Chief Executive Ray Smith presents Karlena Wirihana from the Office of the Kiingitanga with the Partnership of the Year Award.A new partnership award was presented at Corrections' annual awards evening on 9 August 2017. The award went to a partnership formalised in the first ever Accord, or Kawenata, between a government department and the Office of the Kiingitanga. Signed in March this year, the Accord establishes an enduring relationship built on engagement and co-operation.

Te Kiingitanga has long had the best interests of Māori at heart and Chief Executive Ray Smith said Office of the Kiingitanga’s commitment to work with the department was an important contribution towards improving the health and wellbeing, rehabilitation and reintegration of Māori offenders.

Corrections is committed to achieving the new government target – for Justice, Police and Corrections – to reduce Māori re-offending by 25% by 2025.

“We know that to succeed, Corrections needs the input, support and expertise of other agencies and partners in the community,” says Ray. “The Office of the Kiingitanga is an important partner in this endeavour.”

Ray paid tribute to Kiingi Tuheitia, Te Kiingi Māori, for his leadership in this partnership.

The partnership has already gained traction with a Governance Board in place, and a project plan taking shape. The King’s Office has set aside land in Hamilton on which to build a new reintegration centre for women - with an emphasis on helping these mothers regain access to their children.