Pitopito Kōrero News & Updates

Commitment to community – Darryn Russell on the world stage

Published June 20 2016
Darryn Russell Pictured with CEO Aviva Nicola Woodward
Darryn Russell Pictured with CEO Aviva Nicola Woodward


Honorary MPA Member– Darryn Russell has again demonstrated his commitment to community well-being. Darryn as Chair of the Christchurch Women’s Refuge (Aviva) has been part of the strategic thinking behind a programme that has received national honours and is now set to take on the world!

This is a voluntary position for Darryn outside many of the other community projects he donates his time to and outside of his employment as Assistant Vice Chancellor Māori of Canterbury University. This is also the first time ever that there has been a male Chair of Aviva.

This ground-breaking project sought to change the behaviour of men who commit family violence and was the Supreme Winner of the 2016 New Zealand Problem-Oriented Policing (POP) Awards.

The programme called ‘Reach Out’ was developed in collaboration with police in North Canterbury and aims to ensure all men listed in family violence reports are contacted, engaged with and worked with.

During a comprehensive 12-month evaluation in 2015, none of the 498 men contacted and engaged by Reach Out had re-offended.

Overall in the 3 years of the programme there has been a 90% reduction in reoffending. This is in contrast to the trend of equal size communities with similar demographics. (North Canterbury has a population of approximately 68,900.)

The award was presented by Police Minister Judith Collins at an Award Ceremony in Wellington.

The project also won an Award for Excellence in Reducing Repeat Victimisation.

Whilst very happy to see Aviva win the Award in amongst the other finalists, Darryn was more proud that there had been a measurable difference made to communities, families and whānau.

As the New Zealand Winners, Darryn will travel to the United States in October to attend the World Policing Awards.

Ka mau te wehi!