December 16, 2020
Te ao Maori view helps treat gang survivors
A former cop is trying to tap into what he calls Māoridom's innate spirituality and healing power to turn round the lives of gang members.
Waata Heathcote established Waiariki Whānau Mentoring after becoming disillusioned with his work as a police officer in the Bay of Plenty.
He offers counselling and wrap-around support for former gang-members struggling to stay out of prison and break cycles of violence.
Many have lived in trauma their entire life.
"So we dig right back and we unpack the layers to get down to the core issues then we bring our te ao Māori world view in to bring about healing. The trauma is horrendous, it's putrid, it's disgusting, and so for us it has been about building those relationships to be able to get to that point," Mr Heathcote says.
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