'Turning of the Tide' strategy targeting drink drivers a success

Police, Iwi and partners have used a successful initiative that targets drink drivers and have implemented it in the Waikato region.

Around 50 participants and their whānau came together to celebrate after completing a six-month long Alcolhol Impairment Intervention Programme (AIIP).

District Maori Responsiveness Manager, Inspector Frank Grant says, "The programme mirrors a successful pilot that ran in Rotorua and is based on the Police's Turning of the Tide strategy which aims to reduce levels of Maori victimisation and offending.

Though based on the Turning of the Tide's philosophies, our course, which was held at Hamilton's Te Rangiora Marae, wasn't just offered to Maori participants but open to those from other cultures as well."

Grant says some members were from Pākeha, Pacific Island and Indian communities and the use of the marae provided some tangible benefits.

"A lot of our target audience don't have fond memories of school so taking them out of the formal educational environment and enabling them all the opportunity to be embraced by the marae experience really paid off.

And that is evident by the fact that while the course ran we didn't have a single case of re-offending."

Last week's get-together allowed participants to reconnect and strengthen their relationships, as well as reflecting on key messages from the programme.

This was a crucial time for them, especially during the high risk Christmas and New Year period.