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Hinemoa - Senior Practitioner

12 December 2021
Hinemoa Hero

Ko Mātiti te maunga
Ko Waioweka te awa
Ko Ōpeke te marae
Ko Irapuaia te whare tipuna
Ko Te Kurapare te whare kai
Ko Ngāti Ira te hapū

Kia ora. My name is Hinemoa Brown and I am a Senior Practitioner in the Provision of Advice to Court (PAC) team at Manukau Community Corrections. I started my career with Ara Poutama Aotearoa in 2013 as a student placement through Te Wananga o Aotearoa, while completing my Bachelor of Bicultural Social Services. Shortly after, I became a probation officer.

In my current role, I interview men and women we manage, as well as their whānau, to provide an informed report and sentencing recommendations to the Court. During this process, I also liaise closely with both internal and external stakeholders to obtain as much relevant information as possible. Another facet of my role involves supporting new probation officers across the Manukau district as they learn more about PAC interviews and report writing.

One of the main reasons I decided to join Ara Poutama Aotearoa was because I saw an opportunity to work with my own people: Māori whānau, who are overrepresented in the criminal justice system, including Corrections. Interestingly enough, I always had aspirations of becoming a police officer. However, at the time I had my first baby and became a full-time mum. When my son turned five and started school, I resumed my studies and obtained my student placement with Corrections. So, my path didn’t turn out as planned, but I feel that I am able to make more of a difference for my people where I am now.

Being able to engage with people is what motivates me. Every day for me is filled with whanaungatanga, constantly being in relationships with people. The kōrero, the listening, the working together, and witnessing the moment they make a breakthrough on their journey to making positive life changes – these are things that give meaning to my mahi.

The principles of our Hōkai Rangi strategy and our Ara Poutama Aotearoa values are my vehicle to provide the best possible support and service to the people with whom I work. Hōkai Rangai also enables me to better support my peers in their understanding of Te Ao Māori and to better support Māori whānau. This shift in our focus has been a personal highlight for me. Being able to share my culture and tikanga as part of a strength-based model in my work, and with the approval and support of our leadership teams, is brilliant.

Ara Poutama Aotearoa has a supportive and positive work culture, because of the people: colleagues, peers, and managers, as well as the men and women we manage. Another benefit of working for the department, is the opportunity to grow and develop, pursue new opportunities across Corrections, and to keep learning and making a contribution

One of my initiatives, which was adopted and of which I feel really proud, was the creation of the Māori advisor role in the Manukau district. This role, which strengthens the tikanga Māori lens on our work has been raising cultural awareness across our district and region, is now an integral part of everything we do. I am greatly encouraged by this development. The more we do this, the more we can look forward to better outcomes for the people we support and the safer our communities and society will become.

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