Violence Free Waipa, Kainga Aroha Community House and the Cambridge Community House have teamed up to bring Phil Paikea to speak at an upcoming E Tu Waipa event to share his story about how he left a violent upbringing to become a safe man.
Phil Paikea is passionate about helping families heal and stay together and regularly makes trips around New Zealand and Australia to present his story Leaving Violence in the Dust.
"People should know to never remain silent on family violence and to never condone violence towards women and children," said Phil.
E Tu Waipa consists of two free community events — E Tu Te Awamutu, a family-friendly which will be held on Friday, March 6 featuring family games, face painting, a sausage sizzle and music in the lead up to Phil's talk. It is at Albert Park from 6pm to 8pm.
The second event is E Tu Cambridge where Phil will make a presentation. This is on Saturday, March 7 at Cambridge Middle School starting at 7pm.
Phil was born in Helensville in the 1950s to a hard-working mother and father. Phil's childhood was marred by violence, especially when alcohol and financial pressure were involved.
He ran away from home at 15 and never went back. Alcohol, drugs and gangs became his comfort and family, until he one day realised that he would lose his partner if he continued on that path.
Phil has been a youth worker and founding member of the Te Taitokerau youth workers' network, was instrumental in starting the White Ribbon ride, and is also a national champion for the It's Not OK campaign. He currently works as facilitator for Safe Man Safe Family alongside Vic Tamati and Lua Maynard.
Phil has been happily married to his wife Rowena for 41 years. They have six daughters, a son and many moko. They are also specialist caregivers for Oranga Tamariki.
"Over a 20-year period we have fostered over 240 children in our humble whare," said Phil.
A recent Offences by Family Members survey revealed that only one in three family harm incidents in New Zealand are being reported, and organiser of the local event Ange Holt says that it is a huge problem that needs addressing.
"To do this we need whanau and community to support the person using violence to change their behaviour. Phil Paikea's presentation is an opportunity not to be missed, as it is not every week we get someone like him to share his experiences and knowledge. There will be people who will relate to Phil as they share the same or a very similar background. This presentation will provide our whanau and families with some tools to start helping reduce the violence," said Ange.
At the events there will be surveys to get the voice from Waipa whanau and those who complete them go in the draw for a $50 Warehouse voucher.
Any community organisation wanting to be a part of this event is welcome to set up a table with information about their service helping people associated with family harm. Contact Ange on 0274 395744 or email firstname.lastname@example.org