Claire Aitken, of Dunedin, MNZM, for services to rehabilitative programmes
Claire Aitken is Director of the Downie Stewart Foundation, a Dunedin-based programme for the rehabilitation of offenders. She has provided special care and therapy to at-risk individuals, as well as reconnecting clients to their Māoritanga and families. She has secured external funding, organised community fundraising events, and fostered connections with local Māori representatives. Her fundraising efforts have enabled the Foundation to expand its treatment of those affected by methamphetamine. She helped initiate a national training programme, Te Taketake. Ms Aitken shares her expertise in rehabilitation services with audiences across New Zealand and has mentored interns from Otago Polytechnic and from the University of Otago’s Social Work and Psychology programmes.