Topic: Prison

Kaumātua honoured posthumously for Corrections' work

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes
  • Auckland

The late Tihema 'Des' Ripi was honoured today by the Waitematā Road Policing Group for whom he served as the kaumātua until he passed away earlier this year. Inspector Trevor Beggs says he was the ultimate negotiator in conflict resolution.

A symbol was unveiled to remember one of the best men on the force. Tihema "Des" Ripi was a well-respected man.  He was a Corrections officer who facilitated prisoners and Police. 

Inspector Beggs explained, "He could go into a room where there was discord and he could bring harmony just by his presence. He was a big guy and he had a really strong voice but he didn't use that to intimidate people he used it to put people at ease just one of life's real gentlemen."

Carved by inmates from Ngawha Prison, the waka is a collaboration between the Police, Department of Corrections and local iwi.

Inspector Trevor Beggs says, "Matua Des linked us in with the Department of Corrections and the local carving school up in Ngāwhā Prison.  They were very welcoming and receptive to the kaupapa and we travelled to meet with them and discussed the final outcome."

Quoting her father Des, Trisha Ripi says, "Not one person can do the work that all of us can do together."

Inspector Beggs says, "He was just a real inspirational guy and he often resolved different disputes within Police and within iwi and he was our go-to guy we really, we really miss him."

The waka was presented to the Harbour Bridge Police Centre Police Station where it will be permanently located.