Ngāwha inmates art works auctioned for Hospice

By Dean Nathan
  • Northland

In the Northland region, an auction of artworks by inmates at Ngawha prison will help pay for the palliative services provided by Hospice in the mid-north. Te Kāea was at the venue in Kerikeri this afternoon to preview some of the pieces for auction. 

This is one of the most eye-catching art pieces about to go under the hammer this evening in an effort to raise funds for Hospice.

Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development Shane Jones says, “The art pieces given by our relatives in jail will go to help families burdened by the illnesses affecting their parents.  Who of us doesn't have family requiring the palliative services the Hospice provides? This support will assist them greatly.”

Hospice is contracted to provide specialist palliative care for the mid-north but is fundraising to meet the extra $600,000 needed to pay for the services required.

Hospice Mid-Northland spokesperson Belinda Watkins says, “These pieces are stunning and we're very honoured to have received them.  We will be letting the inmates know confidentially how much we've raised which they really enjoy so yeah it means a lot to us.”

Guest Speaker and former All Black Frank Bunce says, “I just hope that people get in behind especially at the auction and give a little bit of money and take some good stuff away but it’s all about giving tonight.”

The majority of the Māori art pieces come from inmates in the KEA unit at Ngawha prison as a way for prisoners to give back to their people and the community in general.

Jones says, “This is Kerikeri so we're expecting people with a very deep pocket to support this fundraiser. The translation of 'Keri' is dig and we want them to dig into their pockets and spend a lot of money this evening.”

Only time will tell whether the auction meets its goal of $30,000.