Meet The RAW Women


Ina | Meet The RAW Women

How is coming to RAW different to previous releases from prison for you?
I have been released to a completely new way of living, thinking and functioning.

Thinking about your time at RAW what are you most proud of?
The massive amount of ongoing changes and growth I have made.

How has your time with RAW changed your view on what being a mother means?
The complete opposite of what I allowed to happen whilst I was parenting.

What do you want to do when your study finishes?
Open up my barbershop/salon.

Who is your favourite fictional heroine?
I don’t have one.

Where is ‘home’ to you?
Anywhere surrounded by mother nature, in the RAW homes, or Whangarei.


Enjoy this beautiful moment. A song written and sung by Nore for her daughter Lily.

Working with The Green Room
No words could express the amazing experience that I had in Auckland, where I got to work with a legend and to put it in my own words a ‘God’ and ‘Genius’ in stage and lighting design. The man I am referring to is Michael Knapp, aka ‘Snapper’, who is the owner and co-founder of The Green Room Ltd.


Alissa | Meet the RAW Women

What do you enjoy about going to work every day?
I like how it’s never the same day twice, it keeps me busy, also pays the bills and I’m able to buy myself and my family nice things.

If you were talking to yourself about coming to RAW for the first-time what advice would you give yourself?
Be prepared to make sacrifices and work hard because at the end of the day your mentality can be easily swayed out here. You have to stay focused and remember what it is that you want to achieve.

How has your time with RAW changed your view on what being a mother means?
To be honest my view on being a mother has never changed since being with RAW. My kids have always been the reason why I get out of bed in the morning…literally haha!

What are your aspirations for the future?
To make it. To prove to those who ever doubted me or looked down on me that I shouldn’t be underestimated. To be rich, happy and just enjoy life with my FAM.


Mana | Meet the RAW Women

What does earning your own income mean to you?
I put 100% into any work I do so when I get my wages I feel like I’ve achieved something. I’m able to pay my own way but for me it’s not all about the money, just keeping busy and doing something productive with my time.

What is your favourite thing to do with your children?
Just spending as much quality time with them, even if it’s just hanging out watching a movie.

What does life look like after RAW?
I believe I will always be part of RAW. I really want to give back and become all I can be.

Which living person do you most admire?
My father. He used to be mongrel mob, but when he got released from prison he changed his whole life. He is now completely devoted to his family and work and has left his past lifestyle behind.



If you were Prime Minister what is the first thing you would do and why?
I would make it compulsory for anybody on the sickness benefit for drugs and alcohol addiction to be receiving rehabilitation treatment.

What are your aspirations for the future?
To be independent, to own my own home, and to work in a job that I love. To live crime free and drug-free and to be part of society helping others.

If I could change one thing about yourself what would it be and why?
I would change my impulsivity. In my past I have been impulsive and made bad decisions. I have come a long way with this.

What makes you unique?
My empathy. I am a very caring person.

What do you feel most proud of?
I am so proud that I’ve been over two years without drugs and alcohol. I have struggled with addiction my whole life.

What are three things still left on your bucket list?
To run a marathon, to go skydiving, and to travel New Zealand.


Patricia | Meet the Raw women

My work and study outline with RAW

Two months after being released from Prison, I enrolled at WINTEC to undergo a Diploma in ‘Beauty, Body and Spa Therapy ‘. As part of the course requirements, students are expected to complete 80 hours of work based training. Through the help of RAW I was given the opportunity to work alongside Christine Seddon the owner of the esteemed ‘Water’s Day Spa’.

At Waters they pride themselves in offering the best in health and beauty treatments. All the therapists at Water’s share a lengthy background in beauty and possess a high level of product knowledge and professionalism. This means they deliver results and is also why their clients experience is always a positive one. But it doesn’t stop there it also extends to every aspect of the spa from the tranquil surroundings to the little touches like the healing powers of the Doterra oils infusing throughout the treatment rooms.

Work based training has definitely been helpful because it enables me to apply the skills I’ve already learned on my course to the workplace. I’ve also been able to fine-tune some of those skills and learnt some new ones as well. In fact, working at WATER’S has definitely strengthened my vision towards becoming a highly skilled Beauty therapist in the near future.


What do you enjoy about going to work?
That I can work and keep motivated, that I can do something everyday that I enjoy.

