11 March 2024

Getting out and about at community events

Our teams have been out and about at various events this year, enjoying the opportunity to chat with the community, form connections and share more about our work.

If you spot us at a community event, come visit - we’d love to kōrero! In the next few months, we’ll be at Whanganui Pride Walk, as well as Moana Nui Pasifika Festival in Otago.

Here’s a few of the events that we’ve attended so far this year, plus some reflections from our teams on the events.

Waitangi Day

Our team from Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison (HBRP) attended Waitangi Day celebrations at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Sports park.

The event was hosted by Ngati Kahungunu iwi and for the two days, they had around 10,000 people attending. The HBRP team attended the second day.

Rita, Operations Manager for HBRP, says that being at the event was about more than recruitment promotion - it was also an opportunity to network and share our mahi with people and the local community.

“One of the highlights was having people who were in our care previously, dropping by to say hello and talking to our staff,” says Rita.

“We also had members of the community and providers seeking more information about services available they refer those in our care to. Some of these providers are working with people currently and previously under Corrections care.”

Corrections staff sit inside the marquee at the event, beside a banner that reads Manaaki for peoplePeople gather by a Corrections branded marquee at the event

Waka Ama

The Waka Ama Nationals is the second biggest Mātauranga Māori event in Aotearoa next to Te Matatini, drawing in thousands of people.  This is the second year Ara Poutama Aotearoa has had a presence at this event, first attending in 2023.

The 2024 event was the 34th annual Waka Ama Sprint Championships on Lake Karāpiro and attracted a record number of paddlers. More than 1,800 teams from 63 clubs raced for national sprint titles, with crowds of up to 10,000 cheering them on.

With paddlers ranging in age from 5-86 years old, the competitors enjoyed six days of racing, all broadcast on Māori TV, and equally importantly, six days of hauora (wellbeing) and immersion in Māori culture.

As well as having a stall for people to visit, we had two teams entered in the event (from Waikato Community Corrections and Waikeria Prison), which put the whakatauki he waka eke noa (we are all in this together) firmly into action. Whether they were competing or crewing the stall, staff thoroughly enjoyed the event and engaging with the public.

"We had many visitors to our whare (tent) over the days - relaxing and having a go on our Paddlepro Erg set up just outside our tent," says Recruitment Lead Tania. "It was awesome hearing their kōrero, taking on the wero (challenges) provided by staff, and having them engage and feel comfortable in our space."

Corrections staff kneel with paddles beside Lake Karāpiro

Four Corrections staff paddle hard in a waka as part of the competitionChildren try out the erg pro machine outside a Corrections branded marquee

Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year started on Saturday 10 February 2024 and celebrations traditionally continue for at least two weeks ending with the Lantern Festival (元宵節). Each Lunar New Year is also accompanied by an animal from the Chinese zodiac, and this year it’s the dragon.

As part of Lunar New Year celebrations, approximately 10,000 people visited the bustling 2024 Lunar New Year Festival & Market Day in Auckland on Saturday 3 February. Our staff spoke to many of them about the work that we do.

“The Auckland festival is one of the largest Lunar New Year celebrations in New Zealand and we were privileged to have a spot this year to kōrero with festivalgoers and share more about our work,” says New Lynn Community Corrections Service Manager and Chair of the Corrections Asian Employees Network, Judy. “Numerous people came to the stall and were genuinely interested to hear more about Corrections’ job opportunities.”

“We’re ready to welcome the Year of the Dragon with the rest of the world, and our Asian Employees Network has a couple of exciting events up its sleeve,” says Judy.

Corrections staff in red t-shirts stand behind a stall table strewn with gold coinsJudy talks to a member of the public beside a Corrections banner with Chinese characters that reads Welcome Join ur team

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