On July 30, 2013, at the He Manawa Whenua conference, Geoffry Nauer talked to Fiona Cram about his background – personal and research – and also about a recent evaluation project.
Geoff was born in New Zealand and is of Samoan and German heritage. Born in South Auckland, he left school at 16, moved to Hawke’s Bay, and began a thirty-odd year stint at the freezing works. During this time, he married and had children. The last freezing works he was at was Oringi and he returned to Hawkes Bay in the early 2000s, where he decided to get a tertiary education. He gained a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT).
Geoff has just finished working on an evaluation with EIT, which began in 2012 and was recently published in May 2013. This evaluation assessed the effectiveness of the DOVE programme, which offers a range of support to those who are affected by domestic violence. As one of the men’s service users says in the report,
“What was good about DOVE is it just makes you sit and think. Shows you the damage you are doing and that it is all about your own choices not about anybody else. It was bringing back a lot of things that I knew and I learnt a lot of new things as well.”
Geoff recollected his involvement interviewing some of the men who were part of DOVE’s intervention education programmes, and returning their stories back to them. As he said, it was as if “they could make more sense” of their journey when they saw it in “black and white,” on paper and without any censorship. Geoff explained the experience in a way that highlighted the importance of whānau (family). Whānau provided a good support mechanism for these men and was also a good source of motivation for them to get their lives on track. One man, when given the transcript from his interview, was so amazed by seeing his own journey in his own words on paper that he planned on framing it and putting it on his wall so that when his children grew up they could see the journey that their father had taken to move away from domestic violence.
Geoff is glad the evaluation project he undertook with EIT had a transformative effect on the men involved. He’s now working with support groups for problem gambling. He noted the truly universal nature of the underlying issues that lead to abuse problems (problem gambling, alcoholism, domestic violence). These underlying issues are about poverty and living situations.
Update: you can also download a copy of the Report from HERE
Contributed by Fiona Cram