Sir Paul Reeves Took Active interest in Criminal Justice
Sir Paul Reeves Took Active interest in Criminal Justice Issues
“While Sir Paul Reeves strode the international stage, representing our nation at the highest level, he cared deeply about the marginalised in our society, whether victims or offenders”, said Kim Workman, Director of Rethinking Crime and Punishment. Sir Paul was the Patron of Prison Fellowship, and until recently, chaired the Rethinking Crime and Punishment Board of Reference.
“ I recall asking Sir Paul to consider being Patron for Prison Fellowship New Zealand, following Sir Richard Harrison’s death in 2003. He made thorough inquiries into the Fellowship before declaring that he liked the “grass roots” aspect of its work. He was a very active patron, reading all the Board papers, attending national Conferences, and providing sound advice over the years.”
When we established the Rethinking Crime and Punishment project in 2006, Sir Paul became the Chair of the Board of Reference. We met regularly to discuss strategy, and ways in which we could engage and influence public opinion on criminal and social justice issues. With his influence, we were able to bring together a Board that traversed the spectrum of both faith and politics. He taught us the value of inclusion, and the importance of treating with respect those who disagreed with our views. He disliked name calling and personality politics, but at the same time, encouraged an honest and direct approach to issues of the day.
At a personal level, he was a mentor and friend – someone who understand from his own experience, the challenges of growing up in a mixed race household. He is a sad loss to the wider social justice movement – and we will miss him deeply.