Spring Round About…

Alcohol and Drug Court supporters’ dinner

We’ve heard about the great work of Auckland and West Auckland Alcohol and Other Drug Courts for a while now.  But Justice Department money doesn’t cover all the costs of court clients…such as rental deposits, transport costs  for  appointments with potential employers or Work and Income, repairs for damaged teeth,  tatoo removals, appropriate clothes …and yet these are often necessary expenses if those recently released from prison are to make a decent life outside.  So when we were invited to a fundraising dinner to support those who are in recovery we were happy to attend.

An excellent dinner was served at the Ponsonby Cruising Club, and several recovering former addicts spoke about their journeys. Interesting items for auction, including holiday accommodation packages, works of art and concert tickets ,were a major part of the fundraising, and the evening netted about $20,000, we understand.  We especially enjoyed sitting with friends, and hearing the stories from court clients.  We have the highest admiration for the two judges, Lisa Tremewan and Ema Aitken, whom we have come to know through Tanya’s te reo classes with tutor Kereama Oliver .  They, and the support staff in the programme, do a wonderful job in supporting and encouraging many people each year who would otherwise go to prison- and save taxpayers $100,000 per year for each one who succeeds in the community as a result.

for more information see:



A Double Take, The first overview of photographer Edith Amituanai’s work,  was launched at the Anna Miles Gallery on Sunday 25 August.  Edith has been working as a photographer and film maker since the early 2000s, and recently a retrospective of her work  was held at the Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University of Wellington. 

Ane Tonga curated the exhibition, and helped in the production of the book, which has over 60 stunning prints of Edith’s work, much of it in West Auckland where she grew up and where we met her  (she and Charmaine were both elected to the Ranui Action Project Board at the same meeting in November 2014)

Shakti News

Shila Nair MNZM and her mother Retna after Shila’s investiture.



Our friend Shila Nair, who has been one of the stalwarts of Shakti and is now a full-time counsellor, was on Thursday 5 September invested with her medal as a Member of the Order of New Zealand .  Well-earned recognition for her, and for Shakti. Lovely to celebrate with her, Farida, Retna and a group of Shakti staff and supporters at a Thai restaurant after her investiture.



Shakti Sustinnoworx

On Friday 6 September Shakti ‘s Sustinnoworx Upcycling Centre and Shop opened on land in front of Earthsong, at 449 Swanson Road, Ranui.  It will be providing courses in upcycling for women, and high-quality products for sale.  The Centre is well worth a visit (as is the Shakti Sustinnoworx Opshop at 96a Railside Avenue in Henderson).

Two containers, joined, now comprise an attractive teaching space and shop for producing high quality upcycled clothes, bags and other items for sale.







The two shops are now open:

Tuesday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm

Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm

Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm.


This pair of transformed containers is a Social Enterprise to support Shakti clients. 

It is also a testimony to Farida’s persistence,  her Sustinnoworx team, the Corrections Department , prisoners at Paremoremo,  woodworker Buffie Mawhinney of Ranui, and the support of Helen Haslam and Earthsong residents, for almost three years since the project was first proposed.

Farida and Shila of Shakti prepare the Sustinnoworx celebration cake for Andrew Little to cut in the Earthsong Common House on 6 September after the opening of the new Upcycling Centre.

Women supported by the Shakti team will be able to learn upcycling and sewing skills in one half of the unit, and retail activities in the other, with a view to becoming employable or self-employed and eventually achieving economic independence.

Do pay a visit to 449 Swanson Road for your end-of-year shopping for gifts (and useful personal purchases!)

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