Participants felt that the community was quite tight knit and there were opportunities to meet people.
“You go to the shop or come to the hall meeting. But there are people who chose not to connect and that’s accepted here. Anybody’s welcome and with this community group we’ve formed if they want to, they can come and mingle and that’s how you get to know everything.”
“And there’s a Marae here which is a good support system for a lot. It’s really important.”
“And I also found if I rang police or ambulance for anything, funny little things, someone needed help but it wasn’t an emergency. What I loved is that the ambulance people knew who you were talking about and they’d go and sort some sort of family crisis. That it’s a community where they knew the systems, the people, and the particular families.”
Residents did not feel that crime was a systemic problem in Kakahi, but just depended on who was ‘coming and going’.
The community is perceived as being very socially connected and cooperative.
“The community here keep the community going, keep us all together, and if anyone has any issues, little issues, big issues, that’s the place to discuss it. Instead of doing it on your own”.
“There’s people that have come back to the village and are proactive and willing to give their beautiful energy. And that’s really good.”
“Some kids were doing wheelies on the area that had been planted but these boys were doing wheelies in the winter in the mud in their car. So it was brought up at the meeting and there was a lot of nodding. And I said it was this car, and there was nodding. And no more was said but it was dealt with, I suspect with a sense of humour. And they’ve not done it since. And that was just a community meeting.”
The use of methamphetamine in the community is not particularly conspicuous, but significant for those indirectly affected by it.
“P is not affecting us much at the moment but I think they’ve got to control it.”
“In our community what it looks like is, I’m trying to find the right word. It’s quietly tucked away, but when you look it manifests as a shambolic lifestyle. If you look at the house and the lifestyle, it’s messy and untidy and you can put your finger on it. And it has a trickle-down effect in the community. And some of us have dealt with it first-hand. When you’re dealing with people who just don’t care. And they don’t care. And you know, you, you’re trying to, you know, to do your best to perhaps help that person or manage that situation without it becoming violent and it’s unnerving and unsettling.”
“And people who are drug affected, they have an impact on the community. It’s quite stressful. It’s their problem, but it’s your problem. It becomes your problem trying to deal with them.”