Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the 1.2 million hours of community work completed by offenders in the last financial year has helped local communities right across the country.
“Community work sentences are a great way for people to pay something positive back to society. There is a massive benefit to the wider community, with community work hours supporting activities being carried out by schools, councils, charities and iwi,” Kelvin Davis said.
“The work that offenders are involved in can give them a sense of purpose and pride. They get to be part of worthwhile projects and causes, while learning teamwork and other skills that can help them stay on the right track once they’ve completed their sentence.
“I saw first-hand how community work parties can make a difference during my visit to Tapu Te Ranga Marae in Wellington today,” Kelvin Davis said.
Work parties have undertaken community work at the marae since January this year, completing over 2,700 hours of work on tasks including paint stripping, weeding and mowing the grounds, and de-nailing, disassembling and moving wood.
“The June fire was devastating for the whānau from Tapu Te Ranga and the local community. It’s great to see Corrections and the people they manage doing their bit to help as the marae embarks on this next chapter,” Kelvin Davis said.
Community work projects in other regions include:
- Community work teams in Richmond planting 70,000 native trees around the Waimea Inlet.
- Offenders in Ashburton working at Hakatere Marae to help maintain the buildings, regenerate the vegetable gardens and develop native plantings.
- Community-based offenders in Whangarei helping to restore the historic battle site, Ruapekapeka Pā, ahead of the 175th anniversary in 2021.
- Offenders in Waikato building over 200 predator trap boxes out of used wooden pallets.
In 2018/19, the average number of offenders serving a community work sentence on any given day was 12,684 people. The average sentence length was 94 hours.
Notes to editors
- Community work is a reparative sentence that requires people to complete unpaid work in the community. The court can impose between 40 and 400 hours of community work.
- Offenders are encouraged to complete their hours as quickly as possible, but can only work up to 10 hours a day, or up to 40 hours in any one week.