Ancient Kauri helps repair the wrongs for victims

A table carved from 1000-year-old swamp Kauri is helping support victims at District Court at Kaikohe.

The table is part of an overhaul of the court’s CCTV room, which has transformed the space where victims of crime give evidence into a calm, safe, dignified and compassionate environment.

Earlier this year, staff decided to engage the local community in a project to renovate the CCTV room. Design and visual communication students from Okaihau College were invited to come up with a way to make the room a safe space for victims. Their concepts included a special table that the CCTV equipment could be mounted on, or where victims could sit.

The Northland Region Corrections Facility whakairo workshop was approached to produce the table. One of the prisoners developed the symbolic design, and a team of five carvers created the table.

The central design of the table is pūhou te rongoā, signifying the repairing of wrongs, and the moving out of the whirlpool of trauma to a place of peace and transformation. The four legs represent the support of people.

“This table absolutely exceeded all our expectations,” said Tony Fisher, the Ministry’s Director Māori Strategy, who attended the unveiling of the table.

“The prisoners did a fantastic job interpreting our vision, and the korero and symbolism encapsulated by the whakairo is amazing.”

Other enhancements to the CCTV room include new paint and carpet, comfortable furniture and artwork.

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