Awhi Mai – Awhi Atu


‘A core goal of reintegration strategy is aligned with whānau ora to empower communities and extended families (whānau) to support families within the community context, rather than individuals within an institutional context.’

(Salvation Army Policy & Parliamentary Unit, ‘Beyond the Prison Gate’, 2016, p.66)

Programme overview

  • Reintegration programme for people leaving prison.
  • Staff work intensively with a person who has been in prison for six months on release.

Key components

  • Navigation service – transition the person back into their own whānau and community.
  • Work to empower and strengthen communities and recognise the role of whānau and community in the reintegration of Māori persons in particular.
  • Support with life skills as needed e.g. CV writing, opening bank account.
  • Support the person to repair or rebuild relationships with their whānau.
  • Supporting the person to connect or re-connect with marae or cultural organisations, sports groups, church, budgeting/parenting/health services as required. In this way it becomes sustainable, because the person stays engaged with their community long after the involvement of PFNZ.
  • Provide weekly programme – 1 x evening per week based on identity, cultural awareness, connecting with others in same situation, and sharing kai.
  • Graduation of 6 months intensive support on a marae.
  • Invite person to continue involvement with PFNZ in an Awhi Mai, Awhi Atu capacity (support going out, support coming in) – attending weekly dinners, supporting new prisoners coming out.

“Instead of the government spending over 90 grand to keep us in prison every year, why don’t they invest it on keeping us out?”

(Participant quote, Salvation Army Policy and Parliamentary Unit, ‘Beyond the Prison Gate’, 2016, p.4)