I am a father of six and a grandfather of four who was raised in a gang for over 30 years. I have recently given up my patch for Whānau Ora – I want a better life for my family and I!
I know what I’ve done to my kids. Today, I am trying to make a difference in my life so that they can have a better father. It’s like I have to find myself, to know what whānau is. This is a whole learning thing for me and I have to sit back before I say something.
I have to clean myself first before I can journey on further. It’s so hard for me to not go back and think those things. I slip back into that world. There’s something that pulls me back.
I had to get rid of that so that I could see. I was ready for Whānau Ora!
My plans are to learn my reo and whakapapa, to continue with my counselling and to work toward becoming a leader of support groups to help others like me.
I want to heal my own self first and start loving the people that are close to me and try to get some forgiveness for the people I have hurt, and there’s a hell of a lot of them to make peace with.
What drives me is seeing my kids and grandchildren. It’s an ugly world that I was mixed up in. I want life to be as beautiful for them as possible.
My advise to researchers is…
Listen first. I know it’s a hard thing to listen to all the raruraru in me. It can put your ears on fire – all the things I’ve been through. But I need you to listen first.