Agency News
January 2017

Number 34
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Ka tangi te titi
Agency News
Kia ora! Welcome back! 

We welcome your involvement, support and feedback on our service delivery and look forward to 2017 – our 17th year of operation! 

We offer Restorative Justice, Addiction Services, Disability Support, Stop Smoking Services, Pregnancy and Parenting Support, Whanau Ora, and much more! 

We’re always open to whanau feedback on how we can improve what we do! With your input we will strive for excellence. Please feel free to get in touch with me by phoning (03) 214 5260 or 0800 925 242!

And, just in case you missed it, below is my most recent column in the Southland Express!

Tracey Wright-Tawha, CEO.
We're Here For You Coffee Group
Introducing Nga Kete's brand new coffee group, which will be held on February 14, 2016 at 10am and every Tuesday thereafter here at Nga Kete.

Chief Executive Tracey Wright-Tawha said the We’re Here For You Coffee Group offers a safe and friendly environment to share information, have a coffee, and a chat and is based on fellowship.

“Often when clients no longer require our services, they aren’t quite ready to completely disengage. This group gives them the opportunity to stay connected with the option of leaving when they’re ready to,” she says.

The group will be held weekly with a guest speaker fortnightly, and like the majority of Nga Kete’s services, it will be free to join.
The group will be hosted by Disability Kaiawhina Sandra Stiles. Sandra is looking forward to hosting the group and says it will be beneficial for clients from across the entire service and community people who wish to participate.
“Sometimes all people want is someone to just listen to them and be there as a support,” she says.

Interested? Give us a call! Phone (03) 214 5260 or free phone 0800 925 242, or visit us at 92 Spey Street!
Maori Cancer Kaiarahi Service
The Māori Cancer Kāiarahi Service helps Māori diagnosed with cancer and their whānau to assess and access cancer treatment in Southland.

People who are unwell need a range of things. They often just need someone to listen to them and support their decisions.

Barbara Metzger, the new Māori Cancer Kāiarahi Service Co-ordinator for Ngā Kete, understands this sentiment all too well.

“I have had a number of health challenges throughout my adult life, so I understand how important this role is. Like most Southlanders I pride myself on my independence, but there have been times when I have needed people and their support to advocate on my behalf.”

Although Barbara just recently started in her position, she has worked at Ngā Kete in the context of smoking cessation for almost 10 years. Therefore, she has several close working relationships with local health professionals, and a range of transferrable skills.

She has been able to assist several clients in the Cancer Kāiarahi role already, she says.

“When one is unwell it can be hard to think clearly, and in these situations you can be flooded with a whole lot of complex information and be required to make some really big decisions. A key part of my role is to help people navigate those processes and have as much control over them as they want to.”

For example, Barbara has helped clients, and their whānau to ask the key questions to help them understand medication requirements, make informed choices about treatment options and, if necessary, assist with transportation to and from hospital appointments.

Recently one of her clients required dental work ahead of cancer treatment and Barbara helped to arrange this because the severity of the clients illness had initially prevented it.

She also recently supported a client to complete the paperwork required by Work and Income to transition from fulltime paid employment to being on a sickness benefit – a daunting process made easier with Barbara’s assistance.

In ensuring clients access the services they require to meet their needs, Barbara keeps in touch with regular phone calls and home visits.

“Sometimes the best thing I can do is just be an ear … being a good listener is crucial to achieving the best possible outcome, because what exactly that looks like varies from one client and whānau to the next.”

While her new role is emotionally challenging, Barbara is looking forward to assisting Māori diagnosed with cancer, and their whānau, throughout and beyond 2017.

*You can be referred at any stage of your journey. Whānau can be referred by:
  • GPs
  • Cancer Society
  • The hospital
  • Friends
  • Whanau
  • Hospice
  • District nurses
  • Any health providers and other professionals.
Contact us:
Ngā Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust
92 Spey Street, Invercargill
Ph: (03) 214 5260
Free Phone: 0800 925 242
Email Barbara:
Cell: 027 276 2414
I've Turned My Life Around
The inspirational story of a former client
***This client wishes to remain anonymous

Anger, drugs and alcohol, crime and gang association have been a part of his life since he was a young teenager. Now in his 40’s, he has turned his life around to keep his children safe and ensure they don’t follow in his footsteps.

This is his story:

I’ve always been the black sheep of the family, the ratbag, the outcast.

Things were alright until I went to high school and started hanging round with a new crowd. Soon I was associating with a gang, drinking too much, and stirring trouble.

I didn’t realise it then but I was a very angry person. I had a lot of anger in me from being beaten by my father as a child. I used to get hidings often, sometimes with a hunk of wood. My mum always tried to stop it but my father was an overpowering man.

