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Meet Jeremy – Senior Corrections Officer, Waikeria

26 April 2022
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Ko Te Tārae o Rāhiri te maunga,
Ko Mangakahia te awa,
Ko Māmari te waka,
Ko Ngāpuhi to iwi,
Ko Ngāti Horahia te hapu,
Ko Te Oruoru te marae,
Ko Kamariera Te Hautakiri Wharepapa te tupuna,
Ko Jeremy ahau.

After 28 years living abroad, Jeremy returned to New Zealand and joined Ara Poutama Aotearoa as a corrections officer.

Jeremy spent nearly 22 years with the London Metropolitan Police where he worked in a variety of teams within the department, including the Drug and Robbery Unit, Burglary Squad, and training and development. He left his role as Police Sergeant in 2017 to return home.

“The plan was to take five years off from policing to spend time with whānau, but I made the decision to stay in New Zealand and applied for a job at Waikeria Prison.”

Jeremy was no stranger to Waikeria. In 1978, Jeremy’s father was offered a job as an officer at the prison. Jeremy and his family left their hometown of Rotorua and moved to Waikeria Village, where many of the prison’s staff and their families lived. The village closed in 1999.

Jeremy started at Waikeria working in a remand unit before moving to Te Whare o Te Ao Marama, Waikeria’s Te Tirohanga unit.

“Te Ao Marama is firmly steeped in te ao Māori. It’s a safe place for tāne (men) to learn and understand their culture.”

“Working in Te Ao Marama was pivotal for me. I saw the positive outcomes that were being achieved by tāne in the unit and I wanted to be a part of that process.”

Jeremy says working as a corrections officer can be challenging at times, but very rewarding.

“For me, the most satisfying part of the job is when you see someone released from prison and you know you’re sending them back into the community a better person.”

Now a senior corrections officer, Jeremy works in the learning and development space, recruiting, training and onboarding new corrections officers.

“At Waikeria, we take a holistic and meaningful approach to awhi (support) our new corrections officers through recruitment, induction and onboarding, and their development pathway.”

“It’s about supporting our new staff and giving them the best possible start to their career with Ara Poutama Aotearoa.”

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