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Tauranga men complete Tikanga programme

Tauranga men complete Tikanga programme

Twelve Māori men from the Tauranga area recently completed the Department of Corrections Tikanga programme ‘Te Ihu Waka’ to help address the causes of their offending and provide the skills and tools necessary to motivate positive changes in their lives.

The programme is run by local Iwi Pirirakau from Te Puna for people serving sentences of Community Work. This is the first programme under a new contract to be run in the Corrections Central Region.

Tauranga Service Manager Karen Van der Zee highlights the importance of tikanga based programmes as a means to reducing re-offending.

“There is a lot of evidence that demonstrates that helping people re-connect with their culture, re-introducing them to Te Ao Maori philosophies, and setting up support networks in their communities can have significant protective factors for people.”

Hone Moetara (Facilitator), Erena Koopu (Tamariki Ora Services), Koro Nicholas (Facilitator), Lana Maguinness (Probation Tikanga Co-Ordinator), Donna Motutere (Manager Pirirakau Hauora), Mahia Wilson (Pirirakau Hauora), Syliva Wilson (Piriarakau Hauora), Ani Kuka (Pirirakau Hauora), Toni Nolan (Waikato University Student), Hayley George (Waikato University Student), Te Kerekau Nicholas (Pirirakau Hauora), Tame Kuka (Kaumatua).

The programme involves the participants staying three nights at the marae. Staff from Tauranga Community Corrections joined the men for the powhiri process at the commencement. This was also attended by three Waikato University social work students who are currently completing a three month placement with Community Corrections.

“It’s really important that staff are involved in the process. Not only does it help to create te whakakoha rangatiratanga (respectful relationships), it also shows the men the support their probation officers are willing to give them to help them make meaningful changes in their lives,” says Karen.

At the end of the programme, staff also attended the poroporoaki (farewell ceremony), along with members of the men’s whānau, who supported kaupapa by way of whaikōrero (speeches) and karanga (ceremonial call).

The work with local iwi will continue explains Karen.

“Overall the feedback we have had from this programme was extremely positive. Not only are we going to run another one in November, staff from Corrections and Pirirakau are going to present to staff from other sites to help share the success of what has been achieved locally.”

This builds on the work of our newly established Central Region Māori Practice Network which offers support and encouragement for cultural practice within the worksite.

“Māori are significantly over represented in both Aotearoa’s prison and community offender statistics and Corrections staff are passionate about working effectively with Māori offenders, whanau and their communities.

It is really important that the Department’s approach is based on some key strengths and principles of Māori culture such as Whanaungatanga (how we engage and enhance these relationships) and Manaakitanga (how we care for and give support to enable these relationships to flourish).

Māori culture is a pathway for solutions and as a motivation to address the underlying causes of offending and developing positive goals for the future. Assisting people to reconnect with hapu can be an incredibly valuable way of assisting rehabilitation and reintegration,” says Karen.


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