January 27, 2020
Ruatoria seeks to counter P onslaught
A Tairawhiti community worker says a gang clash in Ruatoria has woken people up to the threat methamphetamine poses to Māori communities.
Tuta Ngarimu has been running fortnightly support meetings for people in the township who want help to get off the drug, or have family members affected.
He also facilitated a crisis meeting to discuss the latest incident.
He says it is hard for people to ask for help, because they fear it will bring them to the attention of police, Oranga Tamariki, Work and Income or other government agencies.
He says at times the task can seem overwhelming.
"When you’re talking about meth you're talking about guns, yuou're talking about murder, you're talking about all that kind of thing, and to put that on a small community to try to fix that up – community do everything out of aroha but they need a lot more resources," he says.
Tuta Ngarimu would like to see the region’s Maori MP getting involved with tackling the problem.
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