Kōkiri 30 – Free at Last...

Published in Kōkiri 30, Hui-tanguru 2014

A Waikato woman in and out of prison every year for 20 years is breaking the cycle with the help of Whānau Ora.

Pauline was living on the streets of Hamilton when she first walked through the door of Te Kōhao Health based at Kirikiriroa Marae – part of the NUMA Whānau Ora Collective.

“One day, I just turned up here and asked for help,” she explains. “This time it was different, I came out of prison with an open mind. I wanted to change and I wanted to learn how to stabilise my life.”

Over the next 12 months, Pauline set about achieving her goals: to stay out of prison, become drug-free, find a flat and pursue an education.

Not only has she successfully remained out of prison, she has completed a drug rehabilitation course, settled into a new home and is now attending a literacy course.

“When I came out of prison, I had nowhere to go, no hope – I came out to nothing.

Now I am confident. Whānau Ora helped me to love myself as Māori.” Pauline


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