A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between the Department of Corrections and the Department of Conservation (DOC) which will see increased work by offenders to improve and maintain the Central Region’s wonderful natural environment.
Terry Buffery, Regional Commissioner Corrections Services Central Region, is looking forward to further developing projects in this area,
"The MOU will ensure increased collaboration and is an absolute win-win for both Departments. Better public value will be achieved by enhancing the protection of our beautiful region while providing offenders with conservation education, skill development and qualifications. We all know that this will assist us to reduce re-offending by encouraging these men and women to become productive members of our society.
Building on the excellent work that is already being done in all three of our prisons and several of our Community Probation sites over the next five years, both organisations strongly believe that this partnership will result in positive outcomes for the natural environment, offenders, and the wider community."
Currently prisoners and offenders serving community based sentences carry out work for the Department of Conservation including the growth of 10,000 seedlings for ‘Project Tongariro’
Brigitte Meier, Conservation Partnerships Manager, Waikato District, is also enthusiastic about the agreement.
"We regard this as a really innovative regional initiative, allowing DOC and Corrections to work together on a range of projects across our common boundaries in the central North Island. These may include existing works and projects, as well as opportunities to be identified in future annual work plans," Brigitte Meier said.
"By working together I'm sure we can produce ventures similar to the very successful Project Tongariro, which means the future benefits from our partnership and the growth of conservation in our regions will be assured"
DOC are developing new partnerships and extending existing partnerships, so that we can work with others to deliver greater results for conservation.
Some regional examples of DOC working with other partners that encompasses the Corrections geographical central region are: