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Awards Celebrate Tikanga And Toi Māori At Hawkes Bay Regional Prison

Arts Access Accolade

The vision, innovation and commitment of staff at Hawkes Bay Regional Prison were recognised this week with two leadership awards and the Arts Access Accolade at Te Putanga Toi Arts Access Awards 2021, presented by Arts Access Aotearoa at Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington.

In April, the Government launched the Māori Pathways programme at Hawkes Bay Regional Prison, aimed at reducing re-offending and improving outcomes for whānau.

Tikanga and toi Māori (Māori artforms such as whakairo, kowhaiwhai, raranga and waiata) are integral to the programme to support the men on their journey of identity, healing and pro-social living, says Richard Benge, Executive Director, Arts Access Aotearoa.

“Hawkes Bay Regional Prison and its staff are leading the way in offering pathways for men to break the cycle of re-offending and lead good lives when they leave prison,” Richard says.

“It was great to celebrate the achievements and contributions of all the individuals, programmes and organisations using creativity and the arts to support prisoners’ rehabilitation and reintegration.”

For the first time, the Arts Access Accolade was presented to two individuals rather than the one. Lawrence Ereatara and Hone Fletcher, Principal Advisors at Hawkes Bay Regional Prison, have worked together for many years and share a similar passion for their culture. Currently, they are implementing the prison’s Māori Pathways programme.

The two men have also worked alongside Arts Access Aotearoa over many years and are champions of prisoner rehabilitation and community reintegration through the use of tikanga and toi Māori.

The Arts Access Accolade is chosen by Arts Access Aotearoa’s staff and board. “Lawrence and Hone go above and beyond to pass on their deep knowledge and skills to the men in Hawkes Bay Regional Prison, to Arts Access Aotearoa and the wider Arts in Corrections community,” Richard says.

The two other recipients, selected by judging panels, are:

  • Tipene Rangihuna (Pāpā T), Eastern Institute of Technology and Hawkes Bay Regional Prison, awarded the Arts Access Corrections Māui Tikitiki a Taranga Award 2021, for his leadership and commitment in passing on his knowledge and teaching te reo Māori to men in Hawkes Bay Regional Prison to create transformational change and strengthen te ao Māori.
  • Kyle Ellison and Pirika Taepa, Hawkes Bay Regional Prison, awarded the Arts Access Corrections Whai Tikanga Award 2021, for incorporating tikanga and toi Māori into employment programmes (e.g. building model marae and decorating them with kowhaiwhai) and building a bridge between the prison and the community.

In addition, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and its Platform Programme in Christchurch Men’s Prison was awarded the Arts Access Community Arts Award 2021, for its outstanding programme with Christchurch Men’s Prison through the Pathway Trust. Its weekly classical music workshops with men in the prison’s Navigate Unit have had a profound impact on both the prisoners and the small group of CSO musicians.

Highly Commended certificates

Highly Commended certificates were also presented to other leaders in Arts in Corrections. These were:

  • Juanita Davis, Whanganui, Arts Access Māui Tikitiki a Taranga Award 2021, for her raranga programme with men in Whanganui Prison, developing their confidence, cultural identity and skills.
  • Zak Devey and Youth Arts NZ, Auckland, Arts Access Māui Tikitiki a Taranga Award 2021, for his dedication, reflection, responsiveness and innovative processes in the development of Te Kāhui, a creative writing programme for rangatahi in Mt Eden Corrections Facility.
  • Annah Mac, Otago Corrections Facility, Arts Access Māui Tikitiki a Taranga Award 2021, for her commitment to music as a powerful rehabilitative tool. Creating an album of music across multiple sites demonstrates her ability to navigate complex issues and achieve excellent results.
  • Sharne Parkinson and Harakeke Down South, Invercargill, Arts Access Whai Tikanga Award 2021, for sharing her expertise and passion for toi Māori and tikanga with men in Invercargill Prison.

The annual Te Putanga Toi Arts Access Awards are the key national awards in New Zealand celebrating the achievements of individuals and organisations providing opportunities for people with limited access to engage with the arts as artists and audience members. They also recognise the achievements of an artist with a disability, sensory impairment or lived experience of mental distress.

Te Putanga Toi Arts Access Awards 2021 were presented on Monday 5 July at Te Papa Tongarewa.

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