V.02.Res.09 Volunteers visits

V.02.R09.01 Volunteer policy

The Department recognises that volunteers bring a community perspective and connection to its services and offenders. The Department is committed to working with the volunteer sector to meet offender needs, contributing to their positive integration in the community.

The Department recognises that:

  • Volunteering activity is a part of the Corrections environment, both in prison and the community
  • Volunteers come from many different social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds
  • Volunteers are valued and respected members of the wider community, working in partnership with, but not ‘owned’ by, the Department
  • There are different cultural ‘worldviews’ of the terms ‘volunteer’ and ‘volunteering’ and that these differences are respected and valued.

The Department is committed to:

  • Ensuring the volunteering experience is a safe and rewarding one
  • Involving and valuing volunteers
  • Supporting and resourcing volunteering
  • Recognising the contribution of volunteers
  • Reducing barriers
  • Communicating regularly with volunteers and their organisations
  • Capacity building to meet offender needs

Volunteers – a definition:

For the purposes of the volunteer policy, a volunteer means a person who seeks to engage in specified, unpaid activities (voluntary work) within the Department of Corrections for the benefit of offenders, their whânau and the wider community.

The volunteer policy is specifically designed for volunteers who wish to offer their services in a regular and on-going capacity and if volunteering in prison then becoming a Volunteer: Specified Visitor (an ‘approved volunteer’) in terms of the Corrections Act 2004 and Regulations 2005. It excludes those volunteers who wish to provide random or one-off services or activities, such as an annual concert.

This policy is includes Kaiwhakamana and Fautua Pasefika, Kaumâtua and Community Elders respectively who have access to prisons to enable the wellness and well-being of their people.

Kaiwhakamana and Fautua Pasefika

The Department supports the strengthening of Mâori and Pacific community structures to promote the wellness and well-being of their own people to contribute to the achievement of reducing re offending. It is the Department’s intention to be as responsive as possible to the needs of Maori and Pacific peoples

Kaiwhakamana and Fautua Pasefika are distinct from Mâori and Pacific service providers, respectively, who provide contracted services for prisoners on behalf of the Department.


  • The term Kaiwhakamana means kaumâtua who have access to prisons to enable the wellness and well-being of their people.
  • Kaumâtua is intended to be applied in its broadest sense to include kaumâtua, kuia, tohunga, and others who are commended by their own people.

Fautua Pasefika

  • The term Fautua Pasefika means Pacific Community Leaders who have access to prisons to enable the well-being of prisoners and networking back to their communities.
  • Fautua Pasefika is intended to be applied to those peoples of Pacific descent who have been promoted by their communities as cultural advocates.

V.02.R09.03 “One-off” volunteers

  1. Volunteers or volunteer groups who wish to enter a prison for a random or one-off service or activity, (such as a concert or drama production) should contact the appropriate prison director.