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.
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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.