Police staff joined with Hawke's Bay non-profit organisation Te Taitimu Trust in another very successful venture developing leaders and resilience amongst rangitahi.
For over a decade there has been a close bond between Police and various groups associated to the Trust headed by the Makoare Whānau.
Trustee Ross Gilbert, who recently retired from Central Hawke's Bay Police, and long- time family friend Senior Constable John Tangaere (PNHQ), recall when the tragic phone call came advising of the suicide 18 years ago of the Makoares’ 15-year-old son Kelly.
From that darkness has emerged a shining light for effective grass-roots change that has helped well over a thousand tamariki and rangitahi find confidence to face the challenges of life and in many cases flourish.
Each summer the trust holds its Big Camp which focuses on water safety and leadership skills that empower each young person who takes part.
Over four very long days paddling down one of the remotest parts of the country they let the awa (river) teach them about themselves and how to work with others.
For Eastern District staff it was a fantastic opportunity to forge bonds and grow trust and confidence not just with the youth but also the multitude of partners from around Eastern District and across New Zealand.
We even had the chance to develop some real interest in joining the Police says Sergeant Greg Macklow.
"Over four wananga (learning sessions) conducted by our team, it was very heartening to see that the adults and youth all identified Police’s key role in the community was to keep people safe. The messaging and reality must be hitting home."
"An analogy given by one of the Whanagui Iwi Kaumatua rang very true for a lot of the people we work with."
The awa is like life it has a beginning (Tongariro) and an end (Tangaroa) it flows from the mountain to the ocean. Along the way there are whirlpools and eddies where it goes around and around and (like people) stays stuck in that spot, in others it actually pushes back upstream and struggles against the flow (like many we in Police encounter). But to move through life at times you need a nudge back into the main current that helps carry you along to see your journey is fulfilled.
> Photos by Josie McClutchie, courtesy of Te Taitimu Trust and Te Puni Kokiri.
Check out more from this awesome group visit on Facebook
- See https://www.facebook.com/tetaitimu/videos/358478258324877/
- And https://www.facebook.com/tetaitimu/