Community Action: He Hikoi Mātūtū Recovery Walk
The Salvation Army Oasis supports community-led approaches to gambling harm. We aim to help communities build connections, enhance whānau ora and wellbeing, and create opportunities to have fun in ways that aren’t harmful to whānau.
New Zealand’s first He Hikoi Mātūtū Recovery Walk was held in Auckland on Saturday 7 December, 2019
Addiction recovery enriches our communities. People in recovery are an asset, and typically spend more time engaging in community groups, volunteering, and helping others than people without lived experience of addiction. They are also a beacon of hope to people yet to begin their recovery journeys – visible proof that recovery from addiction is possible.
The purpose of He Hikoi Mātūtū Recovery Walk was to take this message to the streets of Auckland City. Around 1,000 people gathered in Albert Park, Auckland CBD and marched up Queen Street to Myers Park to celebrate with speeches, music and kai.
The air was thick with humidity and positive energy, so much so that at 2:30pm the skies opened and a brief downpour momentarily embodied the “cascade of hope and belief” that we had gathered to witness.
Recovery Walks have been taking place across the world for over a decade, with the first rumoured to have begun in the United States in 2000.
He Hikoi Mātūtū came with a distinctive Aotearoa flavour: karakia, waiata and haka showcased our unique and precious culture
Recovery is far more than the mere removal of alcohol, drug or gambling (and other behavioural addiction) problems. For many, the recovery experience creates a positive and profound change in one’s character and personal relationships. People develop an attitude of gratitude, and become involved in sustained acts of public service – living in the spirit of being of service to their friends, whānau and communities. On Saturday, we celebrated the spirit of recovery and challenged stigma and exclusion. Ngā mihi to all the Bridge, Oasis and wider Salvation Army staff who came along on the day to support the kaupapa. We hope that next year’s event will be even bigger and better!
He Hikoi Mātūtū 2019 was led by Dapaanz with the support of Matua Raki/Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui, Wings Trust, He Waka Eke Noa, Odyssey, The Salvation Army Oasis, Ngāti Whātua and Higher Ground. Siobhan from Auckland Oasis supported the initiative as a member of the hikoi planning committee.
Joseph from The Salvation Army Oasis and Aaron from The Salvation Army Bridge look after the stall at the He Hikoi Mātūtū Recovery Walk