An Adult's Voice
Every story matters.
If you have a story of living at Centrepoint it is a
story that matters.
Sharing your story has power to bring about change in your life, and in the lives of others
An Adult's perspective
Adults who lived at Centrepoint also have stories to share of their experiences while living there.
Some individuals actively caused harm to children. Of these a number were predatory and consciously aware of the illegality of their actions. Others were caught up in a constructed environment so powerful that they made immoral and reprehensible choices which they subsequently came to regret and would not repeat in a different social context.
Many condoned or allowed harm to occur, yet did not actively engage in the harm themselves. Some were completely unaware that what was happening was harmful or were simply ignorant of what was going on, while others appreciated that it wasn’t right and tried to affect change.
A small number shouted out against it and suffered considerably for their attempts at whistle-blowing.
When one person actively causes harm to another, or simply lets it occur and does not act against it, this creates an invisible tie. This silent connection through pain is destructive to both parties. For true restoration to occur after injustice both parties need something from the other in order to move forward and away from the injustice of the past. While there has been a lot of focus on the history through media exposure, there has never been any concerted effort to gather as a group of like minded people to address these wrongs. The 'what next' has never been actioned. The children who experienced abuse at Centrepoint have simply been left to get on with it unsupported and unacknowledged.
One of the aims of the project is to facilitate conversations between children and adults of the past Centrepoint about the pain that lies between them. This might entail adults of the past sharing some of the issues that caused them to be blind to the abuse that children were experiencing. It might mean offering remorse and apologies. It might mean explaining their action or inaction. It might mean offering support.
It is not expected that this will be a platform for conversations between adults who actively engaged in predatory abuse and the childhood sufferers of that abuse. That is a criminal justice issue, and this is not the appropriate forum for that.
If you would like to share with others something about your time as an adult living at Centrepoint which would help others understand what happened better, or you would like to offer an explanation or apology for your role in events, please make contact with the project administrator at email@example.com.
DOCUMENTARY BY COSTA BOTES
A frank conversation with four siblings about their troubled teenage years at Centrepoint led to the documentary Angie, which screened nationwide at the New Zealand International Film Festival in 2018. Anke Richter, who initiated the project five years before, catches up with Angie Meiklejohn and her family – and talks to other survivors ready to break their silence about Bert Potter’s toxic community.
“The work of restoration cannot begin until a problem is fully faced.”
DAN B ALLENDER