Written by The Native Collective
Taniwha Tales is a centre that is currently running from Henderson West Auckland, however its services are taken to wherever the need is. The centre takes in people who are suffering hardship such as homelessness, addiction, family issues and gives them a space to share what is going on in their lives and find the support they may need to deal with issues and move their lives forward.
One of the beautiful outcomes from Taniwha Tales apart from saving peoples lives and families are the amazing art work which they create. Homeless men and women come into the centre with creative talents but no outlet for these due to their circumstances. A very staunch, humble and exciting (all at the same time) man named Grant Wilson who is a qualified social worker with a giant heart for disadvantaged people, runs the centre and takes every single one of these people on as Whānau.
Grant helps them find their talents and gives them the space to grow these into the most exquisite pieces of art you could imagine. He does this all with ZERO FUNDING from anywhere. Originally when given this project by his boss John Tamihere from Waipareira Trust, it was to clear the homeless people from another trust site as they were gathering en masse every night, partying and leaving a mess every morning which others would have to clean up. Obviously frustrated, Wapareira then asked Grant to deal with it all, so he went and spent 3 months with these people, asking them about themselves, their situations and what they truly needed.
From this sprung Taniwha Tales a space where they could come and get the help they needed. Whether it be social work help with WINZ, family help with CYFS, rehabilitation or even help finding a home. It is from this point most slowly learn to trust Grant and his ability to be an advocate for them. Once that bond is established they begin to share and begin to heal even if it is very slowly and one day at a time.
The carvings are a testament to this healing. They are magnificent works of art and we are so thankful to be able to share them! Thank you Grant and all the Taniwha Tales Whānau.