While driving his family to Whanganui one evening, Te Kai Po Ahuriri thought he was going to die.

He had binged on methamphetamine for almost a month and felt like he was having a heart attack.

"It was just on dark so I took myself away from the car. I didn't want my wife and kids to see me die.

"I thought, 'if I get out of here alive I will never touch that s*** again'."

Advertisement

He, with Trina Cornelius and Rachel Buck, have established a Palmerston North People vs P Pull Walk-In Centre for those affected by methamphetamine.

Cornelius has a loved one in rehab and Buck is a recovering addict.

She also has two children who are addicted to methamphetamine and is now raising her grandchildren.

"It's a filthy secret people have in their lives and that becomes a demon whether you're a family member or a user," Buck said. "We don't have all the answers here; we don't profess to be experts - we're just a place to come and share the burden."

Ahuriri, known as "Kernel Klink", is a member of the Storm Troopers and smoked meth for more than 16 years. He cooked and sold the drug but says his new addiction is to rid the community of P.

He was abandoned as a child, becoming a ward of the state. Dealing meth allowed him to buy luxuries for himself and others, something he had never experienced before.

"I've done a lot of this stuff over the years and I know a lot of families have been affected. I've probably helped them fall over.

"[Meth] sells your dreams. You think you've got it all and everything is great and stuff, and the next thing you fall over and you realise it was a dream."

Cornelius linked up with Buck and Ahuriri while searching desperately for help.

"We met on the New Zealand P Pull Facebook page. It's been a godsend for me. It helped me keep my sanity for these past 12 months battling through all the despair we were having with the addict in our family."

The trio agree that having a place run by those who can understand the plight of meth users is essential.

"There's been so much stigma over talking about it and I think the good thing now is people aren't feeling embarrassed to talk about it," Cornelius said.

Ahuriri said the set-up was different to any other Government organisation, and was run by those with an "open mind and open heart".

"It's better when there's a pool of people who know the pull of methamphetamine. When you're talking at the same table it's easier to open up, especially when you see everyone here is not a paid employee but ex-addicts."

Buck said she wanted to remind people there was life after meth.

"It separates you from society. I don't think a 5-year-old girl ever woke up and said, 'when I'm 20 I'm going to have had a child, have that child removed from me, I'm going to end up in the sex industry, I'm going to come and sell your s***, I'm going to have someone come and tax your house'.

"You fade away as a person and your soul becomes quite dark, you do what you got to do. It is what it is but there is a life after methamphetamine.

"It takes a village to raise a child; it takes a team to keep you clean."

• People Vs P Pull, Walk Ins, Thursdays, 10.30am-12.30pm, 142 Grey St, Palmerston North.

Made with funding from