Judges hear about community groups

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Three court judges were informed about several community groups at a hui on Saturday.

The community groups gathered at Hokonui Runanga in Gore and explained how they came to be and discussed their involvement in the community.

After a mihi whakatau (a formal welcoming) for Judges Mark Callaghan, Bernadette Farnan and John Brandts-Giesen, Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks introduced the organisations attending.

Kaitoko matauranga Colleen Te Au said the hui was a positive event aimed at informing the judges about community services and development.

“We are quite unique in our town, in that we have a number of organisations working together to provide positive outcomes for our community,” Ms Te Au said

Runanga operations manager Terry Nicholas started by talking about the health and social services provided by Hokonui Runanga and Hokonui marae as well as Education Project.

Talks followed from Ms Te Au and runanga education project team member Tamara Ramage.

Introductions .. Judges John Brandts-Giesen (left), Mark Callaghan and Bernadette Farnan are introduced to community groups at Hokonui Runanga. PHOTO: SIMON KNYVETT

Community Networking Trust project co-ordinator Lisa McKenzie and Mr Hicks also outlined the Social Sector Trials and moving forward with the Hokonui Highway project.

This aimed to get educational facilities on the same page to decrease youth offending, truancy and drug and alcohol misuse as well as increase engagement in employment and education.

St Peter’s College principal Kate Nicholson and Gore High School principal John McKinlay recommended schools in the area follow the Hokonui Highway project.

Gore Women’s Refuge manager Hannah Bain spoke of the Gore branch and the differences between it and other branches.

Melissa Dennis spoke of the Whanau Ora programme, Pari Hunt spoke about the Navigators’ “approach” to rehabilitation and Vanessa Edwards also spoke of Whanau Ora and Taiaki Tangata.

Overviews also came from Community Connections manager Robyn Morris and Gore Community Corrections service manager Angela Casey.

Gore Counselling Centre manager Bill Rout also discussed issues surrounding drugs and alcohol in the area.

Ms Te Au hoped the hui provided the judges with a better understanding of the Gore community.

“The judges went away assured with our services in place and felt like they had learnt a lot from our community,” she said.

This would help in terms of sentencing, where judges would be able to send people in the appropriate directions for help.