I was anxious about attending Te Pae Oranga (Iwi Community Panel) but it wasn’t what I expected and the outcomes have helped me to heal.
I was referred to Te Pae Oranga after the Police raided my home and found I was in possession of marijuana.
I was anxious and nervous about attending the panel because I had a vision in my head of what it would be, but it was absolutely not what I expected.
Ahead of the panel, the facilitator clearly explained everything that would happen. She was caring, supportive, and thorough.
The panel were understanding and made me feel comfortable throughout the entire process, which meant I was able to open up and talk without feeling judged. They asked me direct but fair questions, and gave me a lot to think about.
I knew I needed to front up and be held accountable for my massive mistake. But I was very relieved to have avoided Court and a conviction. I feel so grateful to have been given this opportunity, and there’s no way I would re-offend.
I was given three outcomes – write a letter of reflection to my daughter and engage with Building Financial Capabilities Plus and Mahana Southern Maori Mental Health and Addiction Counselling at Ngā Kete.
I started by writing the letter to my daughter. The letter actually helped to strengthen our relationship and brought us closer together. She deserved the letter. I had been selfish and didn’t realise how much it had affected her. Our relationship is so much better now.
I then met with the BFC+ Kahukura and the Mahana counsellor. The BFC+ Kahukura was comforting which made it easier for me to attend the appointments. She reinforced what I already knew and what I should be doing in terms of finances. She helped me through a lot more than just budgeting and I felt I could talk to her about anything.
The Mahana counsellor enabled me to be open and honest about my anger issue and we ended up delving into the crux of the problem, which came from my past. I didn’t think I would ever need counselling, but I’m so pleased I went because, although I am still working through everything, it has really helped me to start healing.
I have also started attending Aronui Art Therapy at Ngā Kete. I really enjoy drawing and while I’ve been doing something I enjoy, I have also been able to open up with everyone else in the group which has been wonderful. They all make me feel so comfortable.
I’m so grateful to have been supported in the way I have. My outcomes were not only achievable, but also healing and I don’t have to walk around with my head down. All of the people involved have made a huge difference in my life.