Officers from all walks of life welcomed to Corrections

  • Louise Upston

Corrections Minister Louise Upston has welcomed more than 45 new frontline corrections officers to the team.

The latest cohort graduating at a ceremony in Wellington today includes officers from Samoa, South Africa, the Philippines, India, the United Kingdom and the Cook Islands. They also come from a range of previous career paths and professions.

“I’m delighted to see such a diverse array of individuals choosing to work with Corrections,” Ms Upston says.

“Their experience is vast and among them are former police officers, mental health workers, hairdressers, stay-at-home parents, plumbers, butchers, beauty therapists and bouncers.

“We value previous life skills as it will stand our new staff in good stead during their time on the frontline in prison. Being a corrections officer is a big responsibility, but one that brings with it immense rewards.

“If an officer can give someone the support and skills they need to finish their sentence and not re-offend, then we’re giving that person another chance. More than that, they are safeguarding a better future for their partners, their children, their victims and their community.”

Karlo Reyes, from Christchurch Men’s Prison, was presented with the Minister’s Excellence Award acknowledging the work ethic, enthusiasm and drive he displayed throughout the 12 weeks of training.

Mr Reyes was born in Davao, in the Philippines, and has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He also has experience working with people mental health issues and with intellectual and physical disabilities.

“Karlo has really found his feet in New Zealand and, like the other officers in this cohort, is another wonderful addition to Corrections,” Ms Upston says.

“He is described as having a great outlook on life and has the ability to work well with people in stressful situations, showing great patience and empathy.”

The new graduates will work at Northland, Mt Eden, Auckland Women’s, Spring Hill and Otago corrections facilities, and at Waikeria, Rimutaka, Arohata, Christchurch Women’s and Men’s prisons.