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Saili Matagi programme launched at Springhill Prison

Saili Matagi programme launched at Springhill Prison

Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Peseta Sam Lotu-liga, spoke to a group of Pacific prisoners and their families today at the launch of a violence prevention programme at Spring Hill Correction facility.

“Saili Matagi” is a group-based 20 week programme delivered in the Pacific focus unit for male prisoners who are serving a sentence for violent offences. It teaches a range of skills so that participants can change their attitudes and behaviours and reduce the likelihood of them re-offending. It involves family and community groups taking part in the participants’ rehabilitation and reintegration.

“Saili Matagi means search the wind. For many of the prisoners the wind of life has taken them in a bad direction. The Pacific-focused programme has been designed to help these men get on a better path in life. It provides them with the tools they need when faced with challenges such as reoffending,” said Mr Lotu-liga.

Pacific Island people are over-represented in the New Zealand Corrections system. While they make up 7.4 per cent of the general population, they comprise 11 per cent of individuals in prison (New Zealand Department of Corrections 2005).

“Research has shown that support for prisoners from their own communities greatly assists their reintegration when they are released from prison. A big component of the program is getting family involved.”

“My Dad was my first mentor and taught me about the importance of loyalty and service to my family and community. He also taught me the value of honesty, diligence and sacrifice. I understand the Saili Matagi program will help to instil those values in the prisoners who participate.”

Ends

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