Kaimahi recognised for transformational work in Hawke's Bay prison

By Te Ao - Māori News

The vision, innovation and commitment of staff at Hawke's Bay regional prison have been recognised with leadership awards from Te Putanga Toi Arts Access Awards in Wellington.

Lawrence Ereatara and Hone Fletcher are principal advisors at Hawke's Bay Regional Prison, where they are implementing the prison's Māori pathways programme, which aims to reduce re-offending and improve outcomes for whānau.

“The work we are doing is in about our tāne eventually returning to our communities, so for us it isto work with them so we can help them be the best versions of themselves,"  Ereatara says.

The dynamic duo was singled out as champions of prisoner rehabilitation and community reintegration through Tikanga and Toi Māori, which Fletcher says should always be the initial approach, especially with Māori inmates.

They (Tikanga Māori) are the initial tool in terms of where we start from, and that includes whakapapa, attachment to whenua, and cultural identity,” Fletcher says.