Topics: Domestic Violence, Health

Kawerau fighting back against meth

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Whānau in Kawerau are benefiting from the health services being run by Tūwharetoa ki Kawerau in dealing with Meth related issues, but according to their CEO more is needed to help educate and support them.

Kawerau is leading the way nationwide on dealing with Meth in their community.

Those affected by the drug are looking at changing their ways. 

Nina Peri, who lives in Kawerau, says that she’s had experiences with the drug but “I didn't need it to be honest.  I don't need P.” 

CEO of Tūwharetoa ki Kawerau health, education and social services, Chris Marjorbanks says that a lot of work has been done to help families in his community affected by meth but more is needed.

“We support approximately 400 whānau through the breadth of those services and a number of times we see where there is lack of kai [and a] real home environment that are challenging to the mokopuna.  One of the key [issues] is that- the transiency of our whānau.” 

A national survey of drug users released in March by Massey University found that 30 percent of the users surveyed in the Bay of Plenty were addicted to meth.

“We are seeing significant impacts of meth in our whānau, particularly our mokopuna, tamariki living in those home environments.  In most cases it's deprivation of kai on the tēpu, lots of domestic violence in those situations as well.” 

Marjorbanks says dealing with families affected by meth is complex but educating others on the drug is helping his community fight back.