I was nervous about attending Te Pae Oranga (Iwi Community Panel) because I didn’t know what it was until the facilitator explained it clearly and put my mind at ease, and the outcome couldn’t have been better.
I have never been in trouble with the Police so when I was involved in a car crash and charged with careless driving, I was terrified of the idea of going to court.
I was heading to work when the crash happened. I came over the brow of a hill and all of a sudden there was a car in front of me. It was amongst major road works and there had been no hidden queue sign. I don’t remember much else about what happened.
Following the crash the Police referred me to Te Pae Oranga. I was anxious and worried because I didn’t know what that was and I thought it would be easier to just go to court. But, I thought I would come and speak with the facilitator first to find out more about it.
The facilitator was excellent. She explained very clearly what would happen and put my mind at ease. The panel were also excellent. I didn’t get a conviction and I didn’t lose my license. The Panel made me feel comfortable, and I didn’t feel judged – it was a conversation with some outcomes.
Those outcomes were to write an apology letter to Police, connect with the Cancer Kaiarahi Service and with a stress and grief counsellor.
The reason I was referred to the Cancer Service was because around the time of the crash my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer. His main treatment was hormone injections followed by radiation in Dunedin. I had anxiety around what would happen and neither of us really understood the process or what was to come.
Having the Cancer Kaiarahi Co-ordinator by our side was invaluable. She has been absolutely amazing. She always keeps in touch, always checks how the appointments are going, supplies information and keeps me posted on everything I need to know.
She has made everything easier for us and much more comfortable to deal with, and she clearly explains what is to come and what we can expect. It’s been reassuring because the unknown is horrible.
She also gave us accommodation options (although these were not needed in the end). The outcome couldn’t have been better and I am so grateful for the support I have received through both Te Pae Oranga and the Cancer Kaiarahi Service.