we make a difference.

We’ve launched Te Tirohanga – a national kaupapa Maori based rehabilitation programme for prisoners in five whare. There is a clear benefit gained by having interventions designed, developed and delivered with Maori to maximise their impact. We’ve strengthened our Maori Services Team across the regions to drive engagement with local iwi and service providers. It’s these relationships that will keep our efforts grounded. Within our districts we’ve launched initiatives tailored to address offending by young Maori in their communities.

All of this mahi (work) represents a significant investment in funding and resources, especially by our people and our partners. There is much work still to be done but as you can see, our journey is well underway.

Our goal to reduce re-offending by 25 percent by 2017 is an ambitious one, but like the industrious grub gnawing through the kahikatea, if we persist we can achieve it.

He iti hoki te mokoroa, nana i kakati te kahikatea.

Although the grub is only little, it still gnaws through the big white pine tree.

Mauri ora!
Ray Smith

Let us know if you have any ideas about stories that you’d like to see in upcoming issues. You can email

Te Tirohanga: Focused on Maori rehabilitation

Te Tirohanga Project team in Whanganui in September 2013. The team includes Corrections staff from National Office and Te Tirohanga whare, and programme providers.
It’s been a momentous year for everyone involved in Te Tirohanga – Corrections’ national kaupapa Maori rehabilitation programme.

In October 2013 we launched the programme at the first of five prisons in the North Island with a mission to reinvigorate and unify our five former Maori Focus Units – now known as Te Tirohanga (The Focus).

The programme is running in Hawke’s Bay, Rimutaka, Waikeria, Tongariro/Rangipô and Whanganui Prisons where the whare or units provide a strong kaupapa Maori environment using the five values of wairua, whanau, kaitiaki, manaaki and rangatira.

Corrections developed Te Tirohanga in collaboration with iwi and contracted providers from each site to ensure the programme’s cultural integrity and rehabilitative effectiveness. The whare have a goal to reduce re-offending by 30 percent among men who complete the programme.


Area Adviser Maori Barney Tihema from the Maori Services Team is overseeing the ongoing implementation of Te Tirohanga. “We’ve done exceptionally well given the scope of what we’re trying to do. We have a 77 percent retention rate across all sites – and that would be higher if our tane were not being released part way through.”

Barney says that’s a tribute to the providers, the staff, and the tane themselves. “This programme has made such a difference that when our tane become eligible for parole, they can demonstrate they’ve made real progress and gained valuable insight to help them stay offence free in the community.”

The whare staff are also proud of the 83 percent completion rate for Te Tirohanga’s core intervention, Mauri Tu Pae, the revised therapeutic programme equivalent to the medium intensity rehabilitation programme.


Whanau have a strong role to play in supporting their tane during their time in Te Tirohanga and as they prepare to return to the community. “We’ve had some encouraging feedback from whanau who have experienced Te Tirohanga and seen the work their tane are doing. This relationship building is one of the keys to successful reintegration for our men.”

Barney says that’s where the pou arataki, or specialist liaison staff, at each site have had a huge impact. They’re helping men see a new role for themselves in their families that’s about making a positive contribution.

With a rolling intake of new tane beginning the programme, Te Tirohanga is firmly fixed in the Corrections landscape. “We’ve taken the best of both worlds – a western treatment model and kaupapa Maori values and making a real difference,” says Barney.

He’s looking forward to seeing the first tane complete the 18-month programme early next year.

  • work towards a qualification
  • take part in rehabilitation programmes
  • strengthen connections with whanau and other supports before release
  • connect with reintegration and employment services.

A phased approach:

Phase one aims to lock in wellbeing within each man using tikanga programmes and activities such as kapa haka, carving, weaving and te reo Maori.

Phase two focuses on rehabilitation through the delivery of the Mauri Tu Pae programme, a core rehabilitation programme addressing the causes of their offending.

Phase three provides drug and alcohol treatment. Tane who don’t need it make an early start on phase four.

Phase four aims to get tane work-ready with employment-related education and qualifications.

Phase five moves tane into Release to Work spaces.

Phase six prepares their transition from Te Tirohanga to self-care units, and reintegration with families, employers and support people.


