Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Pasifika Mentoring Programme's first graduation

December 2014
Media release

PARS’ Pasifika Mentoring Programme for released prisoners celebrates first graduation

The first five participants of PARS’ (People At Risk Solutions) Toe Feso’ota’I Mentoring Programme graduated on Wednesday the 17th of December, marking the beginning of an innovative and culturally responsive mentoring programme that’s already helped one of the participants secure employment as well as reconnect released prisoners with their culture and families, .

Over the past three months, five released prisoners have taken part in 2 hour long mentoring sessions once a week at Mt Roskill Baptist Church. The programme, provided by a network of people from diverse Pasifika backgrounds and coordinated by Amen International Networx, is offered to PARS clients from their supported accommodation and mainstream services.

“Toe Feso’ota’I means to reconnect in Samoan,” says Lepua Amelia Nuualiitia, CEO of Amen International Networx. “It gives them a chance to speak and share intimate, personal things about their lives – it’s a safe place for them. We value and respect everyone here, and are a family – that’s the difference.”

Of the five clients who started the programme, three of whom are Auckland Central residents, all five have completed it, and one has already found full time employment as a result. Given that finding employment is one of the biggest challenges that prisoners face when they’re released from prison, this is a significant achievement.

Says Ron, one of the participants of this inaugural programme, “With this programme, I can see changes in everyone. I did courses inside to help me deal with my anger, but if you don’t follow through once you’re released, you just end up back inside.”

Based in Auckland, PARS supports released prisoners to reintegrate into society and live independently. They have already developed a very successful community-mentoring programme after realising that prisoners who had ongoing support were less likely to reoffend, and are now very pleased to also offer culturally responsive mentoring for those from Pasifika backgrounds.

Tui Ah Loo, Executive Director of PARS, explains, “All people benefit if we mentor people coming out of prison and help them stay out of prison. The person re-connecting to their family and community, the mentor, and society – all are better off because of this programme.”

This voluntary programme is fully funded by SkyCity Community Trust, with volunteer mentors who are ‘in and of the community’ and bring strong community networks. The targeted service is helping Pasifika offenders reconnect with their culture and their families, which is vitally important in the reintegration journey and contributes to reducing re-offending. It’s all about providing an environment that affirms Pasifika cultural identity as the ‘norm’.

All five released prisoners shared their stories at the graduation, with several describing how the “family” environment” has helped them keep an open mind and stay positive, which in turn is helping them make a real difference in their lives.

“PARS are my family,” shares Ron. “I now have the motivation to continue changing my ways.”

- Ends -


Editor’s Note:

About PARS
Started over 115 years ago, PARS (People At Risk Solutions) provided reintegration services to 2638 prisoners in the last financial year. The services that PARS provide include support in finding accommodation, improving connections to support networks, liaising with government departments and community care agencies and providing practical help to get prisoners back on their feet including assistance with obtaining ID, opening bank accounts, and sorting their finances.

PARS are instrumental in supporting prisoners to become independent, responsible and contributing members of society, who are capable of healthy decision-making and achieving their unique dreams and aspirations.

In the last financial year:

- PARS assisted 187 children to visit an incarcerated family/whanau member

- PARS assisted 148 clients in ‘Supported Accommodation’


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Election Day Results


2017 General Election - Preliminary Count

National won 46% of the vote with Labour on 35.8%.

NZ First won 7.5%, with the Greens on 5.8%.

ACT held on to Epsom, but failed to get more MPs.

The Maori Party were wiped out of Parliament.

There are still special votes to be counted, but clearly National is in the box seat to form the next Government.

The Greens can not contemplate a deal with National.

So, Winston Peters will have to make a choice and could back National or a combined Labour/Green coalition.

The most likely result is National and NZ First will reach some sort of deal to form the next government.


Election Night Results

Advance Voting Statistics

General Election Information: Voters - Who, When And Where

 
 

From The Hood: The Campaign Strategist’s Lament

"This election is a chance to really work the record of what nine years of National-led government has done to improve the country for everyone. Or will do. Another three years, maybe six. Thirty-three years, tops. You don’t want to risk that, do you? More>>

PSA Report: National Gets An ‘F’ For Health Funding

"Seeing National’s record on health collected in one place is quite sobering - it’s clear that underfunding is having dire consequences on both patients and staff, who are having to do more than ever with less," says Glenn Barclay, PSA national secretary. More>>

ALSO:

Children With Disabilities: Education Crisis Unaddressed

In 2008 IHC lodged its complaint against the on-going failure of New Zealand Governments and the Ministry of Education to ensure that disabled children access a quality education on an equal basis to others in New Zealand schools. More>>

Gordon Campbell: Ten Reasons For Not Voting National

if anyone you know is thinking of voting National in Saturday’s election, there’s still time for an intervention. You owe it to your friends and relations to intercede. Because there’s plenty of evidence on National’s mediocre-to-awful track record over its nine years in power. We can’t afford another three years of drift. More>>

ALSO:

Suffrage Day: PSA National Secretaries Vote For Equal Pay

PSA national secretaries Erin Polaczuk and Glenn Barclay are advance voting for the 2017 election alongside their daughters, with equal pay and fairness in mind on the 124th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Charge Protests: Dairy Farms Use Same Amount Of Water As 60 Million People

Using Dairy NZ numbers, economist Peter Fraser and agricultural consultant Dr Alison Dewes calculate the water consumption of New Zealand dairy farms is equivalent to the residential use of 60 million people. More>>

ALSO:

Greenpeace: Labour, Greens Commit To Canterbury Democracy

Labour MP Megan Woods is promising to return Canterbury’s regional council, ECan, to a democratically elected council. It follows a mass day-long occupation of the ECan building by local water activists calling for the restoration of democracy and urgent action to save rivers. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog