“I was about 12 years old when I realised that my parents weren’t biologically my parents. And so, all of these questions were raised about whose fault it is, what was the situation, what happened?
A lot of kids are put in the situation where they associate the blame either on the parent, or on themselves. I know that a lot of people do blame themselves for what’s happened, and it’s quite sad.
After you realise that your parents aren’t actually your parents from birth, you’ve got to be strong to be able to get through and get past that sort of stuff. So I definitely feel that my care experience has made me a lot more robust and a lot more aware and self-aware of what’s going on.”
If you’re keen to go to university or find out more about further education – Have a look at Careers New Zealand for loads of awesome information about courses, locations, degrees, applications and entry requirements, scholarships, dates and heaps more.
If you’re worried about your family – You can call Oranga Tamariki on 0508 FAMILY (326 459) and talk to a trained social worker. They will listen to you, and then work out what kind of help your family might need.
If you’d like to see your family – Tell your caregiver or social worker. They’ll set it up for you, or if it’s not possible they’ll tell you why.
If you’re not happy, or don’t feel safe where you’re living – In an emergency phone 111 for immediate assistance.
“ONCE I WAS TWELVE I WAS WHĀNGAI INTO THEIR FAMILY, WHICH IS THE EQUIVALENT TO MAORI ADOPTION. WITH WHĀNGAI YOU DO KEEP ALL OF THE WHAKAPAPA, YOU DO KEEP ALL OF THE ANCESTRY AND THE HISTORY. SO NONE OF THAT STUFF IS LOST.”