Kua hinga te totara o te Wao-nui-a-Tane

Corrections acknowledges the sudden passing of Reuben Hahipene on 19 September 2014. He and his wife Te Mare were among the key Maori providers instrumental in the design and development of Te Tirohanga at Tongariro/Rangipô Prison. Reuben and Te Mare became key motivators supporting and embedding Te Tirohanga at Te Hikoinga whare. Reuben will be missed by whare staff, prison management and the tane whose lives he sought to change for the better.

Kaore a te rakau whakaro

Kei te tohunga te whakaro

The material that one works with does not dictate what it will become

It is the craftsman’s skill which informs the task. 

Designed, developed and delivered by Maori

A prisoner-carved waka in a Te Tirohanga workshop symbolises how working together gives better results.To reach our goal of reducing re-offending by 25 percent by 2017, Corrections has had to sharpen up our ways of working – and this has included working more closely with Maori service providers to design, develop and deliver effective programmes.

When Corrections revamped its Maori Therapeutic Programme, we worked collaboratively with Maori service providers every step of the way.The renamed Mauri Tu Pae is a core rehabilitation programme which enables prisoners to reflect upon and change the thoughts, attitudes and behaviours that led to their offending. Whanau are involved and the programme helps prisoners develop strategies for maintaining positive change. Mauri Tu Pae is offered at the five Te Tirohanga and at Northland Regional Corrections Facility.

The previous Maori Therapeutic Programme delivered good results – offenders who completed it had reconviction rates 15 percentage points lower than those who had not, says Corrections Director Maori Neil Campbell, but wasn’t being run consistently around the country.

“We got the providers in and looked at all the good things they were doing, plus what we could do to enhance the programme. We need to know that what is being delivered to offenders is effective,” says Neil. “The Department has been courageous trusting the track record of our Maori service providers. It’s a sound programme, delivering effective results with our support.”

The same approach was used with the redesign of the Tikanga Maori Programme, now known as Te Ihu Waka.

Te Ihu Waka (the bow of the waka) is a framework developed in partnership with contracted tikanga providers and aimed at offenders in prison and the community.

The framework is based on four kaupapa (principles):

  • Manaakitanga (caring for each other)
  • Whanaungatanga (relationships)
  • Rangatiratanga (leadership and responsibility)
  • Wairuatanga (spirituality)

Te Ihu Waka is designed for Maori offenders and those who identify as Maori. However, many non-Maori (for example those with Maori children or partners) benefit from attending.

The framework is being piloted over a year with selected providers with different approaches for male, female and youth offenders in prison and the community.

Around 20 – 30 Maori service providers are contracted to Corrections at any one time. Many have worked with offenders for decades. The feedback now, says Neil, is that as an organisation we are becoming a more inclusive partner. The new approach is paying off and Corrections is building stronger relationships with iwi.

“If you’re not involving and including the right people, it’s an inefficient way of running a project. We’ve become more deliberate in what we do. We look more to empirical evidence and take a robust approach. We start with the end in mind.”


Provider Don HutanaContractor Don Hutana (Ngati Kahungunu, Rangitane and Ngai Tahu) was involved with developing the Mauri Tu Pae (MTP) programme and Te Ihu Waka framework and is based at Hawkes Bay Regional Prison’s Te Tirohanga. Don has worked with Maori prisoners for the last decade.

MTP is a combination of Western models of therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, alongside Maori models, such as Te Wheke.

“The programme incorporates a lot of the wisdom of the old ways, and is permeated with whakataukï (proverbs),” says Don.

MTP has been running since the start of last year. First the prisoners go through an introductory phase at Te Tirohanga. “By the time they get to us they are interested in addressing their offending,” Don says. “The attitude and commitment of the guys is a lot better than it was. They love the Maori content.”

Despite being highly qualified, Don says his main skills were gained from life experience and sitting alongside some really knowledgeable kaumatua.

 “I have a passion for having as many Maori as possible not go back to prison. I know the pain parents and grandparents go through when a child is in prison.”


2015 marks the 20th year that Mahi Tahi Akoranga Trust (Mahi Tahi) has been delivering tikanga programmes in prisons. The Trust’s work centres on the four day, sleep-in New Life Akoranga wananga which helpsoffenders change their hearts and minds by discovering and recovering traditional Maori principles, values and disciplines.

