The Department of Corrections has appointed Topia Rameka as the Deputy Chief Executive – Māori at Ara Poutama Aotearoa.
"This an important step in Corrections’ commitment to working with Māori to tackle the long-term challenge of Māori reoffending and imprisonment," Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says.
“The first action point outlined in Hōkai Rangi was to provide strong Māori leadership within the Department. The newly developed role of Deputy Chief Executive – Māori will ensure a dedicated Māori voice at the top table, at all times,” he says.
“Topia’s skills and experience will be instrumental in the Department’s work to improve outcomes for Māori and their whānau, and reduce the over-representation of Māori within the Corrections system,” Mr Davis says.
Topia Rameka is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board, and brings to this role significant expertise in corporate and iwi governance, the development of Māori enterprise, utilities and natural resource management, and holds strong relationships with iwi business and key stakeholders.
He also sits on a number of management boards and Māori trusts where he represents iwi and community interests.
“As a member of Te Poari Hautū Rautaki Māori (Corrections Māori Leadership Board), Topia has worked alongside frontline staff, service providers, academics and other Māori experts, as well as people with direct experience of the Corrections system, to assist in the development of the final Hōkai Rangi strategy," Mr Davis says.
“I know he will be a strong advocate for Māori both within Corrections and our wider communities, and help bring about the change we need as we continue to make progress implementing Hōkai Rangi,” he says.