NZ Corrections Minister recognises work in the Pacific

New Zealand Corrections Minister Judith Collins today acknowledged the work of 17 staff who have undertaken an overseas deployment in the last decade to assist and strengthen the corrections services of islands in the Pacific.

Over the last ten years Corrections has sent delegations to three Pacific Islands: Vanuatu, Samoa and Pitcairn. At a celebration at Corrections National Office today, Ms Collins recognised the efforts of the first batch of recipients with the presentation of a Pacific Pin, known as the Hoe Akau.

The Hoe Akau is a steering paddle, giving direction and support to other paddlers to ensure the most efficient arrival at a given destination.

“This indicates the level of respect our Corrections Department has in the region. We have been able to use our expertise to raise the levels of professionalism within the corrections operations in the Pacific,” says Ms Collins.

Corrections personnel have worked in Vanuatu since 2005 helping update the management and operations of the corrections services on the island. A number of reform proposals have been devised including the establishment of a Community Probation Service.

In Samoa, Corrections assisted with the development of training and operational protocols for the Samoan Ministry of Police and Prisons. On Pitcairn Island, Corrections staff monitored six offenders found guilty of sexually abusing children.

“Corrections has also been asked by the British Government to send a second deployment to Pitcairn to provide custodial supervision support. Four staff will supervise a prisoner for the next ten months,” said Ms Collins.

“For many years the Police have recognised staff that have served overseas and it is appropriate that Corrections staff received a similar recognition for the outstanding work they do, particularly with our island neighbours,” says Ms Collins.