National Commissioner Rachel Leota and Service Manager Frank Mariu unveil the plaque at the refurbished Taumarunui Community Corrections.Visitors and staff at Taumarunui Community Corrections will benefit from the building’s recent refurbishment, Corrections National Commissioner Rachel Leota said today.

Speaking at the official unveiling of the refurbishment, Ms Leota said the site’s upgrades make it safer and more inviting for everyone who visits and works at the site.

“The site’s had a big security upgrade.  The changes are apparent before you enter the building.  CCTV now lets staff know that visitors are approaching the site, the front entrance can be controlled electronically and the reception area has an anti-climb counter.

“Walls have come down and staff are in open-plan work area which encourages a more collaborative working environment. There’s also a clear line of sight to the reception area and CCTV is throughout the building.”

Other upgrades include interview rooms and a programmes room with two points of entry/exit, and a breakout room for staff.

Ms Leota said the refurbishment meant the Taumarunui team have a suite of tools and resources to manage offenders and keep the community safe.

“The refurbishment is part of Corrections’ five-year nation-wide renewal programme to make Community Corrections sites more secure for both staff and those who visit them.”

Guests at the unveiling also heard how staff and offenders managed by Taumarunui Community Corrections contribute to the community.

“Through staff initiatives and community work projects, Taumarunui Community Corrections really is part of the local community,” said Ms Leota.

“Service Manager Frank Mariu leads a team that is actively engaged in local events like Dinner at the Domain, the White Ribbon campaign, Children’s Day, and the annual Food Bank drive.  And that’s in addition to the many community work projects community offenders are involved in.”

In 2017, offenders managed by Taumarunui Community Corrections contributed to nearly 9,000 hours on community work projects across the Taumarunui-Waimarino areas.  Examples include the Taumarunui Domain clean up, Te Peka Walkway, and clearing and maintaining tracks for Ruapehu District Council.

The 13 staff employed at the site manage offenders on 180 community-based sentences and orders including home detention and community work.

More than 30,000 offenders are serving community-based sentences at any given time. Community Corrections supports these people to motivate them to make changes in their lives and find positive ways to give back to their communities.