If you were talking to yourself about coming to RAW for the first-time what advice would you give yourself?
The advice about coming to RAW is give it my best. As a lifer coming back to the community is a privilege and I humbly accept the support RAW provides.


What does earning your own income mean to you?
I definitely appreciate money a lot more after working 45-55 hours a week, rather than sitting on a benefit and having to scrounge or go without things I need.

When you visit your children what is the favourite activity you like to do together?
I know my girls like to do adventurous and exciting things when we hang out, but as long as I’m spending time with them and seeing them happy, that makes me happy.


What do you enjoy about going to work every day?

If you were talking to yourself about coming to RAW for the first time what advice would you give yourself?
This programme is definitely going to teach me the meaning of law abiding and being accountable for the better choices I’m about to make in my life.


Meet Terri

Kia Ora, my name is Terri Gage and I was born and raised in Whangarei.

When I was twenty four I committed a serious offence that cost me ten years of my life. Back then not only was I young, I was also naïve – I lived a lifestyle where gangs, drugs, alcohol and crime were the normal way of life.

I have chosen to embark on change, where I get to create a new normal, a new way of living, with the support and opportunities RAW has to offer. RAW has given me the opportunity to be the manager of our RAW store, and I’m extremely excited about my new role, very humbled by this opportunity and also highly grateful to be given the chance to move forward in applying change to my life – following my dreams and making them my reality.

My gratitude goes to RAW, without them I would never have made it this far. I am happy with my progress, as I’ve only been out for four months and to be standing here today saying ‘I am the manager of the RAW store’ is a massive achievement for me.


What was life like for you before Annah and RAW began supporting you?
My life was a whirlwind of one bad thing after another, my life consisted of drugs, violence and hell of a lot of poor choices and bad decisions.

How has your relationship with Annah changed your view on what being a mother means?
My relationship with Annah has changed from someone I viewed as a friend, to a woman I now view as a mother figure in my life. She has been there for me every step of my journey, and has never once made me question her loyalty. My views as a mother – well I believe motherhood is more than I ever imagined. It’s more exciting, more terrifying, definitely rewarding, more draining, easy to figure out – yet totally confusing.

What life lessons do you want to pass onto your children?
The life lesson I want to pass on to my children is to never take a good person for granted, someday someone will come along and appreciate what you didn’t.


What does a typical day look like for you now, compared to before you went to prison?
A typical day for me now looks pretty good! I get up in the morning feeling alive. I now live a life free of crime and drugs, I work for my money now instead of selling drugs or committing fraud, and that feels amazing.

What do you enjoy about going to work every day?
The money, and having structure and routine. Feeling like I have purpose, and knowing I’m making my family proud rather than just being on the streets lost.

Thinking about your time at RAW what are you most proud of?
I’m extremly proud of how far I have come. I never thought I would have ever been able to turn my life around – I thought I was too far gone.  I never believed I was ever going to get off meth, but I have! I’m proud of the better choices I make now.


Teri | RAW Women | Reclaim Another Woman

If you were talking to yourself about coming to RAW for the first-time what advice would you give yourself?
Do I know what I want?
Have I got a plan or future goals?
Does RAW have the support I need to achieve my goals and to support me with my life changes?

What does a typical day look like for you now compared to before you went to prison?
A typical day for me now consists of purpose, structure and discipline.  My days are always proactively balanced and I am learning more about not only myself but what healthy and normal is.   Life before prison was consumed by drugs, alcohol, crime and boredom with no sense of direction, no awareness of myself or the environments I put myself in.  Whereas now I have it all and so much more ahead waiting for me.


How was coming to RAW different to previous releases from prison for you?
Coming to RAW was so totally different in comparison to previous prison releases. On your own the struggles are endless. Starting pre-release with the pressure to find a release address that the parole board will be satisfied with. Choices are so limited that it’s back to your offending address, or amongst family and associates that have always condoned your offending.

RAW provided me with a safe relocation, well away from my familiar offending environment and old associates. RAW worked side by side with me as I reconnected with my family, and guided me through my triggers, allowing me to just silt and let things pass without reacting. Once I would have made rash decisions and been back on my pathway to reoffending.

With WINZ there was none of the usual stand down period, and the pressures that surround being supported by the government, which makes the whole process too hard. reoffending is triggered as at the time it’s instant. The IRD and Ministry of Justice want what you owe from all the fines accumulated and ignored while offending, then there’s child support, and by the time they have all taken payments you’re lucky to be left with $150 a week.