The programme also involves support from whanau, hapû and iwi. A key feature is using ex-prisoners who have turned away from a life of crime to deliver the wananga.

Trust Pou Whakahaere Vince Copeland says, “The wananga is successful in achieving change because it brings offenders to acceptance of three key kaupapa: that their cultural inheritance has value, that their offending offends against tikanga Maori as well as against the laws of the land, and that their Maori heritage has the power to motivate and sustain them in making profound changes in their outlook and behaviour.”

The benefits include prisoners improving interpersonal relationships (with whanau, other prisoners and staff), adopting a genuine approach to therapeutic programmes, and increasing their sense of identity and belonging as Maori (particularly for gang members).

Wananga are delivered in mainstream units to prepare prisoners for Te Tirohanga. The Trust currently delivers around 17 programmes in prisons across New Zealand.

Mahi Tahi mentors and trustees.

Reintegration – focusing on the people

One of the keys to reducing re-offending is helping offenders live crime-free after they have served their sentence.

At work at the Spring Hill Corrections Facility (SHCF) Whare Oranga Ake communal garden; most of the men leave the whare every day to go to jobs in the community, but there's plenty to do for those who have not yet found work.Research shows offenders are less likely to re-offend if they have the right support around to help them reintegrate. The key areas are employment, accommodation, education and training, and skills for life.

Corrections Director Maori Neil Campbell says people sometimes hear that ‘around 50 percent of offenders are Maori’ and feel hopeless.

“However, when I point out that 95 percent of Maori are law-abiding citizens, that re-frames the whole issue forthem. There are plenty of Maori out there who are helping offenders reintegrate and supporting them to live crime-free – and Corrections is working with many of them.”

Using reintegration partners, from dedicated volunteers like our kaiwhakamana (kuia and kaumatua who visit prisons to support Maori prisoners) to contracted service providers, the focus is on the people. 


The Department’s two Whare Oranga Ake reintegration units, at Spring Hill Corrections Facility and Hawkes Bay Regional Prison, provide a kaupapa Maori environment for selected prisoners nearing the end of their sentence.

Maori practices, language and values are woven through all activities and interactions of the units. The programme and the day-to-day running of the units are provided by skilled Maori community service providers.

At Spring Hill the services are provided by Raukura Waikato Social Services and at Hawke’s Bay, by Choices Kahungunu Health Services.

Prisoners are supported to look for and obtain employment and/or to develop a new career path through training. The programme also works to ensure there is community support for prisoners on release by linking them to community support networks.

“We work alongside offenders to create an individual reintegration plan that supports the transition from prison to living in the community,” says Sam Christie.

LEFT: Prisoners clean up in the kitchen after a powhiri to welcome a new man to the SHCF Whare Oranga Ake. RIGHT: Senior Corrections Officer Lillian Foxall talks with one of the men at SHCF Whare Oranga Ake.

The key cultural focus is to support prisoners to reconnect with their culture, identity, hapû/iwi and community and to restore whanau relationships.

Choices Reintegration Co-ordinator Sam Christie says 13 of the 15 offenders based in the Hawke’s Bay Whare Oranga Ake are in full time work. “We work alongside offenders to create an individual reintegration plan that supports the transition from prison to living in the community,” says Sam. “An important part of that transition is maintenance programmes. We ensure that relapse prevention plans are robust and keep the offenders and the community safe.”

The two whare, which are located on prison land outside the secure perimeter fence, opened in July 2011. Prisoners live communally in the whare and take on all the responsibilities of daily life such as cooking and cleaning.

Whare Oranga Ake target Maori offenders but are open to all prisoners who meet the criteria and who agree to abide by the kaupapa of the whare.


Corrections’ reintegration service for short-serving prisoners and remandees, Out of Gate, targets offenders sentenced to two years’ imprisonment or less, or those in custody on remand for 60 days or more.

Statistics show that 64 percent of offenders referred to Out Of Gate are Maori. One of the five providers throughout the country is the National Urban Maori Authority (NUMA) which has a strong cultural approach to their work with offenders.

