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‘Mates before crates’ message inspires taking care of each other over summer

Caption: Turaukawa, left, created the slogan “Mates Before Crates” to support the Safer Coromandel campaign and alongside long-time “mate” and campaign supporter Zane Moretti, they remind people to keep everyone around them safe over summer, especially around alcohol and other drug use. Photo: Jo Belworthy

When is a job not a job? When the word “job” ceases to exist.

At least that is the case for Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki Youth INtact worker Turaukawa Bartlett, who is so passionate about the work he does he says he can’t call it a job.

And with that attitude in hand, Turaukawa will “walk the talk” as part of the Safer Coromandel campaign, hitting the Coromandel hotspots and events with his three co-workers over the holiday period to spread the message “Mates Before Crates”.

Turaukawa says the kaupapa (meaning) behind “Mates Before Crates” is about each person in the community keeping an eye out for their mates, partners, co-workers, whānau and keeping everyone around them safe, especially in regards to alcohol and other drug use. “We understand the silly season is fast approaching and we’re trying to encourage people – especially rangatahi (young people) – to make smart choices to ensure they make it home safe to their whānau,” he says.

“Alcohol and drug use affects us all in different ways, and it doesn’t stop with an individual. The effects ripple through our whānau and community whilst also setting the example for our future generations. It’s time to start taking more practical steps to keeping our community safe.”

Turaukawa says he is looking forward to meeting the community face-to-face and “spreading the kōrero” of the kaupapa.

The Youth INtact team have plenty of engagements over the holiday period, including cooking sausages alongside the Fire Brigade at a “It’s Not About the Sausage” event at Whangamatā on New Year’s Eve.

“We’ll be making our presence known to offer support to young people should they feel unsafe,” Turaukawa says. “We want Youth INtact to be the first thing people think of when AOD (Alcohol and Other Drugs) support is needed.”

The Safer Coromandel campaign involves several community organisations working together to prevent death and serious harm over summer in the Coromandel.

Turaukawa and his long-time “mate” and campaign supporter Zane Moretti from IXL Butchery in Thames, will soon be seen together in a Safer Coromandel billboard to further spread the message.

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