Korrine’s story

“I was ready to turn my life around.”

After a lifetime of transience, abuse and drugs, the Iosis Whānau Centre has shown Korrine how to create a better, safer life for her children.

A 30-year old mother with five children, Korrine had a very transient childhood – attending 11 schools in her early years. “My mum would turn up at school and say we were leaving that afternoon. It was usually because she had broken up with someone or she wanted to get away from her problems.”

From an early age, Korrine knew she didn’t want that for her kids. She missed out on a lot of school and was kicked out of home at just 16 years old. “I went to live with a friend for a while and not long afterwards, I met the father of my first child and we moved to the Wairarapa.” She became pregnant at 18 and had her eldest son at 19 years old.

“My partner was violent and a drug user which got increasingly worse. After a while I left and lived at a backpackers. Then I visited Auckland and decided to stay there.”

Unfortunately, her partner followed her to Auckland and she ended up living in the Women’s Refuge for nine months. By this stage she had four more children in her care and was also using drugs. “When I told the others at the Refuge that I was going to the Iosis Whānau Centre, they said it would be like going to jail. In fact, the opposite has been true. I was ready to turn my life around and it has really helped me do that.”

The best of both worlds

Korrine says that people don’t realise you still have a lot of freedom when living at the Centre. “It’s the best of both worlds – you have the support of loving, caring people there to help you heal and you have your kids with you,” she explains. “My main priority was to keep my family together and I have achieved that.”

“Everything I’ve learnt at the Centre has taught me how to be a better parent. Things like having a routine and structure. I now start prepping dinner at 4.30pm and have it on the table at 5pm. Things like this seem small but I had no structure before. Now the younger ones are in bed by 7pm and I have much more time for myself, which has been great.”

Korrine says she wants a different life for her family. She wants them to have a stable home life where there aren’t men coming and going and different schools every year. “Most of all I want to be there for my children when they need me and for them to be safe.”

She believes that the Iosis programme, Women’s Worth, has helped her own personal journey so much. “I thought I deserved to have the same life as my mum,” she says. “Now I know that’s not true.”

Once she’s settled into her new home, Korrine is planning to enrol at MIT and complete a mechanic’s course. “I have dreams now and also the belief that I can make them come true. I am looking forward to this new stage but like most of the girls, I’m very sad to be saying goodbye to the wonderful staff who have helped me so much. Thank you, my journey here has been incredible.”