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Social Justice advocate announced as Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year

Wellington social justice advocate and public servant, Kim Workman is the recipient of the 2018 Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year Award.

The winners of the 2018 New Zealander of the Year Awards were announced last night at the annual Gala in Auckland. Extraordinary Kiwis were celebrated and commended for their services to society.

Dr Kim Workman, 76, is an active social pioneer and retired public servant. His commitment to overcoming issues related to criminal justice, welfare and prison reform has positively influenced the lives of many New Zealanders and their families for over 50 years.

Metlifecare CEO Glen Sowry is thrilled that the awards recognise the contributions of New Zealanders regardless of age.

“The calibre of finalists making positive contributions to the lives of others this year has been incredible. These New Zealanders are role models and leaders within our communities. The tireless commitment to society showcased by the Senior New Zealander of the Year Award finalists is admired and valued by all Kiwis,” says Glen Sowry.

Artist Billy Apple and Professor Bob Elliot were among the fellow Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year Award finalists, recognised for their ongoing contribution to the community.

“Having an award category celebrating the achievements of seniors demonstrates just how significant their contributions are in our communities and is something Metlifecare is proud to support,” says Sowry.

Following his retirement from the public sector in 1996, Kim Workman’s interest in the criminal justice system grew, specifically regarding the ineffectiveness of New Zealand prisons. He has since become a public advocate for prison reform and has successfully encouraged many Kiwis to re-evaluate their attitudes towards crime and punishment.

“It’s a huge privilege for me, I’ve been working in this area for a long time…and I never thought that it would ever change, but finally somebody says hey, keep going, you’re doing okay and that’s really neat, so I think I might be good for another 10 years.

“We do have to work at thinking about the criminal justice system and how we might do it better and not just simply repeat mistakes year after year, so I like to think I might have contributed in some small way,” says Workman, speaking from the awards gala last night.

Winner of the overall New Zealander of the Year award was Kristine Bartlett, who campaigned and achieved pay equity for aged care workers. As one of the leading employers in aged care, Metlifecare congratulates Bartlett on her achievement.

“In 2015, Metlifecare made the commitment to increase wages for our care workers, because we recognise the crucial role they play in our residents’ lives. Kristine’s efforts have ensured the rest of our industry followed suit,” says Sowry.

About Kim Workman

Dr Kim Workman spent nearly four decades within the public sector, with career roles within the Police, Office of the Obudsman, State Services Commission, Department of Maori Affairs, and Ministry of Health, including a stint as Head of the Prison Service. Kim was the Director of Prison Fellowship until 2008. In 2006, Kim joined with Major Campbell Roberts of the Salvation Army to launch the ‘Rethinking Crime and Punishment’ strategy and has since lent his expertise to JustSpeak a charity established to restructure how Kiwi youth think about crime and punishment. Kim is a graduate of Massey University and has completed postgraduate study after receiving two Churchill Fellowship awards. In 2005, Kim was the recipient of the International Prize for Restorative Justice and was made a Companion of the Queens Service Order in 2007. Kim has been awarded honorary doctorate at both Victoria and Massey University. In 2017 Kim published his book on ‘The Criminal Justice System, the State of Maori, from 1985 to the Present.’

About New Zealander of the Year Award

The annual New Zealander of the Year awards are in their ninth year. They recognise, encourage and reward New Zealand’s biggest asset, its people. Categories include New Zealander of the Year, Metlifecare Senior New Zealander of the Year, University of Auckland Young New Zealander of the Year, Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero of the Year, Sanitarium New Zealand Innovator of the Year and Mitre10 New Zealand Community of the Year.

About Eve Williams

Eve Williams
Eve Williams is the Production and Social Media Administrator for Eldernet. She has a passion for learning new things.

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