About Us

The New Zealand Howard League

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of incarceration in the western world today. And it’s growing every day. But with your help we can make a positive difference.

With a growing prison population penal reform has become increasingly important and urgent for New Zealand.

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of incarceration in the western world today. And it’s growing every day. But with your help we can make a positive difference.

With a growing prison population penal reform has become increasingly important and urgent for New Zealand.

CEO Mike Williams awarding a Literacy Programme certificate at Christchurch Womens Prison.

Cliff Cook - Patron

Cliff Cook has over 30 years’ experience in the healthcare and retirement community sectors. He was the founder of NZ listed Metlifecare Ltd, founder, executive member and Chairman of the Retirement Villages Association of NZ. He worked in several industry advisory roles and committees involved with the industry's regulatory and legislative development. Having exited Metlifecare some years ago, Cliff has retained an interest in the NZ retirement village industry and has pioneered a similar village model in the United Kingdom as founder and cornerstone shareholder of LifeCare Residences.

Cliff’s interests in aged care were further advanced in 2018 when he set up a significant endowment fund for the University of Auckland Medical Schools Chair for Research into Ageing Well.

Cliff was Chairman and a major shareholder of NZX and ASX listed A2 Milk Company for 15 years which has gone on to be one of NZ’s largest listed companies and according to Bloomberg was the world’s best performing stock in the MSCI World Index for the last decade.

Cliff also has a range of other business interests in NZ and the UK spanning a wide array of industries.

Cliff has received many accolades over the years noting outstanding leadership and business acumen. None more so than the January 2020 Businessman of the Decade Award from the well known business columnist Brian Gaynor.

Cliff has been married to Sue for 40 years and they enjoy spending time with their 5 children and 7 grandchildren.

Judith Tizard - President




Mike Williams - Chief Executive Officer

There are many tried and proven ways of bringing down our prison population without endangering our communities. Logically there are three key intervention points – before someone goes to jail, while they serve their sentence and what happens to them on release.

We can keep people out of jail by paying attention to those who get expelled from school, and through Court ordered alcohol and drug rehabilitation (especially for first offenders).

We can help prisoners with their eventual peaceful reintegration while serving their sentences though basic literacy courses and upskilling (as many as half of New Zealand’s prisoners are functionally illiterate).

We can also canvass employers for jobs for appropriate released prisoners. Overseas research shows that leaving jail for a job heavily reduces the chance of reoffending.

This means practical programmes which The New Zealand Howard League can, with your help, get off the ground.

We don’t need to have so many people in jail and we don’t have to. It’s up to us to get organised.

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Help the NZ Howard League reach its goals in reducing prisoners reoffending, reducing the prison population and helping with positive reintegration into communities, without endangering the safety of those communities.

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