OPINION: A few weeks into another term for Ngati Kahungunu and things have been rocking, rolling, helter skelter.
Seven members of one Hawke's Bay whānau were wiped off the face of this earth including children and babies in a car crash near Taupō.
There's also been three or more suicides of young adolescents, and the irreplaceable loss of Kaumātua like Wharehuia Milroy and Hector Busby.
Aunties and uncles, cousins and a train load of our people heading to the heavens.
This is all in the last two weeks.
Add into the mix a stand-off at the Hawke's Bay District Health Board (HBDHB) between a mother and her baby, supported by her midwives, while Oranga Tamariki social workers, staff and police were trying to uplift yet another newborn from her mother.
Furthermore, there was a stand-off between the Mongrel Mob patched members, police and the public which panicked Peak users into questioning the mob's right to be on Te Mata Peak.
Well, there is a perverse or weird connectedness to most of this.
Gangs were established as a result of children and mainly young men being taken by state care or the Church, away from their families or single mums at a young age into institutions such as Epuni Boys Home in Wellington, Kohitere Boys Training Centre in Levin, Weymouth Girls Home in Auckland, Sunnybank and Beck House Hawke's Bay region or into adult prisons like Waikeria and Hautu Borstal in Turangi.
Estranged from their biological siblings, they created new families and neo-siblings that eventually led to organised gangs and organised crime.
Mongrel Mob events allowed to continue on top of Te Mata Peak
Te Mata takeover: Why the Mongrel Mob isn't backing down
This is a simplistic picture. But the state is still doing this today, this minute in fact.
Twenty-two children have been uplifted from their whānau in the Camberley community alone in the first school term of this year.
The most prevalent reason is domestic violence and drug abuse, which is true.
The gangs that were formed from child removal 30 or 40 years ago are now the ones peddling P into these communities, giving the state again, cause to take these kids with no involvement of whānau, hapū, community or iwi.
Just yanked them out of there. The gangs recruit new members using new under-the-table wealth they acquire from P sales and have patched ceremonies on Te Mata o Rongokako, to which many of them have whakapapa to.
This is the place where many of our tipuna were slaughtered, or were marched off as slaves nearly 200 years ago.
The perverse effect is that the organised selling and use of P in our communities, is not only a key factor in the contagion of suicide and family violence, but is also the pricker for babies being uplifted at birth from their young mums.
It's an ugly circle and nauseous cycle, a cultural calamity. But what can we do about it, for nothing currently is working even though everyone is trying their damndest to help.
The answer to me lies with whānau, then hapū, then iwi in that order.
To that end I'm prepared for this iwi to lead a project starting this week called Korero Mai Whānau, inviting whānau to come and share their stories with other whānau supporters, in a safe environment where tales of woe, grief and hope can be expressed so that the broken torn net and the network of whakapapa can be re-stitched and re-gathered to bring clarity to the calamities that have occurred.
It won't be easy but we have to start and we have to be strong.
Tui tui tui tuia.
Where to get help:
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youth services: (06) 3555 906
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• The Word
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
• CASPER Suicide Prevention
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.