An Update & Thankyou from Kia Tipu Te Ora Trust

Chris Jenkins


Peer Support | Kia Tipu Te Ora Trust

315 Heretaunga st East, Hastings, (upstairs)

Hello to the team at Peak Vision Church!!

I really wanted to express my gratitude for the contribution you make to our cause and give you an update on what we are about, where we are at and our vision for the future.

Kia Tipu Te Ora Trust opened in November 2020 and was born out of frustration with a health system that I believe fails many people with substance use issues. I worked in the addiction field for 5 years in another organization and increasingly saw people who were desperate for help turned away from services because they did not meet criteria. Intervention was never immediate, sometimes taking weeks to get appointments and so many windows of opportunity were missed.

I also felt like services became more focused on doing paperwork and ticking boxes for funding rather than what was best for the person in need. And they were often only focused on trying to get someone to stop using without addressing the root causes.

Kia Tipu Te Ora Trust started with 3 primary goals. 1) To make support easily accessible to everyone in the Hawkes Bay affected by addiction, including parents, partners, and children of addicts. 2) To make crisis intervention immediate and support available at any time. 3) To help reduce stigma and encourage communities practise compassion and support each other so there is less need for addiction services.

We were fortunate to meet Warren Acraman from Hastings Church who offered us a venue and we set about achieving these goals by opening a “recovery hub” upstairs at the church.

Our recovery hub is open Mon 10am - 3pm, Tues 10am – 9pm, Thurs 10am – 9pm, and quite often we open on Saturday nights. Saturday nights have mostly been for watching sport or just getting together for bbq or board games. It has turned out to be a great way to enter the service where people can just hang out somewhere safe on a Saturday night and have some fun and aren’t met with some lengthy assessment about their drug use.

In fact, people are never met with an assessment on any day of the week. If someone finds our service, we believe they have assessed themselves and the only appropriate response is “how can we support you” not an assessment to see if they qualify for support like other services do!

During the week, our days consist of Peer Support groups in the mornings. Lunch provided. And other activities in the afternoon. We run 2 online courses in a group setting. “Healing Trauma and Addiction” by Gabor Mate, and Conscious Recovery” by TJ Woodward. We have a lady who comes in and does a kind of healing through art/ expression group once a week. We often do yoga, table tennis, darts, AA/NA meetings on zoom and more.

We can provide support for people who are working on our Tuesday and Thursday evenings and NA use the same venue for their meetings on those nights.

We have also made an effort to reach parts of the community who wouldn’t otherwise engage in addiction services. Evidence of us achieving this goal was when we were visited by 25 patched Mongrel Mob members from the Kahukura rehab. We have grown our social media following and reach a lot of people through that.

An average day is about 12-15 people, but we have had up to 40 at times. People do not have to sign up so can just come as they please. No pressure.

We believe part of how we carry a message of recovery is by loving the tamariki who were affected by our substance use. Children are always welcome. We have a play area and have hosted whanau days where people can bring their families.

We also have done a lot of work outside of our opening hours. We often visit people in the community, support them to go to appointments or help them with their dealings with other organizations. We administrate a peer support Facebook page with about 2500 kiwis in recovery. And we facilitate the peer support group at the Springhill rehab in Napier.

In working my own recovery, I discovered quite some time ago that all of my shortcoming’s stem from either fear or self-centeredness, so a big part of my recovery has been practicing the opposite of those 2 things which is faith and service. So, I took a leap of faith in November 2020 and quit a fulltime job to go and provide service to people in our community who were suffering, and I doubt anyone has benefited more than I have from that decision.

I had some savings and some confidence that we would be able to get funding once we were established. The savings dried up much quicker than I imagined, and we still haven’t secured any funding. There have been times in the last year where my faith has definitely been tested!

But so far, thanks to support from Peak Vision and a couple of other people we have managed to keep the doors open. The money Peak Vision donate is used specifically to cover the fuel costs of going to Hastings each day and supporting people in the community. There is no way I could afford to do what I do otherwise, so your contribution has helped support dozens of people over the last 14 months.

Moving forward, we have so many ideas to continue to make a difference for people in need. We would like to do pre and post treatment recovery housing, provide respite for people who have a lapse to help get them back on track, provide specific peer support for people on opiate substation treatment, open our hub 6 days a week, start an employment program for people in recovery, start a podcast to help reduce stigma and much more.

Obviously, funding is an important ingredient in Kia Tipu Te Ora growing in the future and we are on the lookout for someone who can help with funding applications etc. Sadly, the guy we had doing this got cancer last year and had to step down so if you come across anyone send them our way please 😊

There are dozens of success stories I could tell you about and some of the people who started coming along for support, I’m now leaving in charge to facilitate groups and support others. I can’t thank you enough for your contributions and the difference you have helped make in these people’s lives.

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