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Residents of Lifewise Rotorua’s Mental Health and Addiction support service design their own taonga.

Māori view taonga (treasures) as their ancestors, therefore how they are presented and treated is very special. Taonga have been a common sight over centuries and whanau/hapu and Iwi have passed down pieces through generations to ensure that the mana (pride) and mauri (life) is preserved. There are many forms of taonga and they often depict kaitiaki (guardians) and symbolic places to enhance connection, purpose and belongingness.

The residents of Lifewise Rotorua were gifted a piece of pounamu (greenstone) each to design their own taonga. This unique opportunity has encouraged residents to dig deep, research their ancestry and detail a piece that is meaningful and special. Our residents are not all of Māori descent, but they all have their own beautiful cultural history and this piece resonates with their wairua (spirit) and recovery journey. Jim Wicklife (Programme Support Worker) works closely with them all to encourage creativity, hope and purpose. Residents are invited to present their pieces to staff, whanau/family and support people at a special presentation. This special spiritual journey will not only enlighten others, but also inspire them. Kia ora.

Lifewise in Rotorua offers Mental Health and Addiction Supported Accommodation Services. Our recovery-focused live-in programme for adults is called Te Ara Ora, the Pathway to Wellness. This Pathway also includes Community Support Services to support residents to connect with whanau/families and their community.

Lifewise follows a back-to-basics approach with a focus on whanau and family values.

Residents are supported to attend counselling sessions, support groups and with a recovery-focused approach. Lifewise Support Workers work closely with LinkPeople, Te Utuhina Manaakitanga Trust Alcohol and other Substance services, Taupo Alcohol and other drug services and Te Ngako Mental Health Services. Lifewise supports people to embrace life, and make positive choices that encourage autonomy. Our central location, ample greenery on site and connection to the local community helps people turn their lives around.