Corrections officer humbled by award
A Kaikohe man who was tasked with launching the community service programme for Corrections in the 80s has been humbled by a long service award.
Marty Maioha has been recognised for 28 years of service to the Department of Corrections, a career he began after serving 21 years in the Royal New Zealand Artillery.
The Corrections Tai Tokerau Long Service Awards acknowledged 125 staff members with tenures of between seven and 42 years of service.
Held in Whangarei on November 3, recipients received a letter of appreciation from the chief executive, as well as a medal, clasp or pin, depending on the award category.
‘‘I was a bit overwhelmed more so because of the highranking people there, I was really humbled by the occasion and it was extra special having the Minister [Kelvin Davis] there and him being a local man himself,’’ Maioha says.
‘‘Our senior managers are really helpful and we get a lot of support. Here in Tai Tokerau we have great staff, so the event was really special.’’
He says the job isn’t too dissimilar from his work in the army, as both include supervising people.
‘‘However the soldiers did what they were told, while the offenders might try and tell you what to do,’’ Maioha says.
Maioha says working in Corrections has been rewarding and says the biggest change over the years has been a move towards a bigger focus on rehabilitation for offenders.
In his line of work Maioha comes into contact with offenders needing to complete sentences of community work usually for nonpayment of fines, driving with excess blood alcohol, shoplifting, benefit fraud, and breaching another sentence, he says.
The longest sentence of community work is 400 hours, Maioha says, with around six months needed to complete 100 hours.
Currently more than 200 offenders in Kaikohe and Kaitaia are completing weed control for the Department of Conservation, maintaining Marae, working at the Pioneer Village, schools throughout the area and other work.
‘‘There is tonnes of work, but it can be hard to change a conditioned crim. We do our upmost to improve the offender at the end of the sentence.’’
Maioha says no two days are the same and you would be surprised about the types of people who walk through the doors.
‘‘You get a lot of skilled people, we have had priests and doctors, qualified plumbers and carpenters - so the community gets the benefits of some really good labour.
‘‘You can be surprised with the people who come through our doors, but the law doesn’t discriminate.’’
Maioha now has two daughters (Desray and Tracey) and granddaughter Dayna who have followed him into Corrections.
‘‘The stability of the job is one of the things that is attractive for them and it’s a job that can help the community which I think was foremost in their minds in finding a job.
‘‘It’s really good to have family members here, it makes for easy conversations - we speak the same language and can download on each other.
‘‘We don’t download all the time but we know there is always an ear or shoulder to lean on.’’
The Northern Region of the Department of Corrections is the largest in NZ with 1900 staff members, five prisons, and just under 4000 prisoners.
Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis acknowledges Marty Maioha.
Desray, Mary and Marty Maioha, with Dayna Nankivell and Leah Maunsell celebrating Marty’s Corrections Long Service Awards.