He Kokona Ngākau: Our Stories

In November 2020, Te Roopu Taurima(TRT) launched a new storytelling project that celebrates the strengths and resilience of the tāngata we support: He Kokona Ngākau.

He Kokona Ngākau is a video series made with the support of the Mental Health Foundation and the Ministry of Health’s Whai Ora, Whiti Ora fund. It explores the many different ways tāngata experience wellness and the tools that have helped them navigate the challenges of covid-19 restrictions.

Covid-19 has created many opportunities for us as a community to take stock of our individual wellbeing. It has opened up important discussions around resilience and mental health, and it is vital that tāngata have the opportunity to participate in these conversations. Few opportunities exist for tāngata to speak directly to a broad audience, or to see themselves reflected in the media, or learn from the voices and experiences of their peers. This video series lets us hear what is important to tāngata. Their stories offer insights and add diversity to our collective experience during covid-19.

“The tangata we support want the same things most other people want, especially when coping with changes, and covid-19 has brought huge change,” says Tania Thomas, TRT Manawhakahaere (CEO). “We all want to be healthy, to have relationships and friendships, to be able to pay for things, to have meaningful things to do, to be part of our community, to do things our way when we want, to have fun, to learn and experience new things and to live in a way that aligns to our culture and values. The stories shared by tāngata in these videos highlight what a good life looks like to them.”

He Kokona Ngākau launched in mid-September with a video from Sam Rubin, a tangata in TRT’s Choice in Community Living service. Sam shared his experience of Auckland’s covid-19 restrictions, his journey through TRT services and how he finds his happiness in his independence.