Press Release – Department Of Corrections
The Department of Corrections Ara Poutama Aotearoa has won the Government category in this year’s Māori Language Awards. The trophy, a carved wooden gourd, was presented to Corrections’ Kaumatua Des Ripi at an awards dinner hosted by Te Taura Whiri …23 November 2011
Corrections Department wins Maori Language Award
The Department of Corrections Ara Poutama Aotearoa has won the Government category in this year’s Māori Language Awards.
The trophy, a carved wooden gourd, was presented to Corrections’ Kaumatua Des Ripi at an awards dinner hosted by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, in Rotorua on Friday.
Corrections Acting Chief Executive Christine Stevenson says staff put a lot of effort into using te reo and tikanga Māori in a way that is meaningful and relevant for both themselves and offenders, to ultimately reduce re-offending.
“As Māori offenders make up over half of the offender population, we need to succeed with Māori in order to cut the rates of re-offending overall,” Ms Stevenson says. “It is an honour to win the Government category and everyone involved with the Department’s work should be very proud.”
Tikanga is integrated into Corrections’ programmes, with te reo making up a core component. The programmes are designed to motivate offenders to address their behaviour using Maori philosophy, values, knowledge and practices.
Corrections also offers therapeutic programmes which follow a bi-cultural therapy model and allow psychologists to work with Māori providers in a culturally appropriate way using te reo me ona tikanga.
Corrections’ Director Māori, Neil Campbell, says that being recognised is acknowledgement of the work done each day, each month and each year by Corrections staff all over New Zealand to promote te reo as a unique taonga.
“The work assists us to strengthen community partnerships as well as offenders’ cultural identities, their sense of self,” he says.
This is the second time Corrections has been a finalist in the awards; in 2008 we were a finalist in the Maori Language Week Category.
Corrections has a diverse range of staff, and all are introduced to te reo and tikanga concepts. Staff who work with Māori offenders undergo rigorous cultural training. The Department is aware of the differences in how te reo is spoken and taught in different areas, and remains in a neutral position.
Corrections uses reputable Māori service providers who work in consultation with its own experts to ensure that what it offers has credibility and achieves tangible results.
For information on the programmes offered to offenders please visit http://www.corrections.govt.nz/about-us/fact-sheets.html.