Life is nothing more than a collection of stories – but within those stories there are threads of meaning that, over a seventy-year journey, make sense of one human life.
Kim Workman grew up in the Wairarapa, son of a Pākehā mother and Māori father. His whakapapa comes from Ngāti Kahungunu and Rangitāne; Pāpāwai Marae near Greytown is the place to which he always returns.
Jazz musician, policeman, public servant, prison manager, prominent campaigner for restorative justice – Kim’s life is full of passion and spirit, research and writing, action and commitment. His childhood was shaped by life in a country town, by family and Māori community, somewhat by school and rather more by playing jazz.
Working as a police officer in the 1960s prompted his engagement with justice reform – and brought into sharp relief the racism that he has challenged throughout his working life. His career in prison management strengthened his commitment to prisoners’ welfare.
Kim’s visionary work in justice reform began when he became director of Prison Fellowship New Zealand, and ultimately found expression in the Rethinking Crime and Punishment project and in supporting the activist group JustSpeak. His thinking draws on both his Christian faith and his Māori heritage: he was instrumental in establishing one of the first faith-based prison units, and his understanding of restorative justice draws strongly on Māori customary practice.
Journey Towards Justice is an eloquent account of a life that is at once ordinary and exceptional, told with warmth and honesty. There are dark moments and hilarious ones, achievements and failures. Above all, there is love, compassion, vision, and a profound determination to bring justice to all.