Trip to learn more about restorative approaches

By Staff Reporter

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HALIFAX-BOUND: Wanganui MP Chester Borrows with Jenny Saywood and Karen Edlin of Whanganui Restorative Practices who are heading to Canada today.
HALIFAX-BOUND: Wanganui MP Chester Borrows with Jenny Saywood and Karen Edlin of Whanganui Restorative Practices who are heading to Canada today.

Whanganui, the only New Zealand city to adopt restorative practices to transform employment, community and social issues, is taking the process a step further.

Three members of the Whanganui Restorative Practices Trust and local MP Chester Borrows are flying to Nova Scotia, Canada, today for a worldwide conference.

Shelly Harkness, Jenny Saywood and Karen Edlin from the trust will be with Mr Borrows at the conference being held in Halifax.

They will also be the Whanganui representatives at a meeting of the International Learning Community, made up of cities in the UK, US and Canada which, like Whanganui, are linked by their restorative approach within their communities.

Mr Borrows says while many people are familiar with court proceedings, many would rather "lawyer up" to win or lose, whereas the restorative approach allows for both parties to win.

The trust members have either sought sponsorship or are self-funding the trip, while Mr Borrows' is funded by his employment travel budget.

Ms Harkness and Ms Edlin will also travel to Minnesota in the United States to spend a day with Corrections staff who have adopted the restorative approach in their prisons. They will also travel to Texas to meet with representatives from the Restorative Justice Collaborative in Houston.

"This is an excellent opportunity to meet with contacts we've already made and share each others learnings about how restorative practice can be used in a variety of settings," Ms Harkness said.

Mr Borrows said the group would learn to apply a restorative framework in workplaces, agencies and schools.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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