30 November 2023

As a Probation Officer, Robyn Andrews' mahi helps people forge their own pathway toward oranga.

What is your current role?

I am a Probation Officer in the Māori Pathway Team for Te Tai Tokerau, based in Kaikohe. I am also the court officer for the Department of Corrections – Ara Poutama Aotearoa in the Matariki Court.

What does service to the community mean to you?

For me, serving the community means contributing to mahi that upholds the values of tika, pono and aroha. I’ve relished the opportunity to work alongside Te Mana O Ngāpuhi Kowhao Rau (TMONK), an organisation that represents Ngāpuhi, the local iwi, to improve outcomes and help address the driving factors of offending in the Matariki Court. It’s work like this which can make a real difference to people’s experience when in court.

One of my driving motivations when working with our partners is to help create a seamless transition for people as they move through the justice system. In my work, this has involved building pono relationships between TMONK and Corrections to overcome barriers, address concerns, gather information and discuss options for the best pathway forward.

By working with a values-based approach, I help to enhance the mana of tāne and wāhine that Corrections manages and empower their whānau.

How does your work make a difference?

My mahi allows tāne and wāhine to contribute to forging their own pathway forward toward oranga. It’s my role to grab a paddle, jump on their waka, and provide support where it is needed. It’s always incredibly rewarding to see the change in people’s lives.

What achievements are you most proud of?

I’m proud to be part of a team whose mahi revolves around improving public safety while ensuring people get the help they need. We all want to our communities to be safe and I know this can only be achieved when people make a change in their own lives. I am proud to be part of mahi which incorporates Te Ao Māori perspectives and tikanga, so we get the change we want to see within the system.

It’s my role to grab a paddle, jump on their waka, and provide support where it is needed.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

Whanaungatanga, I always look back to my mātua tūpuna and the joy that whakawhanaunga gave them. I get it now, we are a people who love to connect, who love to embrace and uplift. It is also awesome to see the switch in thought processes when those I work with go from “I can’t or won’t, to I can and will”.

What are 3 words you would use to describe your work?

Whānau, Manaaki, Kaitiaki.

What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the Public Service?

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.

What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.