Based at Nga Whare Watea Marae in South Auckland, they offer a hands-on approach where Out of Gate kaiarahi (guides) travel to Spring Hill and Mt Eden Corrections Facilities in a van and bring newly released prisoners back to the marae.

Manukau Urban Maori Authority's Out of Gate Services Manager Deirdre Nehua; We are Maori working for Maori.Deirdre Nehua, Manukau Urban Maori Authority’s (MUMA) Out of Gate Services Manager, says “We welcome them with a quick mihi and karakia to clear the space for a new start. Staff make sure there are fresh scones and a cup of tea. We let them know this is their place, they can come here anytime. Then we take them off to the bank and to get IDs, and to look for somewhere to live. It’s so nice to be able to take the time to do this our way.”

Many of the released prisoners attend a new interactive tikanga programme which started in November, called Waka Hauora. Deirdre explains; “We take them onto the harbour to learn waka ama and how to paddle together. It teaches a lot about teamwork, and that you can have a good time without drugs, alcohol and gangs.”

“We are operating in a way that’s more naturally holistic, and we are Maori working for Maori. I am so delighted that Out of Gate is at this xmarae,” says Deirdre.

An independent evaluation of how well Out of Gate is contributing to reducing re-offending was completed in November 2014. The evaluation is very positive about all the providers and their efforts over the past 12 months.

Offenders’ journeys

Corrections works with offenders in many varied ways —there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach, as these examples show. We also work with many external organisations to provide reintegration and rehabilitation opportunities.


Kirikiriroa Maori Wardens.Marama*, 18, was sentenced to 80 hours community work, but struggled to carry it out and was breached for non-compliance. She moved to Hamilton where Corrections placed her with Kirikiriroa Maori Wardens to complete her sentence. The Maori Wardens focus on tikanga and Mauri Ora to help offenders engage with both their sentence and culture.

Kirikiriroa Maori Wardens Project Manager Gloria Dornan takes the time to talk to every offender: “You will get better outcomes if you listen to their story. They come with a history of criminal behaviour. If you’re not judgemental, you can work with that person.”

Marama was placed at Hui te Rangiora Marae to carry out her community work sentence. She did jobs such as cleaning, gardening, and kitchen work when there was a hui or tangi. She also interacted with positive people and learned about marae protocols. In this supportive environment, Marama has now successfully finished her sentence.


Josh*, a 50-year old gang member, has been in and out of prison for decades. He grew up in an abusive household and spent time in borstal as a youth. His long list of convictions include unlawful sexual connection, kidnapping, domestic violence, assaulting police and other serious offences.

He has just completed a term of home detention and is training to be a chef at Whanganui’s UCOL. He plans to leave the gang and wants to teach young people how to avoid the gang life.

He credits Corrections for helping him turn his life around when we recommended he get home detention for his latest offending (for a drugs charge) which allowed him to continue with his training. He also acknowledges a Corrections rehabilitation course which gave him the mental tools to start dealing with his violent upbringing.


Nineteen-year-old Tama*, from a family entrenched in gang culture, notched up 33 convictions in just over a year for offences including theft, drunk driving and assault. He was released from prison, re-arrested within two weeks and sent back. When released the next time, he was identified as someone who might benefit from the Integrated Offending Prevention and Support (IOPS) programme.

IOPS is a joint Corrections and Police-led initiative run in Hamilton, aimed at prolific and problematic offenders (who take up more than half of Police time and have numerous victims). IOPS aims to establish a closer and more robust partnership of agencies working together to reduce re-offending.

Tama was at high risk of re-imprisonment, but, in the last six months, his offending rate has dropped substantially. He’s now choosing to make good decisions on a daily basis and has surrounded himself with positive people.

*All names have been changed

From our Minister Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga

Tena koutou katoa

Minister of Corrections Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-IigaAs the new Minister of Corrections, I am pleased my first column for Corrections Works is appearing in an issue with a special focus on how Corrections works with Maori. Culturally appropriate services are vital in any business and especially in Corrections. As we know, Maori offenders are over-represented in our prisons and on community sentences. For this reason, Corrections must succeed with Maori to reach our goal of reducing re-offending by 25 percent by 2017.

