Corrections Minister Louise Upston today acknowledged eight Corrections staff who have helped with and developed corrections services in the Pacific.

Service pins were presented to the eight staff in a ceremony at Parliament to mark their work in Vanuatu and Samoa.

More than 60 New Zealand Corrections staff have served in the Pacific.

“This indicates the level of respect New Zealand Corrections has in the region. Corrections staff have used their expertise and experience to improve corrections operations in the Pacific,” Ms Upston says.

“Today’s recipients have between eight and 27 years’ experience with Corrections. Their work has helped establish custodial training programmes in Vanuatu and Samoa, including safety and security procedures that have been transitioned slowly to local authorities.”

Each recipient received a pin, known as the Hoe Akau. The Hoe Akau is a steering paddle, giving direction and support to other paddlers.

The idea to develop a pin for Corrections officers followed a long-standing policy to recognise police officers in a similar way for their service overseas.

Corrections personnel have worked in Vanuatu since 2005 helping update the management and operations of the corrections services on the island. A number of reform proposals have been devised including the establishment of a community probation service.

In Samoa, Corrections assisted with the development of training and operational protocols for the Samoan Ministry of Police and Prisons.

On Pitcairn Island, Corrections staff have previously monitored six offenders found guilty of sexually abusing children and have since returned for another deployment.  

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