Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the ten-year anniversary of Tai Aroha is an important milestone worth celebrating.
Tai Aroha is a 16-week residential violence-prevention programme with Waikato-Tainui kawa and mātauranga Māori built into the daily operations of the programme, for all residents and staff.
Speaking at the anniversary event at Hukanui Amuri Marae in Huntly today, Kelvin Davis acknowledged the support of the local community and iwi in the delivery of the programme since it began in 2010.
“In the last decade over 140 men serving sentences for violent offending have been supported by Tai Aroha, which has also become an integral part of the Waikato community,” Kelvin Davis said.
“We know residential programmes can be an important step in the rehabilitation process.
“While some people have strong support systems, others require that extra level of support through residential programmes in the community,” Kelvin Davis said.
Up to 10 residents participate in the programme at any one time, working with psychologists, facilitators, support staff and each other to address the causes of their offending and build pathways to a crime-free life. They receive intensive wraparound support and are supported by specialised reintegration staff and a probation officer, with the aim to successfully return to the community.
Kelvin Davis said the relationship with Waikato-Tainui has been a key factor to Tai Aroha’s success.
“A priority for me as Corrections minister is to see the Department build mana whenua partnerships around the country, so it’s great to see the partnership that has developed between Corrections, the community and the local iwi, with the community actively interested in the delivery of this programme,” Kelvin Davis said.
“I want us to build even tighter bonds with mana whenua over the next ten years and work even more closely together in how the programme is designed and delivered,” Kelvin Davis said.