Cor­rec­tions of­fi­cer hum­bled by award

Northern News - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - BAY­LEY MOOR

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.

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