About This Project


“I threw my toys out of the cot and left RAW. As usual, I think I know everything, and I’ve been on the road ever since I left home following work. Unfortunately, my choices have been shit, and I keep turning to the wrong people for support. My family is RAW, and now I’m back to square one, cleaning myself up again.”

“Being away for the whole year, and reflecting on why I left and how I left, I should never have left. I had all the good things in life, and I didn’t see them. I had a nice home, good clothes, I loved working with the people I worked with, and I was a good presentable person.”

“Out here, it’s back up against the wall stuff again; always paranoid that someone is going to steal something off you. I don’t want to live like that; it’s not my kaupapa anymore.”

“I want my ‘normal’ life back in Hamilton. Getting up early, going for an hour’s walk, having a shower, going to Wintec, doing my study and going to work.”

“I want to be a different person, but I need to buckle down and act my age. I have a chance to do better, with my study and with RAW.”

What did you need to let go of to make that change?

“I need to let go of my past, hand it over to the universe and move forward. Doing the studies helped me understand what was going on in my own life. I’m an adult, totally accountable for everything I do, and I need to start making better choices.”

“I struggle out on my own, and I struggle with change. I want to live free of all that disastrous crime and gangs. I’m sick of being a failure; I want to get really focused on me and my wellbeing.”

What is the value that RAW adds to your life?

RAW can help me put my plan together. It’s like baking a cake, I’ve got all the right ingredients, but it’s how you mix it together that is the secret. I need to listen, hear what they say, listen with my heart and my brain. My head keeps getting in the road.”

“I want to finish my degree and become a full-time social worker. I can only do that through RAW. RAW gives me the stability and the shelter that I need while I’m growing.

Reflecting back on when you first joined RAW, to where you stand today – what have been the big breakthrough moments/turning points’ in that journey?

“My communication skills are way better; I’m not so gangster. I respect others and can communicate with the elite and the underprivileged. I’m approachable and comfortable approaching others. I’m not afraid to open up a conversation or speak up about what’s right and what’s wrong.”

“I need to stay on board and keep focused on what’s ahead of me and stop making bad choices. It’s about putting yourself amongst good people to become a better person.”

What did you need to accept?

“I need to stop telling myself I’m a failure. I need to accept that I need to work hard to make a better life. I need to listen with my heart and my head. I always flick into survival mode, but I’m too tired to run on survival mode now.”

“I also need to accept that I’m a target for my family, so I need to stay away.”


Thinking ahead, what are your goals and plans?

“I’ve got 80 hours left on my Level 4 papers, and I want to pass all my exams. It’s always been my heart thing to be a social worker. I will never do what they’ve done to us.”

I’m hopefully going to go back to being a student Kaimahi at the Refuge, and that could lead to something more fruitful?”

“I would also like to be part of the staff of RAW. I’ve never changed my mind about that. Once I sort myself out and calm down, I could be of real value. I am good for people, but I’ve got to find the good in myself. I need to start loving me. I think I’m always going to need RAW.”

“I’m a strong wahine toa with a loving heart.”