Male offenders of domestic violence are benefiting from the DoW Mana Tāne programme. It's part of the Corrections Department's strategy to reduce re-offending by 25% by 2017.
The DoW Mana Tāne course is only a week long, but it's having a huge impact on the lives of two male offenders of domestic violence who Te Kāea interviewed today. Both men remained anonymous during the interview.
One participant explained that, "I've learnt more than I've ever know about myself in the one week I've been on this DoW course, than the 40 years I've been walking around out there."
His peer said, "I came on this course so I could better myself, to learn as much skills and knowledge as I can, so I can take it out to the community."
The programme, Dynamics of Whanaungatanga, is based on the PhD thesis of Pā Henare Tate, and comes from a Māori viewpoint.
Ted Ratana, Manager of Kawei Ltd says, "The course is based on Māori values of relationships, well-being and restrictions, personal power and authority, being true, doing right, love, roles, restoration and goals in life."
"One thing I learnt was that we're all tapu, we got to respect and love and tautoko one another, and show our tamariki that there is a better future out there," said one of the men.
"The three main tools for me that I learnt is to be pono, to have tika and to have aroha when you do things," said the other.
Most of the offenders grew up in a world of violence. He said "It was everywhere, everywhere around us, growing up as a little pepe."
But now there's been a shift in their thinking.
"Mainly just stay out of trouble and do what's right, for my whānau, for myself and for the people I surround myself with," he says.
His peer said, "I'm going to apply them in just about everything I do in life today, to help me better myself as a person, and also to better my whānau, to keep my whānau happy safe and free of violence."
At the end of the week, the men are celebrated with their families.
Ratana said, "Firstly, the men are happy when they complete the course, with their well-being, personal power and authority restored."