Robert Kinsela (Kim) Workman KNZM QSO

Justice Advocate/Writer/Researcher

Kim Workman (of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Rangitaane) is a retired public servant, whose career spans roles in the Police , the Office of the Ombudsman, State Services Commission, Department of Māori Affairs,  and Ministry of Health.  He was Head of the Prison Service from 1989 – 1993.  He is a graduate of Massey University, and has completed post-graduate study at the University of Southern California, and Stanford University.

In 2000, Kim was appointed National Director, Prison Fellowship New Zealand (PFNZ), and retired from that position in 2008.   In 2005, Kim was the joint recipient (with Jackie Katounas) of the International Prize for Restorative Justice.

He was made a Companion of the Queens Service Order (QSO) in 2007.

He served as a Families Commissioner from 2008 – 2011.

In 2006 Kim joined with the Salvation Army, to launch the “Rethinking Crime and Punishment” (RCP) Project.  In 2011 he formed Justspeak, a movement that involves youth in criminal justice advocacy and reform.

Over the last five years, Kim has increasingly contributed to the academic literature, in the areas of criminal justice policy, Treaty and Māori development issues, racism and inequality, culture and identity.   He is currently an adjunct research associate at the Institute of Criminology, Victoria University. In 2015 he was awarded the R.D. Stout Fellowship at the Stout Centre for New Zealand Studies, and is currently completing a publication on ‘The Criminal Justice System, the State, and Māori from 1985 to the present’.

In 2016, Kim was awarded the degree of Doctor of Literature (DLitt Well) by the Council of Victoria University, and in 2017, the same degree by the Council of Massey University.  In February 2018, Kim was awarded Senior New Zealander of the Year, under the New Zealander of the Year Awards Scheme.

In 2019, Kim was appointed as a Knight Companion to the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM).  In the same year, he completed an eight month intensive te reo course at Te Wānanga o Raukawa.

His memoir, ‘Kim Workman – Journey towards Justice’ was published in November 2018.

Kim was recently appointed to the Human Rights Review Tribunal, and is a member of the Parole Board.   He is on the Police External Advisory Group on Pae Oranga (Iwi Community Panels, and chairs the Independent Panel for the ‘Understanding Policing Delivery’ Project.

Kim has six children, 10 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.  He enjoys listening and playing jazz.