Corrections is working hard to establish and maintain close relationships with iwi, hapu and cultural groups. As a result of this we want to run rehabilitation programmes for Maori offenders that are effective because they are based on tikanga as well as western treatment models. As Minister, I will be ensuring that these initiatives are based on evidence and translate to practical help to break the cycle of re-offending.

The most important thing in life is people. We must work towards a society where all New Zealanders have the ability to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves. The fact is that most people in prison will be released one day. Along with the rest of society, I want them to become more capable of coping with the demands of modern life and continue to develop the vital connections to whanau and iwi that will help them flourish on the outside.

Over the next few months I will be travelling around the country meeting people in the wider corrections arena and getting fully up to speed with your issues, challenges and aspirations.

I hope to meet some of you while I am out and about.

New programme connects with young Maori

Probation Officer Dave Broughton, who helped set up the Tau Ke programme, teaches carving to participants.Southern Region Corrections’ staff have taken an innovative approach to addressing the needs of young Maori offenders in the Otago district with the new Tau Ke programme.

Staff worked with Public Health South to develop and run a series of six day-long courses over six weeks, with up to ten community work offenders.

Based around the principles of Te Whare Tapa Wha (the four pillars of Maori health), Tau Ke combines cultural activities and life skills to help participants to identify their needs and make links to kaupapa Maori based support in the community.

Each session involves a visit to or from a community agency, including A3 Kaitiaki, Te Roopu Tautoko Ki Te Tonga, Kokiri Training Centre and Otago Polytechnic, lessons and activities such as goal setting and work and training advice, and developing an understanding of Te Ao Maori and the challenges that face young Maori.

District Manager Raymond Clark says that the programme looks to have achieved its goals of increasing engagement between offenders and staff and empowering participants to take control of their lives and seek the help of service providers for themselves, rather than being mandated to attend.

“Staff report that participants are showing initiative when it comes to engaging with the agencies they were introduced to through the course, for example asking for contact phone numbers for those services. They are also noting better communication between participants and their probation officers.”

Feedback from the young people has also been positive, with one offender saying how grateful he was for the support of the others involved in Tau Ke, who all face similar challenges when trying to make changes within their lives.

Following the success of the first Tau Ke course, staff are keen to expand on the programme in the future.

Regional highlights

Read what's been happening around the regions:

Kaiwhakamana ‘clinics’

Down south we’re piloting kaiwhakamana ‘clinics’ at the three Christchurch prisons where prisoners can meet with kaiwhakamana for advice on topics such as whakawairua (spirituality) and whakapapa.

Canterbury Kaiwhakamana (left to right) Chair of Kaiwhakamana Henare Edwards (Nga Puhi), Margaret Jones (Ngai Tahu - Taumutu), Pat Nutira (Ngai Tahu - Taumutu), Daphne O'Connell (Ngai Tahu - Taumutu), and John Panirau (Te Atiawa - Ngati Mutunga).Kaiwhakamana are kaumatua and kuia who are approved prison visitors. They have access to any prison in the country during normal visiting hours, and may also visit at any reasonable time outside these hours by arrangement with prison management, for example during tangihana (bereavements).

The ‘clinic’ approach is different from the usual way of doing things in that the kaiwhakamana are available at set times for anyone to come and see them, rather than coming in especially to see one prisoner. The prisoners prepare by applying to visit the clinic and identifying one or two things they wish to discuss.

The clinics started in July 2013 and since then 56 prisoners have used the service. The clinics operate once a month and kaiwhakamana see three to six prisoners each month. Staff attempt to pair prisoners and kaiwhakamana so they match iwi with iwi.

The goal for the clinics is to be an important step in helping Corrections reduce re-offending. The clinics are producing positive results such as helping prisoners to identify why they have offended, and breaking down barriers for prisoners to get assistance in the community.

“The clinics offer an offender-centric approach”, says Manager Maori Services Southern Region Nikki Schwass. “Instead of telling these men and women what they need to do, the kaiwhakamana help them to identify areas of interest and areas for improvement so that we can work smarter. The clinics are building strong relationships and prisoners give instant respect to the kaiwhakamana.”