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Visiting New Zealand- Diary

23rd of January 2019- Visiting a drug court


Last Wednesday - the 23rd of January - I attended a drug court graduation ceremony.

In the morning an inter-disciplinary team met to discuss how best to support the cases they were seeing and in the afternoon, there was an open court that started with a graduation.

This was the 180th graduation the court had had (across two sites) and it was an incredible event.

The court has a dedicated cultural leader called Ra and he led the opening of the court in song (the Serenity Prayer put to song) and everyone joined in, including the presiding judge, Ema Aitken.

There was also a haka as part of the process and it was astonishing. The collective commitment and dedication to the process of recovery, to rediscovering cultural roots and the commitment to the court were incredible.

This was my second visit to New Zealand and its role as a therapeutic landscape for recovery demands great respect and merits a much higher status and profile in the recovery world.


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