About Us

We are a Registered Corporation with Incorporated Society as RaWiri Residents Association Incorporated
History

Rata Vine residents have two gutsy ladies Liz Kiriona and Lynne Mehana who were tired of  Rata Vine being over run by gangs and crime. These two ladies formed their own gang "The Nanny Gang" with help from residents, to clean up Rata Vine. Liz Kiriona said "no taxi's would come into Rata Vine and residents would lock themselves in their homes too afraid to walk down the street".

These two ladies were approached to start a residents group which led to registering as an Incorporated Society so they both came up with the name RaWiri which they combined Ra as Rata Vine and Wiri as Wiri.

Twelve years later Liz Kiriona is still going strong in maintaining the peace and tranquility in the Rata Vine area and she is known as one of the Co-Founders of RaWiri Residents Association Incoporated.

If you would like to read more information Google Liz Kiriona Click Here

One of the residents Arthur Tuaau and his family moved from Tauranga to Roscommon Road and then was transferred to Rata Vine,they were totally unaware of the history of Rata Vine. When family members told him what the place was like, he and his family immediately wanted to move out. Sue Tuaau commented "If the HNZ house was not there we would have left the area, it felt safe knowing someone in the House (now the Community House) was watching out".

Rata Vine is an area of approximately 200 Housing New Zealand corporation (HNZC) houses in Wiri. The houses were built in the 1980's and are surrounded by a reserve, a stream and the Great south Road' This means they are effectively isolated from the surrounding residents on three sides' This area had a reputation as rough and unsafe - drink, drugs and gang activity was a defining feature of life in Rata Vine.

 ln 2002 two local residents, Liz Kiriona and Lynne Mehana (Co-Founders), decided to take action to turn their community around' with others in the community and the local Sisters of Mercy Wiri Margaret Martin and Anne Hurley, they organized a petition for a liquor ban in the park. They went door-to-door and gathered over 200 signatures for a liquor ban'. They met with the local council, who were sympathetic to their case, and granted the ban"' The ban empowered Liz and Lyn to intervene when they saw drinking in the park and they would call the police for back up. Over time they built up the trust with other parents and gradually momentum grew to work together for a safer community. Over the past ten years, they have worked with local community members, HNZC, the police, Wiri Central School and Manukau City Council to re-claim their community for those who live there.

 




What we Achieved

As part of this process, in 2007 HNZC identified Rata Vine as the site for community renewal and revitalization' one of the HNZC Houses was renovated into a community house and as a base for community renewal programme staff.

Achievements:
  • In 2008 the RataVine Residents Association was formed
  • In 2008 Rata Vine residents worked with HNZC to help design and install the fence around the community house. Each paling in the fence was designed by local resident;
  • In 2008 a community vegetable garden was established and continues to thrive
  • In 2009, 450 adults and children from Rata Vine marched with lanterns from Wiri Central School to the new community house to show that the community was finally safe;
  • A RaWiri Safety Patrol comprising of local volunteers was established
  • In 2009 a tool library hiring lawnmowers and other gardening equipment for a small fee was established. In turn this has enable increased maintenance and care of properties
  • In 2009 a community mural was erected on a park fence in Rata Vine and 2010 a mural on the Great South road side of the community house was designed and made by local children
  • In 2009 the children from Rata Vine presented Mayor Brown with a mural showing their hopes and dreams for their community. The mural was hang in the entrance to the Manukau City Council Chambers, so whenever we meet as Council we will see the Rata Vine children,s mural
  • In 2010 an after-school computer center for homework and educational games, and it became a pilot site for the Life Game Project-a collaborative effort between 80 local IT leaders that aims to use IT in the form of games, to foster the development of life skills and positive lifestyle choices; and
  • From 2009-2012 increased pride in being from Rata Vines growing social cohesion as a result of numerous community events, whanau days and celebrations
All of this has encouraged more residents 'coming out of their houses' to get involved



Where we are now

Current Situation and Plan Going Forward
In 2012, due to policy changes, HNZC ceased their community renewal programmes and community-based tenancy management. The Tenancy Officers based at the Rata Vine Community House were re-located to a central location. HNZC have now leased the community house to Auckland Counil with an offer to lease to purchase that ends in June 2013.

An agreement with Auckland Council until June 2013 means the RaWiri Residents Association are continuing to run the Community House and continuing to creatively respond to issues of local families and to develop initiatives, activities and programmes that will result in positive change for their community. The Residents Association are working collaboratively with the support of others to establish the house as a thriving community hub where current activities can continue to thrive and other organisations, such as police, Counties Manukau Sports and the local MP, also use the house as their base in the RaWiri community.

Current activities include:
  • The local Neighbourhood Policing Team are now touching base at the Community House with the Community Leaders
  • The local MP for Manurewa holds a weekly clinic in the house;
  • Continuing to run after school computer center and homework programme
  • Continuing to train volunteers and co-ordinate the RaWiri Safety Patrol
  • Providing cooking classes to provide healthy meals on a low income
  • Continuing to develop the community garden

Plans for the next 12 months include:
  • Developing career courses, job search support (including developing curriculum vitae) for local residents
  • Developing youth programmes and sports activities in collaboration with the Neighborhood Policing Team and Counties Manukau Sports
  • Exploring providing breakfast for local school-aged children and teaching them how to make their own lunches
  • Ensuring families have information and to support to access health checks
  • Exploring establishing a Laundromat in the shed of the community house, Many families don't have their own washing machines. Having regular access to a washing machine is a key strategy to reducing skin infections.
  • To continue to work with others to build the capacity and capability of local leasders and residents to lead their own solutions to challenges facing their community

Comments