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Psychologist - Matapuna Special Unit

Ara Poutama Aotearoa (Department of Corrections)
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Canterbury (Waitaha)
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Job Description


About the role | Mō te tūnga

The Department of Corrections works to make New Zealand a better, safer place by protecting the public from those who can cause harm and by reducing reoffending.

Working as part of a rehabilitative unit for high risk prisoners at the Matapuna Special Treatment Unit within Christchurch Men's Prison involves the comprehensive assessment and treatment of men who have a high risk of violent and/or general offending.  Specifically, those who meet the eligibility criteria for the high intensity group treatment programme targeting risk factors associated with re-offending. 

The Matapuna therapy programme is a co-facilitation model of group treatment, as research has shown this is more effective.  Each group contains 10 participants who, following an intensive assessment process, meet for three hours sessions three times a week for nine months.   Co-facilitation of group treatment is a highly supportive and safe way to practice.

With an established team of clinicians and reintegration coordinator this offers an opportunity to work at the front end of high intensity offender rehabilitation.  This will enable the successful psychologist to develop or enhance specialist skills in assessment and treatment of high risk offenders, as well as work alongside the custody team to support the Special Treatment Unit within Christchurch Men's Prison. 

We are looking for a Psychologist who:

  • Is reliable with strong communication skills
  • Has a minimum of a Masters degree in Psychology (Clinical or Forensic Psychology)
  • Registration with the NZ Psychologist board in the clinical scope of practice.

In return we can offer you:

  • A cohesive and well-established team
  • A competitive salary and structured advancement opportunities
  • Commitment to professional development and clinical supervision
  • World class criminal justice psychology training and mentoring

If this sounds like you, visit our website and apply now!!

See more about the role of Psychologist at Matapuna Special Treatment Unit by clicking on the link to the video below:

Or to find out more about this exciting opportunity, you can contact Karla Mattson, Principal Psychologist via email;

About us | Mō mātou

Ara Poutama Aotearoa is a name that has been gifted to us by Iwi and conveys the responsibility we have to support and guide those in our care to reach their potential.  Our strategy, Hōkai Rangi (, provides a clear direction of travel - one that builds on the good things that are already happening, and, most importantly, how we can innovate to find new ways of doing things to achieve better outcomes for Māori, whānau and communities. 

It is an exciting time and we continue to seek out talented individuals who are committed to an inclusive, vibrant workplace. We recognise and celebrate the uniqueness of individuals, and that of the collective talent in our whānau.

For reporting and transparency, it is important that all applications are submitted through our careers site.  If you want to find out more about a career with us, visit or email our team at

** Notice about COVID-19 **

We are part of the group of essential organisations that provide the necessities of life for everyone in New Zealand. During times of increased COVID-19 alert, our recruitment and onboarding processes will continue however will be changed to include increased health measures. We will work with candidates throughout the process to ensure safety and help stop the spread.

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