5 Mar 2014

New drug rehab rangatahi group

7:47 pm on 5 March 2014

An urban Maori trust has opened its doors to a new group of rangatahi aiming to clean up their lives and steer clear of drugs including methamphetamine, synthetic cannabis, alcohol and cigarettes.

Building of Te Rungana o Kirikiriroa

Photo: RNZ

On Wednesday morning, eight young people between the ages of 14 and 17 were welcomed to the Rongo Atea residential treatment programme run by Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa in Hamilton.

Programme co-ordinator Ian Wood says its 12 step programme runs for 10-weeks, and it reflects on drug-use, behaviour, and helps participants improve their education and career skills.

He says so far many of them have just enjoyed the food and having a bed to sleep in.

Mr Wood says helping with their most basic needs is the start of change, which is almost impossible to do in an outpatient or in a non-live in centre for young people.

He says that's because they go back home without any career or life skills, which the Rongo Atea aims to arm them with - in a whanau Maori environment.

The initiative has been running for several years.