I was always stirring up trouble and ending up in court. I was always getting charged for violence-related crimes, along with intentional and willful damage. It was fun back then. You know? A lot of drinking and causing chaos. I went to jail a couple of times and had numerous sentences of community work.

My family hated what I had become, and I wasn’t allowed at my parents’ house for a few years. They were completely against my lifestyle. Ironic isn’t it?

I got married but I was still getting in trouble, fighting, and hanging out with the gang. My wife didn’t want a bar of it though so I kept her away from it. I eventually got sick of it all anyway and we moved to another city.

The next few years were great. My wife and I had children together and things were going well.

But then we met this guy who quickly became my best mate. Within a short time, he’d introduced us to methamphetamine, and my wife and I became hooked.

Soon after, he and my wife ran away together. I was so angry. I’ve never been so angry.

I kept to myself for a long time, but then there was another incident where I got into some trouble and I realized it was time to make a change. I had my kids now and I couldn’t do anything stupid to jeopardize that.

I referred myself to Nga Kete where I received counselling for anger and alcoholism. It helped so much. I don’t drink anymore and by that stage I’d already given up drugs.

Later I started coming to the Nga Kete Work and Living Skills (WLS) Programme and from there I was introduced to the Whanau Ora team.

I really wanted the help. I can’t risk losing my children. Through Whanau Ora I established a plan through the Pathways programme, and I set myself three goals, which included keeping calm.

I had also lost everything in a house fire so a member of the Whanau Ora team came with me to find a house, helped search with me, and helped me out with furniture and things. She even took me to the doctor who put me on medication for depression and anger.

She helped me to think about my life a lot and realise that I don’t want my kids to be like me.

I’m not a client at Nga Kete anymore and I’m happy with where I’m at. I’m a happier person.

I don’t know what the future holds for me but I’m definitely looking forward to it.
I'm A Different Person Now
The inspirational story of a former client
***This client wishes to remain anonymous

What is methamphetamine? Methamphetamine (also called meth, crystal, chalk, and ice, among other terms) is an extremely addictive stimulant drug. People who use methamphetamine long-term may experience anxiety, confusion, insomnia, and mood disturbances and display violent behavior. They may also show symptoms of psychosis, such as paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions.

A former self-described heavy user of methamphetamine tells her story of a harrowing 15-year battle with the substance which ultimately led to intense withdrawals and suicidal thoughts. She is now off the drug and says she’s happy and looking forward to a positive drug-free future.

This is her story:

My husband and I smoked methamphetamine every day for 15 years and we were not nice people.

Although together for more than 20 years, we turned on each other. He’d beat me up and I attacked him too. I was living on a farm, isolated, with my controlling husband who wouldn’t let me see my friends or family and dictated my every move. My children had left home and although they were suspicious, they had no idea we were drug addicts.

We were both employed so we could afford our $700 a week habit and still live comfortably.

As time went on my hatred towards my husband intensified. He was always beating me up and often accusing me of cheating on him. I never did, it was drug paranoia.

Methamphetamine really does change people. It’s an ugly drug that breaks families. It eventually broke ours and several years on, I am still working to repair the damage.

Eventually I’d had enough. This wasn’t the life I wanted. I was fed up with the violence and after my daughter found out I was using I wasn’t allowed to see my grandchildren. That was the final straw.

I stopped smoking methamphetamine. The withdrawals were so intense! I asked my husband to give it up too but he wouldn’t and I decided to leave him.

I came to Invercargill but he followed me. We tried again, but it didn’t work out.
I was scared for my safety after I left him for the second time. People on methamphetamine are so unpredictable and I already knew he was violent and controlling.

I became suicidal. I just didn’t know what to do with myself. I was suffering P withdrawals so I turned to drinking to fight the intense cravings and I had to get medical help. I was a complete wreck.

I ended up getting into trouble and I was referred to Nga Kete’s restorative justice service, and from there to Whanau Ora and the GP Service at Nga Kete.

A Whanau Ora staff member talked through what was important to me and we established a plan using Pathway. My three goals were to get my own home where I could be independent, to reconcile with my daughter, and to re-connect with my moko and have them living with me. I’m so proud to say I’ve achieved all of these goals.

Appointments were made at Work and Income to get the correct benefit, and Police and Work and Income also assisted in getting me a security system for my new house.

Food parcels from the Salvation Army over a couple of weeks allowed me to put enough money together for smaller things for my home, and furtniture was donated from Whanau Ora and given to me to begin my new independent life. 

