Annual Report 2019/20

Download the full Annual Report 2019/2020 PDF, 8.5 MB

Chief Executive's Foreword

This is my first Annual Report as Chief Executive. I joined the organisation a decade ago and I am truly proud to lead such a high-performing team. While this year has had its challenges, it has been terrific to see how much we have achieved. For me, a highlight has been watching our staff embrace Hōkai Rangi, our new organisational strategy, and bring it to life through their daily actions. It has been very clear to me that they want to make a positive difference to the men and women serving sentences in our prisons and our communities. On any given day, we are currently managing around 9,000 people in prison and over 29,000 people in the community. We have a duty of care to these people; not only to keep them safe and well, but to give them every opportunity possible to turn their lives around. By doing this effectively, we improve the well-being of all people, including our staff, victims, people serving sentences and orders, their whānau, and our communities.

This year, our role became more challenging as the COVID-19 pandemic worsened overseas and eventually reached New Zealand. As Chief Executive, I’m incredibly proud of how we all pulled together to keep each other, and the people we manage, safe.

We saw the impact the pandemic had on some overseas corrections jurisdictions and were well prepared to ensure a similar scenario did not happen here. We quickly suspended activities that could not be undertaken safely, maximised physical distancing in prisons, equipped staff to work more flexibly, promoted thorough hygiene practices, and sourced over 3.5 million items of personal protective equipment. By the time New Zealand transitioned to Alert Level 1 in June 2020, there had been only one case of COVID-19 in prisons, and there is no evidence to suggest this person infected anyone else while in our custody.

Beyond our immediate COVID-19 response, I’m extremely pleased we continued to advance our transformation of the corrections system, especially in the context of the challenges we have faced this year. This work officially started in August 2019, with the launch of Hōkai Rangi, our strategy for improving outcomes with and for Māori and creating humanising and healing pathways through the corrections system.

Hōkai Rangi has already driven some significant changes at Corrections, as we continue to align our operations with the strategy’s outcomes. We established the new position of Deputy Chief Executive Māori to focus our work with and for Māori, and the role of Deputy Chief Executive Health to improve the delivery of health, mental health and addictions services. We have also refined our structure to align our resourcing and efforts to Hōkai Rangi. In addition, we have progressed some key projects such as the Māori Pathways programme, the Collins Road Resettlement Centre for women, the Waikeria Mental Health and Addiction Service and the Outcomes-led Performance Framework. The latter will, in the long term, enable us to measure our progress against the outcomes of Hōkai Rangi.

The thing I am most proud of this year is the team’s ongoing commitment to public service and the Department’s values, regardless of the changes and challenges they face. Reflecting on the year that’s been, I particularly want to thank our frontline staff, who every year keep thousands of people in the corrections system safe, help them to gain employment and qualifications, provide health care services in prisons, facilitate rehabilitation programmes and assist with access to safe and stable accommodation in the community.

Jeremy Lightfoot
Te Tumu Whakarae mō Ara Poutama Aotearoa
Secretary for Corrections and Chief Executive