Dec. 14, 2018, 2:01 p.m.
Te Ha Oranga, the health and social services arm of Te Runanga o Ngāti Whātua have had success implementing tikanga māori into their AOD service roopu He Waka Eke Noa.
Based out of their Eden Terrace site Te Kahu Pokere, He Waka Eke Noa started out as small gathering of recovering addicts and has now morphed into a fully functioning support group that has seen over one hundred clients through its doors.
The service is aimed at people 18 years and over who have had a history of addiction and substance abuse and Clinical Operations Manager, Rhonda Zielinski said it’s the whanau atmosphere and love for waiata and haka that continues to be their point of difference.
“He Waka Eke Noa goes further than an AOD service, we are a whānau. We apply the values and principles of Te Ao Māori to guide our clients through their recovery journey and it’s those foundations that are often what our whānau and clients are drawn to”, said Ms Zielinski.
As the urban drift took Māori from their rural communities to city centres, many whānau became disconnected from their culture and found themselves searching for their identity. Some of these addicts found that culture and identity in this roopu who have formed a unique whānau bond where as the name He Waka Eke Noa suggests - we’re all in this together.
The AOD services often collaborates with other recovery services including the Salvation Army and their weekly recovery church where graduations, worship and kapa haka are all celebrated.
Waiata is a major part of this roopu and in 2017, they recorded a CD which is now widely used as a therapy tool for clients who lost some connection to their culture when addiction took over.
For more information or CD’s, call Te Ha Oranga on 0800 MY TE HA