My newfound independence gave me a confidence boost and I got a job volunteering with a local business.

I’ve been in my own place for almost a year now and my former husband doesn’t know where I am. I’m really happy to be in Southland. It’s a wonderful place with great community support.

Nga Kete has made a huge difference in my life. I feel like I’ve got good support. I don’t feel like I’m alone anymore. The staff there are just exceptional.

Being off methamphetamine has turned me into a different person. I feel so much better. I don’t feel insecure. Life is just all round better. I’m continuing to seek medical assistance but my future is now looking lovely. I’m happy. I’m positive. I feel safe.

I would advise anyone to seek advice at Nga Kete for anything because the attention you get is just so overwhelming.

If you are experiencing harm/problems from methamphetamine please contact: 
* 111 in an emergency.
* Phone your general practitioner for access to Drug and Alcohol Specialist Services or Mental Health Services.
* Nga Kete Addiction Services (03) 214 5260 or free phone 0800 925 242.
Staff member profile
Diane Mowat - Problem Gambling Counsellor
Problem Gambling Counsellor Diane Mowat has been a staff member at Nga Kete for over eight years and loves the job more and more every day, she says.

Diane became interested in the field of addictions because of her own addiction to alcohol. At the age of 29 and after two years as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, she was employed as a Family Support Worker for South Centre Family Support. Diane studied through Central Institute of Technology for her certificate in Alcohol & Drug Addictions.   

She then worked for Birth Right supporting single parent families and began to train as a Gestalt Psychotherapist. After more than three years and being made redundant, Diane was employed with Awarua Social & Health Services as Whanau Tautoko, and after six months was employed as their generic counsellor. She went on to complete her diploma in 2007 and is now one of two registered Gestalt Psychotherapists in Invercargill, she says.

Diane says she wanted to be part of an addictions team, which led her to Nga Kete nine years ago.

Diane is grateful to have two beautiful daughters, two lovely supportive son-in-laws and four gorgeous grandchildren. Diane enjoys spending her time making concrete pathways with interesting tiles in her garden, completing home renovations, and swimming.

"The Gestalt Therapy approach encourages individual personal growth through the development of self-awareness and self-support to enable creative and spontaneous contact with people and the environment we live in. A Gestalt therapist encourages clients to explore and find ways to live life in a meaningful way".

If you are close to someone whose gambling you believe may be out of control and you would like support to manage this, please get in touch with Diane. Phone (03) 214 5260 or free phone 0800 925 242.

Maui and the Giant Fish
Maori Myths, Legends, and Contemporary Stories 

"Māui dreamed of the day that he could go fishing with his older brothers. Each time his brothers returned from a fishing trip Māui would ask, "Next time, can I come fishing with you?"

But Māui's brothers would always make an excuse. "No you're much too young to come fishing with us. We need all the room in our waka for the many fish that we catch."

"I'll only take up a little bit of room, and I'll stay out of trouble, I promise," Māui would argue.

The eldest brother would reply, "You're so skinny we might mistake you for some bait and throw you overboard for the fish to eat."

Read the rest of this story here! 


Addiction Services
Te Rongo Pai Support Group
Yummy Recipe
He Pataka Oranga – A storehouse of Wellbeing, a locally produced toolkit, was launched by Nga Kete in 2015, and  focuses on local community action for healthy eating. The community toolkit was developed in partnership with 11 past presidents of the Invercargill branch of the Maori Women’s Welfare League from 1969 to 2015. Enjoy one of recipes below! 
Staff at Work January 2017
Camp Mother (Sandra Stiles) profiling the service at Takutai o Te Titi Marae in Colac Bay.
CEO Tracey Wright-Tawha and Maori Health Promoter Leoma Tawaroa with Invercargill City Councillor Toni Biddle.
Ainoama Sekone-Fraser, of Nga Kete, with colleagues from the Pacific Island Advisory and Cultural Trust helping to prepare for the Pacific Island Youth Fono!
Colac Bay fun day.
CEO Tracey Wright-Tawha catches up with the SDHB Director of Maori Health Pania Coote.
Meeting with staff from the Child, Adolescent and Family Service (CAFS).
Nga Kete’s Rangatahi AOD Kaimahi Greg Houkamau at the Pacific Island Youth Fono which encouraged our Pacifica Youth to speak up and speak out!
Our mailing address is:
92 Spey Street, Invercargill
Ph: (03) 214 5260 or free phone: 0800 925 242

Monday - Friday 9am-5pm
Late nights by appointment Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 5pm-7pm

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Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust · 92 Spey Street · PO Box 1749 · Invercargill, Southland 9812 · New Zealand

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