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Empowering through workshops

Empowering Tū Ora with new skills and knowledge is one of the most powerful parts of their reintegrative journey.

The reintegration team recognised that often when the relationship between two parents becomes challenging, the men would step back, not because they don’t care about their children, but because they felt disempowered by the custody process.

So Pathway brought in Portia Law to run a series of workshops specific to family law, helping the men to understand their rights with a view to helping them secure access to their children in the future. “Every kid needs their dad and so that was a really important element we wanted to support in their journey,” Reintegration Manager Anaru Baynes says.

Kapa Haka is another workshop that has played a powerful role in the NI narrative this year, with the NI forming a Kapa Haka group called Rautini ki te Rākau, meaning many leaves of the same tree.

When the nationwide Kapa Haka competition was announced as part of the Department of Corrections’ Hōkai Rangi strategy, it was only natural that the NI team would step up and play their part, helping to design the name, logo and waiata of the programme, meanwhile, the men in our screen printing programme designed and made the striking t-shirts for the event!

Perhaps the most poignant part was the fact that prisoners and staff were all on stage alongside the men, with Christchurch Men’s Prison Director Jo Harrex at the very heart of it all!

Anaru says the performance was the ultimate example of the philosophy of Corrections and the NI, in that all people can come together under the umbrella of Kapa Haka - it doesn’t matter if you’re serving a sentence or wearing a uniform.

“In Kapa Haka, you’re all equal in terms of the value you bring to that space,” he says.


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