Otago Polytechnic lecturer Jade Morgan has been awarded the Arts Access Corrections Māui Tikitiki ā Taranga Award 2020, recognising his work at Otago Corrections’ Facility.

Jade received the Māui Tikitiki ā Taranga Award for an individual demonstrating the qualities of Māui (innovation, creativity and leadership) through his work at the prison.

A lecturer with Foundation Studies students within Otago Polytechnic’s College of Community Development and Personal Wellbeing, Jade has twice previously earned a highly commended citation at the Arts Access Corrections Maui Tikitiki a Taranga Awards – in 2018 and 2019. 

Announced at an online ceremony* on Tuesday 13 October, the award recognises Jade’s work at Otago Corrections Facility to inspire positive change, and for offering education opportunities to to the men on release from prison.

Jade has a background of working for Community and Marae-based Social Service non-government organisations, delivering programmes on behalf of the community and Iwi (Kai Tahu) to Youth at Risk; in conjunction with a range of Government agencies. 

“If I wasn’t employed to teach and guide people, I’d be doing this mahi for free – because this world is meant for us all,” Jade says. 

“Love and compassion includes trying to join learners on their paths, trying to plan with them and, hopefully, inspiring and empowering them to learn.

“Education gives people a second chance. Certainly, it was – and continues to be – a transformational force in my life. It provides opportunities. For me, it is also about giving back to others. 

“From my own experiences, I have seen how education can not only change lives – but save lives.” 

Jade’s tikanga programme, Te Hōkai Manea Tipuna (“the glowing footsteps of our ancestors”), runs once a week for eight weeks and is offered four times a year. The programme has a strong emphasis on developing skills and discipline and ancestral practices, values and protocols through the learning of mau rakau, mau patu and ti rakau, kapa haka, waiata and whaikōrero (oratory).

Jade says the goal of his programme is to inspire the mostly Māori participants to make positives changes in their lives, and help them to understand who they are and where they come from.

“If you want to find redemption and to rehabilitate then it’s essential to have access to arts and cultures,” Jade says.

“It’s a right, not a privilege, to have access to your culture.”

Sherie Lucke, Principal Adviser Rehabilitation and Learning, Otago Corrections Facility, says Jade’s programme has a significant impact on participants.

“The men are hungry for knowledge and connection with the journey of their ancestors and their own cultural identity (whakapapa). Participants develop their own sense of whanau within the group, and I have seen the growth of their mana and pride through the Te Hokai Manea Tipuna programme and as they stand tall at graduation.

“Reconnection is an important part of a person’s rehabilitation and healing; helping them develop strong foundations for participation in the community.

“Jade ignites a spark in the men. He has a way of captivating people and as a result of working alongside Jade, we see men who have been disconnected from their whanau reach out to grandparents to find out more about where they come from and who they are.

“If only we could clone him, the world would be a brighter place! Jade is a worthy recipient of this award. He is a very humble man and is greatly respected by everyone he meets, the men in our care and our staff.”

*A prerecorded video of the event will feature on Arts Access Aotearoa’s website.

Published on 13 Oct 2020

Orderdate: 13 Oct 2020
Expiry: 31 Dec 2022