Extreme disappointment from iwi at Correction's decision
5 November 2013
Extreme disappointment from local iwi at decision by Corrections Department
Te Whare Punanga Korero, the health board representing Taranaki’s eight iwi is highly critical of this week’s Corrections Department decision to scrap a re-integration service for prisoners.
Darryn Ratana, chair of Te Whare Punanga Korero Iwi Health Board says Corrections had a chance to support a service by Taranaki and for Taranaki people.
Instead, a need to cut costs has driven it to choose a national ‘one size fits all’ programme, known as the ‘Out of gate’ initiative that has involved no consultation with Taranaki iwi or the broader community.
“Our concern is that they had an opportunity to implement a Whanau Ora approach to integration with investment in the community but due to costs they have flagged that.
“I think we all agree that in Taranaki a great amount is taken out of the region by central Government in terms of economic activity and prosperity.
“The Corrections Department needs to be brave enough to put resources back into our region. It’s extremely disappointing that due to money they haven’t done that.”
Mr Ratana said the parties working together on a proposal for a joint service were considering a holistic approach. Consultation had gone on, and the proposal took into account a whole whanau and whole community approach.
“It was focused on how do you stem the tide, how do you break the cycle, who do you address the intergenerational issues around offending.”
On Monday the Corrections Department met Te Whare Punanga Korero in New Plymouth to tell them of its decision. The board represents Ngaa Rauru, Ngati Ruanui, Taranaki, Ngaruahinerangi, Te Atiawa, Ngati Maru, Ngati Mutunga and Ngati Tama.
Mr Ratana said last year the Iwi board was concerned by the closure of New Plymouth Prison. However, it was reassured by news of a Taranaki Integration residential centre being built. Last June the department said in media reports it would set up the country’s first community-based and supported reintegration centre to coincide with the opening of the new New Plymouth police station.
Then that proposal for a centre was modified to
become a service.
“Now they have pulled the plug altogether and they haven’t supplied us with a way forward. Our strong message to them this week was to continue working with our community to find a solution for Taranaki rather than this one size fits all model.”
Mr Ratana says Te Whare Punanga Korero Iwi Board is sceptical of the Corrections Department cost-benefit analysis, as it seemed to take a short-term rather than a long-term view.
He says the board knows very little about the ‘the one size fits all model’ Out of Gate initiative now being proposed by Corrections and Iwi are extremely disappointed that this initiative has over ridden the Whanau Ora model of care that was to be delivered by Tui Ora Ltd.
“There’s been no consultation I would suggest around its development or its implementation, and it seems to be a national programme that is being rolled out, regardless of its relevance.”