Aroha | Takaro, Manawatū

“Me and my best friend, we had a heart-to-heart about a month before lock-down, where she opened up about her relationship, and how she needed to get some help.

So, we’ve put support systems around her and now she’s got fail-safe involved. So, she’s safe, and we’re all really happy about that, but I had no idea. It’s really shocking the things that we all kind of hide, until we have nowhere to go. We feel like we’re backed into a corner, because you start to open up, and then you realise that you share too much, but you keep going anyway, but that was pretty cool. 

So there’s a lot of support that I’ve only learned about in the last year or so, community-wise, which I’m really thankful for. We have the whānau centre in Highbury who have resources that we can use. I personally rely on my mum a lot, I’m really blessed that she’s still around, because I know a lot of people don’t have that privilege, but we definitely need the help, and even if it’s just getting to know your next door neighbour, or just going somewhere you can just vent for a little bit. It’s a really good resource, and you should definitely take hold of it.

The last heart-to-heart I had was with my little sister. We’ve never really gotten along, but through lockdown we kind of had no choice, and she really opened up about everything that she’d been going through mentally through lock-down, and physically, which I had no clue about. So that was really eye-opening for me, especially when you’re living next to somebody and you don’t really realise what they’re going through until they actually open up a little bit. So that was really cool, and now we’re a lot closer than ever before. We always fought, and now we’re pretty good together. 

I grew up in Palmerston North, born and bred, but I bounced between Palmerston North and Wairoa, because my grandparents lived up there and I was really close with my grandparents. My grandfather currently lives with us which is awesome. We have a really big family, that all live in it. We’ve got four generations in a house, which is amazing, and a lot of people don’t get that. It’s really good for my son, because he gets to learn a lot. 

Family is what I value above anything else. I’ve quit jobs. I’ve taken time that I didn’t have, because somebody rang me and was like, I need you, can you come help. I got you.”

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