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Pacific Corrections Strategy Launched

October 25 2002 Media Statement

Pacific Corrections Strategy Launched

The first Department of Corrections’ strategy developed specifically for Pacific peoples was launched by Corrections and Pacific Island Affairs Minister Mark Gosche in Auckland today.

“The Pacific strategy aims to reduce re-offending by Pacific offenders and provide greater opportunities for Pacific communities to work with the Department,” said Mr Gosche.

“Recent statistics show that Pacific peoples are now disproportionately represented in New Zealand prisons. While they represent only 6 percent of the New Zealand population, Pacific peoples comprise approximately 10 percent of the prison population.”

Proposed initiatives under the strategy, to be implemented over three years, include:
- ensuring Department of Corrections’ operations are responsive and effective in dealing with Pacific offenders
- consulting and involving Pacific communities on Pacific issues
- incorporating Pacific values, principles and beliefs into rehabilitative and reintegrative programmes
- departmental assistance in developing Pacific service providers
- investment in the development of the Department’s Pacific staff and
- research into Pacific offenders’ needs.

Mr Gosche also launched the Fautua Pasefika policy, a key initiative of the Pacific Strategy, which allows Pacific community leaders greater and easier access to prisons and Pacific inmates.

“Those registered under the policy will be known as Fautua Pasefika and will offer Pacific inmates spiritual, cultural or personal support to assist in their safe return to the community.

“Fautua Pasefika will have a direct link to myself as Minister, and to the Department to assist with the provision of services to Pacific peoples.

“There is no doubt Pacific communities can play a critical role in ensuring Pacific inmates remain connected to their cultures, and support the inmates’ return to their community. This policy is designed to support our Pacific community leaders in this role.”

The first intake of Fautua Pasefika are:

from the Samoan community: Frederick Herman Arp, Malopito Simi Matamu, and Selani Tagi’ilima Poe (all from Auckland), Fuimaono Karl Pulotu-Endemann (Wellington), Fuarosa Tamati (Christchurch) and George Siaosi Tuli (Christchurch)

from the Tongan Community: Neti Samson Cook (Hamilton), Kilifi Heimuli (Auckland) and George Tuinukuafe (Auckland)

from the Tokelaun community: Tala Kele (Christchurch)

ENDS

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