Our role in natural disaster recovery came into play again following the Tokomaru Bay Flooding. The recent flooding that hit Tokomaru Bay was unlike anything the locals had ever seen. An unprecedented 48 hours of torrential rain dangerously swelled local rivers, flooded houses, and left the area covered in a thick layer of mud.
Tokomaru resident Megan Williams remembers her eight-year-old grandson waking her up amid the deluge. “He was knocking on our door going ‘Nanni, Papa, there’s water everywhere and it’s going to come into the house’”, remembers Megan. When she opened her front door, she saw that the water was just inches away.
“We’ve lived here for 21 years, we brought our children up here, we got married here, but ever since we’ve lived here we never had it this bad,” she says. Megan breathed a sigh of relief when she saw their cats and chickens had sensibly taken refuge on the trampoline. Later that day Victim Support’s Gisborne Service Coordinator, Vicki Crosswell, along with Tokomaru Bays local police officer, Toa Saulala, were on Megan’s doorstep with a box of kai.
"We were liaising with the local kaumatua and the iwi that were out in the community and taking directive from them on what was happening."
The food packages had been donated to Victim Support to distribute to people affected by the flooding. Victim Support were active in the area doing welfare checks on residents, offering emotional support - in some cases people had lost everything - along with ensuring people were connected with the wider response to the flood from the council and other agencies. "
"We were liaising with the local kaumatua and the iwi that were out in the community and taking directive from them on what was happening," says Vicki. “This part of Tokomaru Bay was a little bit left out of the loop and we walked Megan through what had to be done really."
Many locals, including Megan and her family, had to evacuate their homes as there was no running water and septic tanks overflowed with sewage mixing with all the other debris.
“We have a locally based staff Support Worker who will continue to work with families,” says Vicki. “It’s part of a collaborative community response in Tokomaru Bay, where we want people to have the best chance of getting their lives back on track with the harm from the trauma of the flood minimised,” she says.
Nau mai, haere mai to the newest member of Manaaki Tāngata | Victim Support’s National Board, Darren Rewi.
Mary Curnow, Victim Support's new Head of Volunteering, is passionate about its positive impact on communities and individuals.
Dee, a Victim Support worker, shares how her personal experience with trauma drew her to support others.
Shelley Brunskill-Matson, National Manager of Suicide Bereavement Service at Victim Support, stresses self-care especially in stressful times.
Meet Gaylene, a dedicated Family Harm Support Worker at Victim Support who promotes positive change through building strong relationships.
Victim Support's Contact Service gears up for its busiest period, handling 100,000 calls a year, providing support to thousands of victims.
By learning Te Reo Māori, Contact Service team member Charlotte hopes to better support those in need and bring cultural awareness to her work.
Jacqui is on a mission to become a fluent speaker of New Zealand Sign Language to provide the best support to victims of crime and trauma.
The partnership between Victim Support and Police is crucial in ensuring victims of crime receive the support they need.
Long-term support and relationship building – that’s the focus of Victim Support’s new Whānau Resilience programme underway in Counties Manukau.
One of the things Victim Support is most proud of is the dedication and support provided by our long-serving Support Workers.
Kevin Joblin, founder of Victim Support in New Zealand, talks about his vision to recognize and support victims of crime and trauma.
A Victim Support team works with Whakaari White Island survivors, families of those who have lost loved ones, and others impacted by the disaster.
In the aftermath of a devastating flood in Tokomaru Bay, Victim Support stepped in to provide much-needed assistance to affected residents.
Behind our dedicated frontline teams there are many people in critical supporting roles that enable us to sustain our free service 24/7.
Victim Support advocates for victims of crime and trauma, ensuring their needs are heard, rights protected, and services accessed.
As the stresses of Covid become apparent, there has also been a rise in the incidence of family violence, a ‘secondary epidemic’ in kiwi families.
Victim Support collaborates with Woven Earth to help family violence survivors rebuild their lives, providing essentials and support for a fresh start.
Victim Support's Contact Service operates 24/7, handling over 130,000 calls annually, providing crucial support to those impacted by crime and trauma
Deborah Du Toit is a Victim Support Worker who has been there for Kiwis through thick and thin.
Alanna Howard and Charlie Saunders, Service Coordinators in Victim Supports' Counties Manukau office are proud of the response to support victims.